Many girls do not dare to use menstrual cups or tampons for fear of breaking the hymen. However… what do we know about the hymen?
What is the hymen?
The hymen is a thin, fleshy tissue at the opening of the vagina.
There is a lot of confusion about the hymen. Many people think that the hymen completely covers the opening of the vagina until it is stretched, but this is usually not the case. Most of the time, the hymen naturally has a hole large enough for period blood to drain out and for you to use tampons comfortably.
Some people are born with so little hymenal tissue that they appear to have no hymen at all. Rarely, people have a hymen that covers the entire vaginal opening, or the hole in their hymen is very small; they may need to see a doctor for a small procedure to remove the extra tissue. Like other parts of our bodies, hymens are a little different for everyone.
The hymen may break open the first time you have vaginal intercourse, which can cause some pain or bleeding. But this doesn’t happen to everyone. Also, there are other ways that the hymen can break open: riding a bike, playing sports, or inserting something into the vagina (such as a tampon, finger, or sex toy). Once the hymen is opened, it cannot grow back.
What is virginity?
A virgin is someone who has never had sex, but it is not as simple as it sounds. This is because sex means different things to different people, so virginity can also mean different things.
Many people think that the first time you have sex with your penis in your vagina is when you lose your virginity. But this leaves out many people and other kinds of sex.
Some people have not had sex with a penis in the vagina, but have had other kinds of sex (such as oral sex or anal sex), and may or may not consider themselves virgins. And there are lesbian, gay, bisexual or pansexual people who may never have had sex with a penis in their vagina. But they probably don’t consider themselves lifelong virgins just because they haven’t had sex with a penis in their vagina.
Many people believe that rape and sexual assault are not sex: it is only sex if both partners consent. So if someone was forced or pressured the first time they had vaginal sex, oral sex or anal sex, they may not see that as “losing their virginity”.
In short: the definition of virginity is complicated, and it’s really up to you to decide what you believe. Some people don’t even care what “virginity” means, or see it as very important. Worrying about whether you are a virgin is far less important than how you feel about your sexual experiences. Ask yourself: are you happy with the sexual experiences you have had or have decided not to have?
Is menstrual cup use and virginity compatible?
Yes, if you are a virgin, you can use a menstrual cup.
In fact, you can start using a menstrual cup as soon as you get your period.
Although there is no age limit, you do need to be comfortable with your body and your period.
The vaginal muscles of virgins and young women tend to be tighter, which can make it a little difficult to insert the product.
Therefore, you may want to practice at first. If it is uncomfortable, don’t force it, take a break, relax and try again later.
The entrance to the vagina is smaller in width than the rest of the vagina, so gradually adjusting to the cup will make insertion easier.
It shouldn’t hurt and, if you have it in place, you shouldn’t feel it.
Using a menstrual cup is an ongoing learning process – no one is born knowing! The first time is often a bit of a spectacle, but after a while, you will find it very easy. Give yourself at least 3 full cycles to feel completely confident with it.
If you’re still not comfortable with the idea of inserting something into your vagina, don’t worry, you can take as much time as you need to make that decision.
Remember you are the one who has to feel about everything you do. 😘