Can you wear a cup or disc if you’re a virgin?

Can you wear a cup or disc if you’re a virgin?

Among the plethora of period care options available, menstrual cups and discs stand out for their convenience, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. However, in today’s world taboos surrounding periods persist, and other delicate topics often surround the discussion of menstrual hygiene products. A persistent question arises in many cultures: can virgins use inserted period products? Let’s dispel misconceptions, debunk some myths, and answer your questions about menstrual cups and discs and virginity.

Menstrual Cups and Discs, The Low-Down

First, we’ll explain what menstrual cups and disc are. Both are reusable menstrual products designed to collect rather than absorb menstrual fluid.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are typically bell- or V-shaped cups made of medical-grade silicone. They are inserted into the vaginal canal, beyond the vulva, to collect menstrual blood. Menstrual cups create a seal against the vaginal walls, thus preventing leaks.

Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are also inserted into the vagina, however they have a different design. They're typically shaped like a disc or a ring with a flexible rim and sometimes have a removal notch (but not always). Unlike cups, however, discs are positioned at the base of the cervix in a way that's similar to a diaphragm, allowing them to collect menstrual fluid. Due to their positioning, menstrual discs rest higher within the top of the vaginal canal or “fornix,” just under the cervix. They are held in place by the pelvic bone.

Can Virgins Use Them?

The short answer is yes! Virgins can use menstrual cups or discs.

When people ask whether virgins can use cups or discs, they’re usually asking whether someone who has never had penetrative sexual intercourse can use cups or discs safely and comfortably. Using a cup or disc (or any other inserted period product) doesn’t have anything to do with sex, and you don’t need to have sex first in order to be able to use these products.

There are many incorrect assumptions about virginity that persist. Some are about the hymen, a thin membrane that partially covers or surrounds the vaginal opening. Some myths imply that a person’s hymen will be “intact” until their first experience with sexual intercourse. This is not true. Hymen shapes naturally vary widely, and some are naturally more open than others. It is very rare for the hymen to entirely cover the vaginal opening. Over time, the hymen can stretch or tear for various reasons that aren't related to sexual activity. Some of these physical activities might include horseback riding, gymnastics, or even using tampons; using a menstrual cup or disc is unlikely to cause any considerable impact on the hymen as these products are designed to be gentle and flexible when inserted and removed.

Using a cup or disc will require getting up close and personal with your intimate anatomy. Inserting and removing the cup or disc will require inserting your fingers into your vagina. If this is new to you, know that it can take some time to get used to, but this by no means is a reason to say no to cups! The size and shape of your hymen may impact what insertion methods will be most comfortable. It’s important to take your time when learning to use a cup or disc, and don't feel pressured to rush insertion. It's ok to take it slowly and experiment to find what works for your body.

Benefits of Menstrual Cups and Discs

  1. Comfort and Convenience: Menstrual cups and discs are frequently more comfortable than pads or tampons, especially during physical activities like exercise or swimming.
  2. Eco-Friendly: They are reusable and can last for several years with proper care. This reduces the environmental impact compared to disposable menstrual products. However, it’s important to note that everyone should use menstrual products they are most comfortable with.
  3. Cost-Effective: Although the initial investment may be higher, long-term cost savings of reusable menstrual products can be substantial. Many menstrual cup and disc brands back their products for up to 10 years.
  4. Reduced Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS): Menstrual cups and discs don't pose the same risk of TSS associated with tampon use. Dry cotton tampons have been known to create micro-tears within the vaginal canal. Using medical-grade silicone cups or discs reduces the possibility of micro-tears or fissures within the vaginal canal, decreasing the probability of the introduction of strep or staph into the bloodstream. It’s important to note that using menstrual cups and discs does not eliminate the possibility of TSS. For more information about TSS, see our blog post here.

Tips for Using Menstrual Cups or Discs

  1. Choose the Right Size: Menstrual cups and discs come in different sizes and firmness levels, so it's essential to select one that fits your body and menstrual flow. One of the best places to start is to locate and measure your cervix during your period. Here’s an informational video on how to achieve this and how to choose the best size for you.
  2. Practice Insertion and Removal: It may take some practice to feel comfortable with your body, both internal and external anatomy, as well as insertion and removal. Be patient and give yourself time to become accustomed to the process.
  3. Follow Hygiene Guidelines: Wash your hands before handling the cup or disc, and make sure to clean them thoroughly, including sanitizing, between uses. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Relax: You can relax your pelvic muscles during insertion to make the process more comfortable. Even gently bearing down, like passing gas, will relax your pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. Using a backup pad or period panties, or leakproof underwear, can help offer additional peace of mind as you are navigating your learning curve. Saalt creates some of the best period underwear on the market.

Being a virgin doesn't preclude a person from using menstrual cups and discs. Innovative menstrual products offer numerous benefits, including environmental sustainability, comfort, and convenience. With proper education, patience, and many people, regardless of their sexual experience, can successfully use and benefit from the advantages of menstrual cups or discs. If you have any concerns or questions about using these products, please consult with a healthcare professional for guidance and support. Saalt Coaches are always standing by to assist, and help you along this journey. They can be reached at

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