Tag Archives: Period

Relaxing your vaginal muscles

13 Oct

I have now been using my menstrual cup for about 6 months. I am pretty chuffed about this! The best feeling was when I had to go away on a trip for a few weeks. I took my little pull bag containing the cup, swung it around my finger a few times from pure chuffedness, and tossed it into my going-away bag.

I thought with great chuffedness about how, a few months ago, I would have had to cram a box of tampons and a bunch of pads into my bag and then also make sure I keep them sort of discreetly down under the clothes in the bag. Haha! My menstrual cup bag lay there innocently, looking like a posh grey makeup bag, all made of shiny matric-farewell-dress material.

Relaxing your vaginal muscles is something I learned along the way that might come in handy for other cup users.

If your cup is kind of deep in your body and you are struggling to grip it and pull it out, don’t panic. Simply push down as if you were going to do a number 2. Then you will feel the cup come down quite a bit more.

Also, when inserting the cup, push down and it will be easier to push the cup in. Then once you’ve inserted the cup and made sure that it has fully reopened inside your vagina, pull your vaginal muscles in and up again – as if you are trying to hold in a piepie. You will feel the stem pull back up a little bit.

Ah yes, the stem. To trim or not to trim! I will talk about that in the next thrilling episode.

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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” 🙂

My first month with a menstrual cup

7 Apr

My period officially ended two days ago. And I am officially a menstrual cup enthusiast!

Some concerns…

– I think my period pain might have been slightly worse than usual, possibly because of endomitriosis. However, the cup is so convenient in so many ways that I will try it for a couple of months more before I make up my mind.

– The stem still presses against the outer skin from time to time. But I’m learning to “pull in” my muscles every time after I insert it, and then the cup moves slightly higher into the vagina and I can’t feel it anymore.

Some of the things I love about my new menstrual management method 🙂 …

– I had very few stained panties (less than pads; MUCH less than tampons) – and zero leaks will probably be a reality in a month or two, as I get the hang of it!

– I only needed to empty my cup twice a day (leaving it in 10-12 hours with no problems)

– I never ever have to carry anything into the bathroom with me! Even in the bathroom stalls on campus, I don’t need a water bottle. A quick wipe with a piece of toilet paper works fine. And in any case, I can leave the cup in for so long that I hardly need to change it in a public place; I can always wait til I go home.

– I can now call my menstrual management method 100% environmentally friendly! No more of my smelly plastic pads on the rubbish tips!

– No more expenditure! If I spent R25 per period before I bought my Miacup, my investment will start paying off by age 26 and a half. Even if I only then use it for another 4 years (before I have children and/or switch to the type B menstrual cup), I will save R1200 on menstrual product expenditure.

(I think it would be a good idea for 2 or 3 women who are considering a Miacup to buy it together and each try it for one cycle, simply sterilising it in boiling water before use. That way they can make an informed decision, and as long as one of them decides to continue using it and buys the others’ shares out, then they’re sorted.)

– I have learned so much about my body. This might be one of the best bits for this curious young woman!

 

So… if you’re curious about menstrual cups and you want to hear about my experience, comment and ask any questions you got!

Ouch! Perceived intensified period pain…

1 Apr

I’ve always had quite a bit of period pain. The kind that has you pale and breathless and unable to stand for a couple of hours and unable to concentrate for a day or so, if you don’t take painkillers. But with strong over-the-counter painkillers, it’s fine

This month, my first month with my Miacup, has been pretty painful, and especially, painful for longer than I remember from the past. Instead of a day, it has been more like 36 hours. Ow.

Also, upon initial insertion of the Miacup, the pain momentarily intensified. And 36 hours on, the pain is not bad enough to take painkillers, but it remains there. Also, my digestive system seems unhappy to have to move around the larger-than-usual vagina.

The Miacup is working beautifully in terms of efficiency and neatness (still only that one stain!) and it’s great only having to empty it every 10-12 hours. But I’m a bit concerned that my  endomitriosis might be the reason the period pain intensified when I inserted it, and why the pain is lasting longer.

Endomitriosis entails little bits of womb in places outside the womb… maybe these bits, which are always swollen/trying to get out during one’s period, are being squashed into the sides of other organs or something.

So, I’ve chickened out for one night. I’m weairing a pad tonight. We’ll do the Miacup again tomorrow, because it would be awesome to leave it in as I go through my hectic day. By then the pain should really be gone too.

Day 1 with my Miacup

31 Mar

So as you know, I’ve finally started really USING my Miacup!

And what a bloody wonderful thing it is. The first night went by with no leaks, not even a spot on my panties.

It is evening now. I’ve emptied it thrice today and that was far too much, it had only a little bit of blood in. To be honest it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

From time to time the stem of the Miacup pokes from inside into the skin that closes over the vagina. I guess that is why they say you can trim it. I don’t see why I can’t seem to push it deeper into my body! I hope I don’t have an exceptionally short vagina or something. I will try to see if I could easily take the Miacup out without using the stem, and then I will decide if I will trim it.

A life of zero leaks is in sight! When you remove the Miacup and empty the blood, you first need to wipe your body because some blood comes out with the cup and that’s the only blood that is going to stain your panties.

The most important thing is that I can definitely see my Miacup replacing pads and tampons forever! No doubt at all.