Tag Archives: Female body shape

To trim or not to trim…

14 Oct

That little stem!

Every menstrual cup comes with a little stem. They say you may cut it off if you like.

I was scared to cut mine off. I depended on it to pull the menstrual cup out for the first four months or so. I tried not to put pressure on myself to be all cool and independent, but rather to get entirely comfortable with the cup before I do anything to jeopardise the value of my little R395 investment!

But the stem pokes! I learned to pull in my vaginal muscles and this helps because it pulls the cup higher up into the vagina. But every now and again I would become uncomfortably aware of that little stem, pushing against the skin that covers the vaginal opening. (I don’t know what the technical name for that skin is).

So I practised. If you are considering trimming the stem, I advise that you practise too. Practise gripping the base of the cup, and not the stem, to pull out the cup. Once I was comfortable with that, I took the plunge… I trimmed it!

I didn’t trim it all the way, yet it was enough for the annoying poking to cease. This might be true for you, too, so you can experiment by only trimming a little bit off initially, especially if you are not quite confident that you will be able to remove it without the stem every time. I assume this depends on the length of your vagina.

I’m glad I trimmed it, but I would recommend gaining some confidence before you do. I like how much control I have nowadays. I can sit right here and push my vaginal muscles down and I will eventually feel the stem. Then I pull them back up and away is the poke… and I can forget about the cup again until tonight.

Removing the cup without using the stem is about equally messy as removing it with the stem, because either way at some point my cup has to be folded slightly to get out and that’s when the blood can spill out if it is quite full. I’ve seen a video of a woman demonstrating how to take out the cup without spilling, using a transparent glass tube as the “vagina”. I have not been able to get that right with my real life vagina! Maybe it’s because I haven’t had sex and my vagina doesn’t sommer stretch widely enough that a fully opened menstrual cup can come back out. I’d love someone who has had sex to comment on whether this will get easier after a woman has had sex?

An anemone!

7 Apr

So one of the things I learned about my body is what my vagina feels like on the inside!

I had it all wrong. I thought the vagina looks like this:

This is right, basically, but it underplays the transition between the vaginal canal (where the penis/tampon/menstrual cup goes) and the uterus. The uterus is something completely seperate. I didn’t know that… until I needed to figure out what my menstrual cup was pushing against. If you look that the above sketch, it is easy to assume that the menstrual cup could enter the vagina and end up in the uterus. I thought the vaginal canal simply ends in the opening that is the uterus. The cervix thing was always a mystery to me.

Turns out, the female body looks more like this…

 

 

This picture does not show all the way to the vulva like the previous one. What is does show, more properly, it that there’s a serious difference between the vagina and the uterus.

I told my brother, who is a medical student, that I am a bit confused because inserting the cup I thought I had come up against the back of the womb. It was soft and squishy, I said, with a little opening in the middle. Like an anemone that you have just poked with your finger, so that it hides all its little tentacles and all that’s left is its round, squishy outside and a little hole in the middle. My brother laughed and told me yes, that’s the cervix.

The menstrual cup needs only fit around the small hole at the bottom of the cervix. That’s where the blood comes out. (The blood is actually a part of the uterus lining). That is why I could actually fit my finger up around the menstrual cup, and find that there is space up around it. Look at the picture – that’s just the end of the vagina.

Here is a picture of how I think the menstrual cup fits in my body.

 

 

My brother thinks I’m very silly for not knowing this, and he keeps using terminology I don’t understand and then I have to tell him to dumb it down! But eventually when I downloaded these pictures I figured it out. I am really lucky to be able to speak so frankly about these things with my brother. But it’s not enough. He doesn’t like dig gyneacology and I kind of have to drag it out of him.

Now you know why I say I have learned a lot about my body. It really does fill me with amazement. I am very grateful to be a healthy woman. I really look forward to getting married and sharing my body with my husband. Until then, at least I have a better inkling of what’s going on “down there” 🙂