Doesn’t Pop Open
Hey. I actually have several issues with the menstrual cup. Sorry if it weirds you out. Firstly, after several painful trials, the cup managed to get inside my vagina with the triangle fold. However, it didn’t pop open, but remained in the same fold. It was going inside and inside in the same way and it scared me for neither was it popping open nor was it coming out. I understand that maybe it needs to further inside to pop open but till what extent? When it was continously going inside I tried to pull it out but because of the lubrication and that I could hardly fit one finger inside, it took me quite some time to get it out. Is it normal? What do I do?
What I usually do, somewhat counterintuitively, is give it a slight downward tug. Push it in first, then start to pull it as if I was going to remove it, and *pop*! Like an umbrella.
Some people also recommend trying to spin it in place, but I found that more complicated and less effective.
It also sounds a lot like you’re tensing. Pelvic floor tensing can be pretty frustrating, as it isn’t entirely voluntary, and seems to listen more to one’s emotions than one’s conscious will. If you feel nervous or think it’s going to be painful or get stuck, you’re probably going to tense, which will make everything tight. Vaginas are squishy muscular tubes, and what factors influence their size are surrounded by misconceptions. They’re famously difficult to measure, since they will lengthen or shrink depending on the owner’s mood, and even the cervix is known to wander up and down the vagina depending on the time of month. So there’s a lot of misinformation that vaginas can become “stretched” with use. No use will stretch your vagina. Vaginas do eventually sag with age, but only at the same speed as the rest of you. However, vaginas can become relaxed, which makes them more open and easy to poke around in. That same vagina can clench up like a clam if you get nervous again!
Even knowing all this, I had a great deal of difficulty relaxing as a beginner. I could take deep breaths, tell myself it was fine, and yet still, by the power of my belief it would be, everything was tight. I was convinced I just had an unnaturally tiny vagina, and nothing would ever enter or leave it. You should never force this! Forcing will lead to pain, and pain will only condition you to be afraid. Back off it, try again when you’re relaxed. Maybe try inserting and removing it while lying comfortably in a hot bath, or try after masturbating. Years later, I’m completely confident that the cup won’t hurt me, so my vagina just slurps it up like ramen noodles. I never have any trouble getting it into position. Even if you feel like you’re doing everything right, experience will help a lot!
Another thing to keep in mind is that experience is key for all menstrual products, but by the time many of us are trying cups, we don’t have the clearest memories of when we first started menstruating and learning to take care of it. Even disposable pads have a failure state and need to be learned. So we already practiced and got good at other methods, they just feel easy now that we did that. Cups are the same way. Now that I’m practiced with a cup, it feels easy as pie, and it’s hard to believe I had so much trouble in the beginning.