Can virgins use a menstrual cup?
Yes, virgins can use a menstrual cup or tampon safely. Reusable period cups can be worn safely by anyone with a period if they are comfortable inserting and removing a product that is worn internally.
Menstrual cups are safe for virgins, even if you haven’t had penetrative sex, used tampons, or used a finger or a sex toy for masturbation. There is no evidence that using a menstrual cup or having sex causes the vagina to loosen over time. Similar to how your mouth opens and closes when you yawn or eat, the vagina can temporarily be more open before, during, and after sex without permanently becoming looser or ‘stretched out’.
If you are a virgin, your vaginal muscles may be more tense and the entrance of the vagina will have a smaller width than the rest of the vagina, so allowing your body to gradually adjust to using a menstrual cup is totally fine. If it feels uncomfortable, don’t force anything. Take a break, relax and try again later when it feels right for you.
Will a menstrual cup ‘break’ your hymen?
The hymen is a soft, thin tissue just inside the opening of the vagina. In most cases, the hymen is not a complete membrane covering the full vaginal opening, otherwise menstrual blood would not be able to flow out. In some rare cases, an imperforate hymen completely covers the opening of the vagina requiring minor surgery to allow for menstruation. For most, however, the hymen is shaped more like a donut with a hole or several holes just inside of the vaginal opening.
The hymen is not necessarily ‘broken’ when someone has penetrative sex for the first time. In fact, the hymen can be worn down throughout time from playing sports, riding bikes, stretching, or natural exploration. In most cases, the hymen is already perforated and may already be ‘stretched’ open by the time your period starts and you’re considering using a menstrual cup or tampon. This means, using the hymen as a reference for whether or not someone is a virgin is inherently problematic. While the first time having sex may be significant for many, in reality, nothing is physically lost and there are no biological changes that occur as a result.
Can teens use a menstrual cup?
Yes, teens can use a menstrual cup or tampons as long as they are comfortable inserting and removing a product during their period and they are mature and responsible enough to remember to change and clean their menstrual cup as recommended. In most cases, a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, but should be emptied and cleaned at least twice in a 24-hour period.
As with any period care product, leaving it in too long can be a health risk. Menstrual cups are very comfortable and some users forget they’re wearing them – setting an alarm on your phone to change it every 12 hours so you don’t forget is never a bad idea if you’re someone who tends to lose track of time. You can also build menstrual cup care into your daily routine and change it in the morning and again before bed - or more frequently if needed.
Menstrual Cup Tips for Beginners
If you’re not sure how to insert a menstrual cup, you may first need to take some time to become more familiar with your body and how it works.
Use your finger and a mirror to help locate the opening of your vagina, the vulva (tissue surrounding the opening of your vagina). Your hands should be clean while you do this. Try to find out how long your vagina is by putting a finger inside it, and see if you can also locate your cervix. The cervix is a round, firm structure at the end of your vagina and it may feel like the tip of the nose or pursed lips. You’ll find the vaginal walls feel moist, soft, and can easily stretch to create space inside when you slightly press against them.
There can be a learning curve when first learning to use a menstrual cup but here are some tips to make it easier:
Relax your bodyMenstrual cups can be intimidating at first, but most find facing their fear and learning to use one totally worth it. Remember, it will be easier to insert and remove your menstrual cup if your vaginal muscles are relaxed - take some deep breathes if you need to.
Practice in the shower
Inserting and removing your period cup in the shower can help you (and your vaginal muscles) relax and keep things more clean and comfy until you get the hang of it.
Before your periodTry inserting and removing your cup before your period comes so you can see how it works without worrying about making a mess or leaks.
Try the punch-down fold firstThis fold makes the smallest diameter for insertion and is often preferred by first-time cup users.
Find what works for your bodyAngle the cup back towards your tailbone when inserting, rather than straight up. Try different folds and angles to see what works best for your body. On average, it can take up to 2-3 cycles to find the technique you love.
Use a silicone-safe, water-based lubricantUsing a lubricant when practicing can be helpful until you get the hang of inserting your cup - it will keep your vulva tissue more comfortable.
Wear backupPractice at home in the evening or on the weekends or use a pad, liner or period underwear as a backup until you feel comfortable with getting a good seal to prevent leaks.
Take a break if you need itYou don’t have to figure out how to use a menstrual cup on your first attempt – if you find yourself getting frustrated or uncomfortable, just take a break for a few hours, days or months. Your menstrual cup will last for years, so you have time to be gentle and patient with your body.
To learn more, we have a step-by-step guide on how to use a menstrual cup. For first-time cup users, teens and virgins, we recommend a small size menstrual cup, like VOXAPOD cup, which is one of the most compact cups on the market and designed to be easier for first-time menstrual cup users. You can learn more on our menstrual cup sizing guide or take our Menstrual Cup Quiz, which factors several aspects of your anatomy to make a personalized sizing recommendation.