Can Virgins Use Menstrual Cups?

The short answer? Yes! If you’re old enough to menstruate then you can use a menstrual cup, regardless of sexual activity. ‘Popping your cherry’ might be the cutest way to describe losing your virginity, but it also lends to the problematic idea that there is something to be ‘popped’.

Outside of the many misconceptions it creates about anatomy and sex, this phrase also leads to a lot of confusion about what period protection virgins can and cannot use. Luckily for any would-be cup users out there, while you may not have had sex, you don’t have to abstain from using a menstrual cup.

With a little prep and a little patience, you can be a cup pro in no time.

What does virginity even mean?

Before we go into the basics of using a menstrual cup as a virgin, we should point out that virginity can be a divisive term. Historically it was defined as heterosexual intercourse, but today’s definition is much more broad. Only you can decide when you have lost your virginity and what this word means to you – no matter the gender of your partner or the kind of sex you’re having.

For the purposes of discussing cups and virginity in this article, we will be referring to penetrative intercourse.

How does a menstrual cup work?

A menstrual cup is a small reusable cup that you insert into the vagina during your period to collect menstrual fluid. Cups don’t have any of the chemicals or irritating fibers that tampons do, and you won’t find yourself dashing to the shop for tampons – one cup can last for up to 10 years. 

The Lily Cup range is made of the smoothest medical grade silicone, and comes in different styles and sizes – so you can get the perfect cup for you.

Will using a menstrual cup damage my hymen?

We’re going to go ahead and say it – the hymen is possibly the most overrated body part. In the past it was believed that the hymen was proof of virginity, like a fleshy shield that “breaks” or “pops” after you have sex for the first time.

vaginal corona hymen diagram RFSU
A diagram of some common hymen variations Credit: RFSU

This myth persists even today, but research has found that the hymen is actually just made up of thin folds of tissue that wear away as we go through adolescence.

By the time you begin menstruating your hymen generally have holes already, and in many cases is almost gone (see diagram). This means that using a cup should have very little effect on your hymen, and in most cases, shouldn’t affect you at all. If you think you might have an intact hymen, or if you have any questions or concerns at all, make sure to talk with your doctor before you start using a cup.

Am I too small for a menstrual cup?

Generally speaking, height and weight have no effect on the size of your vagina. Many tall women use small cups and many smaller women use larger cups. For teens and virgins, we often recommend smaller cups (like Lily Cup Compact Size A) because cups like this tend to be easier to insert and handle for first timers.

A more important factor to consider is the position of your cervix. The cervix is where menstrual fluid flows from the uterus to the vaginal canal, and helps determine how long your vaginal canal is. Find our your cervix height with the aid of our handy guide here.

Equally important for first time cup users is looking out for a case of the butterflies. Anxiety = tense vaginal muscles, and if you’re unsure about using your cup, this could make things a little uncomfortable. If you’ve never inserted anything into your vagina these muscles are likely to be a little on the tense side, and worrying about insertion can make them even tenser.

The first time you insert a menstrual cup it’s important to take your time and relax – the more you get to know your body the easier it will be to do.

How to insert a menstrual cup for the first time

If you’re worried about inserting a cup for the first time – don’t be! It takes most women a little time to get the hang of a new cup – virgin or not. Make sure you’ve brushed up on your female anatomy so you’ll know exactly where your cup is going.

Invest in a high quality, pH balanced personal moisturizer to help slide your cup in a little more comfortably, and most importantly – relax. It’s perfectly normal to be a little nervous, but just take a deep breath and get comfy. Check out our quick start guide for a more detailed guide on cup insertion, and again – if you have any questions, do speak with your doctor.

It’s up to you!

Some people have had sex, some people haven’t, but generally speaking – if you have a period, you can use a menstrual cup. Just because you haven’t had penetrative sexual intercourse, it doesn’t mean that you’re “small”, have an “unbroken” hymen or anything else. If you want to use a menstrual cup, then by all means, go for it! Just use a little patience and a little planning (and maybe even a little lube).

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