Getting to know each other well is essential, and it also helps to better understand how to use a menstrual cup. So here are a few basics that we hope will help you learn a little more.
Let’s start with a drawing.
The simplest way to put things in context is often a small drawing.
The pelvis is home to both:
– a part of the digestive system: the intestines, which end in the colon (or large intestine), then a “reserve area”, the rectum. The orifice is the anus.
– the urinary system : the bladder and the urethra, whose orifice is the urinary meatus.
– the reproductive system (which we’re gonna look into a little bit more, because that’s kind of the point here)
Let’s talk about the reproductive and sexual system.
There are 2 ovaries: they are glands that look like 2 big hazelnuts.
Each ovary measures between 3 and 5 cm high by 2 cm wide.
A person born with female genitalia is born with a number of eggs that are stored in her ovaries, and she will not produce any more after birth. On average, she is born with 1 million “spare” eggs, she has about 300,000 left over at puberty, and only 300 left over at menopause.
Every month, one of the ovaries releases an egg at the time of ovulation. This is explained in more detail in our article on menstruation. The ovaries are connected to the uterus by the Fallopian Tubes, small tubes that the egg passes through.
The uterus is the center of the reproductive system: it is a pouch in which the eventual baby will develop.
It is also in the uterus that the IUD is placed if you have chosen this method of contraception.
The uterus is separated from the vagina by the cervix : it looks like a small bulge of flesh (like a doughnut) with a hole in its center that measures from 3mm for a nulliparous person (= childless) to 2.5cm for a person who has had many pregnancies.
Which leads us to say that no, the cup can’t go past the vagina because it doesn’t go through the cervix.
On the other hand, the cervix can be more or less low, it can be on the side, it can be plunging (=moving forward), and this can affect the wearing of the cup, in particular causing leaks.
The vagina is a tubular organ, 8 to 10 cm long. It is a virtual cavity, i.e. its walls always touch.
This means that there is no such thing as a vagina that is too narrow or too loose, even after multiple pregnancies.
On the other hand, the muscles surrounding it (the perineum) may be more or less toned, hence the impression.
Contrary to popular belief, the vagina has little innervation: only the 5th or the lower 1/4 has somatic innervation, i.e. it is able to perceive external stimuli such as temperature or movement. And it is even more insensitive to an immobile body. This should therefore reassure all those who wonder if they can feel their menstrual cup once it is in place.
The vagina is covered with a mucous membrane rich in blood vessels, itself inhabited by the vaginal flora, composed of bacteria that protect its equilibrium.
It has an acidic pH, between 4 and 6, which protects it from fungal infections. This is why it is important to take care of your vaginal flora and to use suitable products avoid antibacterial products, and choose suitable care products in terms of pH, such as La Mousse Culottée Luneale).
The vagina ends near the cervix in a cul-de-sac, also called a fornix. It’s important not to put your menstrual cup in the fornix, at the risk of leaks.
The vagina opens to the vulva.
The vulva :
The vulva is made up of the labia minora and the labia majora.
It is also the exit point of the para-urethral glands (or skene glands), which are located all along the urethra and can secrete at the time of orgasm a clear liquid like water through 2 small orifices located near the urinary meatus (this is the female ejaculation).
Closer to the anus, other glands, called Bartholin glands, secrete cyprin which lubricate the vagina.
Finally, the vulva also houses the outer part of the clitoris, that organ that so little is said about. The clitoris has a unique function: that of pleasure. If it has been forgotten for a long time, the clitoris begins to be liberated, and there are even 3D representations of it. Because if we only see a small part of the clitoris, it is actually much larger inside the body. But we’ll talk about this in another article, because the clitoris deserves to be highlighted in its own right.
Here are the main information. We hope we’ve taught you something, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment!