Teens & Menstrual Cups: Tips for First Time Use
How old is old enough to use a Lunette menstrual cup? The answer is - if you are old enough to menstruate, you are old enough to use a Lunette. Girls as young as 14 have successfully used a Lunette for their period. However, sometimes a little extra time is needed to get used to the process.
Lunette size 1 - Designed for younger users
We designed our smaller Lunette menstrual cup (size 1) specifically for younger users. Not only is it smaller and shorter -- it is squishier in consistency for easier insertion.
If I am a virgin, can I still use a Lunette?
If you are a virgin, you can definitely still use a Lunette. However, young girls and virgins might need to practice a bit more in the beginning, because they are usually not as familiar with their anatomy. While virginity is not an obstacle, the vaginal muscles are tighter and insertion can be a challenge until your body has adapted to accommodate the cup. Younger women with intact hymens should be aware that inserting the cup may rupture the hymen. By medical standards, virginity is not defined by the state of the hymen; girl remain a virgin until she participates in sexual intercourse.
Tips for first time menstrual cup insertion
- Relax and take your time: Choose alone time when you can focus without distractions or interruptions. Perhaps after a warm bath when you are relaxed. If you are too nervous, the vaginal muscles will tighten, making it uncomfortable, if not impossible, for successful insertion.
- Get Acquainted with yourself: It is always a good idea to know your own body. Take some time to locate the vaginal opening and even insert a finger to locate your cervix. It feels exactly like the tip of your nose. Knowing where your cervix is will help you to position the cup properly and not insert it too high.
- Practice during your period: The vagina is more flexible and the blood works as a lubricant. OR . . .
- Take a "dry run" before your period: You might be more comfortable practicing before your period if you feel squeamish about touching blood. In this case, use water as a lubricant.
- Try different folds that accentuate the insertion poin: Most women use the typical C-fold. However, there are many ways to fold a Lunette. The video here will show you nine different folds.
- Proper insertion direction: Be aware that the direction of insertion needs to be aimed towards the small of your back -- not straight up.
- Be patient: Know that it may take several times before you are successful. If you begin without the expectation of perfect insertion, you are more likely to be relaxed and pleasantly surprised when success happens.
- Assess the stem: Once inserted, you will need to decide whether or not to keep the stem. If it protrudes, it will be uncomfortable. In this case, you likely won't need the stem and can trim it off. However, if not, you may need it to assist with removal.
Tips for first time menstrual cup removal
- Again - RELAX: Just as with insertion. Take your time!
- Do NOT pull on the stem: The stem is used to gain access the bottom of the cup. If you pull on the stem, it will hurt! It will also create a mess since the cup won't be supported or controlled when it exits.
- Squeeze bottom to release suction: This is the key - the bottom of the cup has ridges for gripping. Grip the bottom and tweek the cup to the side. The idea is to pull an edge away from the vaginal wall to release suction. You will hear it when this happens.
- Rock gently: Once suction releases, gently rock the cup from side to side as you pull it out. This technique might not be necessary, but helps with removal if the cup is feeling stubborn to come out.
Information resources for girls and parents
As a teen or as a teen's parent, it is helpful to do research and learn, not only about your body, but about healthy menstrual options that are available for teens today. For information about female anatomy, Lunette's site offers information under "Anatomy 101 by Lunette" to allow girls to learn about the intricacy of their female form with the assistance of a medical diagram.
Another resource is tweetchats (#periodtalk) held by Be Prepared Period, a website dedicated to introducing girls to menstruation. #periodtalk was started by @bepreparedperiod and @youARElovedTSS which is a charity that promotes awareness of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome)