Knowing yourself is essential, and it also helps you 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
That's the easiest way to put things into perspective, isn't it?
The pool houses both :
- part of the digestive system : the intestines, which end in the colon (or large intestine), and then a "reserve area", the rectum. The opening is the anus.
- the urinary system : the bladder and the urethra, whose orifice is the urinary meatus.
- the reproductive system (which we will look at a little more closely, as this is a bit of a topic here)
Let's talk about the reproductive and sexual system
There are 2 ovaries: these are glands that look like 2 large hazelnuts.
Each ovary is between 3 and 5 cm high and 2 cm wide.
A person born with female genitalia is born with a certain 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 'reserve' eggs, has about 300,000 left at puberty, and has only 300 left at menopause.
Every month, one of the ovaries releases an egg at the time of ovulation. We explain this in more detail in our article on menstruation.
The ovaries are connected to the uterus by the Fallopian tubes, small pipes through which the egg will pass.
The uterus :
The uterus is the "heart" of the reproductive system: it is a sac 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(we tell you all about the IUD-menstrual cup duo in this article)
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 the centre that measures from 3mm for a nulliparous person (=without children) to 2.5cm for someone who has had many pregnancies.
This means that NO, the cup cannot go beyond the vagina, because it does not pass through the cervix.
On the other hand, the cervix can be more or less low, on the side, it can be plunging (=further forward), and this can have an impact on the wearing of the cup, notably causing leaks(Read the article about leaks with a menstrual cup to learn more).
The vagina is a tubular organ 8-10cm 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 tight 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 is poorly innervated: only the 5th or lower 1/4 has somatic innervation, i.e. it can perceive external stimuli such as temperature or movement. And it is even more insensitive to an immobile body. This should reassure all those who wonder if they can feel their menstrual cup once it is in place.
The vagina is covered by a mucous membrane rich in blood vessels, which is itself inhabited by the vaginal flora, composed of bacteria that protect its balance.
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 products that are suitablein terms of in terms of pH, such as La Mousse Luneale ).
The vagina ends near the cervix in a cul-de-sac, also called the fornix. It is important not to put your menstrual cup in the fornix, as this can lead to leakage .
The vaginal opening leads to the vulva.
The vulva is composed of the labia minora and 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 liquid as clear as water through 2 small orifices located near the urinary meatus (this is female ejaculation)
Closer to the anus, other glands, called Bartholin's glands, secrete cyprine which is used to lubricate the vagina.
Finally, the vulva also houses the outer part of the clitoris, that organ that is so rarely mentioned. The clitoris has a single function: that of pleasure. If for a long time it was forgotten, the clitoris is now being freed and there are even 3D representations of it. Because if we only see a small part of the clitoris, it is actually much more extensive inside the body: it is a full-fledged organ, the ONLY one to have only a pleasure function. But we will talk about it soon in another article, because the clitoris deserves a special spotlight!
That's it for the main information. We hope we've taught you something, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave us a comment!