If you’ve Googled any sort of feminine health issues, concerns or questions, chances are you’ve heard something about a low cervix or at least the mention of it. Fact of the matter, nearly all women have a low cervix at some point during their menstrual cycle because that’s just the way the body is designed… and it’s amazing! YOU are amazing. We’re chatting about what a low cervix actually is and how it plays a role in your everyday life.
What is a cervix?
It is a muscle that divides the vagina from the uterus. This muscle moves, it opens and shuts, becomes soft and firmer. All depending on the time of the month! During pregnancy, the cervix is what dilates, allowing the baby to deliver during vaginal delivery. There are some really amazing pictures put together by Women’s Health Magazine of the cervix during different stages or events in life. [GRAPHIC PHOTOS WARNING]
How can I find it?
You can locate your cervix by inserting a finger into the vagina (wash your hands first!). If you feel squeamish about checking your cervical position, this is perfectly normal! It’s not something most of us are used to doing, but it will get easier in time. Breathe slowly and try to relax. It may help to squat or put one foot up on the edge of the bathtub. Slowly slide your finger in until you feel the firmer tissue at the top of your vaginal canal. That’s it! You can tell the difference between your vagina and the cervix because, while vaginal tissue is soft and gives way to pressure, it is more firm. It may feel like the tip of your nose.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, the position and feel of the cervix can change. If you are ovulating, it may be softer, higher, and more difficult to reach. Someone who is trying to determine and watch fertility will find this very helpful. During your period, your cervix is likely low and firmer to the touch, and the opening is a bit larger to allow the menstrual flow to escape.
Can I use a menstrual cup with a low cervix?
Yes! Depending on how low your cervix actually sits during your period varies from woman to woman. Here at Pixie Cup we have a menstrual cup specifically designed for a low cervical position, tilted, or tipped uterus! Our Pixie Cup Luxe is especially soft, making it super comfortable. It’s also narrow to prevent discomfort in the opening of the vaginal canal.
Does a low cervix mean a prolapsed uterus?
Having a low cervix does not make you odd, it doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle or your feminine health. It’s just the way your body is designed. However, we did touch briefly on prolapse and that can happen with any of the organs in the pelvic region. If at any point you feel your cervix is alarmingly low or protruding out of the vaginal opening, we urge you to see a physician as soon as possible. A prolapsed uterus is not the end of the world and there are several ways that it can be fixed! Depending on the severity, you could implement some pelvic floor exercises to help firm and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
We mentioned our Pixie Cup Luxe and we think you’ll love it. Head over to our store to get 10% off your first order!
It’s Monday morning, you pull your chair up to your desk ready to tackle a pile of emails that have accumulated over the weekend and boom: Aunt Flo visits a day early! You search your desk drawers, dig through your purse or Slack a few gal colleagues asking if they have a tampon. Getting our period is difficult for us no matter what. Physically it puts a toll on our bodies with fatigue, hormone fluctuation, and things like anxiety and depression. It makes it a difficult time of the month. We’re digging in and talking about managing your period at work!
What happens to your body during your period?
The menstrual phase is the first stage of the menstrual cycle. It’s also when you get your period. This phase starts when an egg isn’t fertilized. Because pregnancy hasn’t taken place, levels of the hormone progesterone drop.
The thickened lining of your uterus, which would support a pregnancy, is no longer needed, so it sheds through your vagina. During your period, you release a combination of blood, mucus, and tissue from your uterus.
Due to the fluctuation of hormones, many women say they experience these symptoms:
lower back pain
On average, women are in the menstrual phase of their cycle for 3 to 7 days. If you have questions regarding your period or are trying to regulate it, we recommend Period Repair Manual! Lara Briden breaks down every little (and big) thing that affects us, our periods, and our hormones.
Why do I get emotional during my period?
Thank PMS! With the rollercoaster hormones come hard-to-handle moods, and it’s completely normal. They can be difficult during working hours, especially when all you want to do is curl up at home and binge Netflix! Tracking your period and logging symptoms can really help you know what to expect during the days of menstruation so you can plan accordingly and help you manage your period at work. Using some easy remedies to balance you out can help too!
Normal PMS symptoms are:
Have you been sitting at your desk feeling overwhelmed or about to burst into tears? None of this means you’re inadequate or a poor fit for your job! You’re feeling everything that’s happening in your body and it’s important to give yourself grace during this time.
How do I handle my period at work?
Plan ahead. Getting caught short in the office is never fun (unless your employer provides free period care in the restrooms)! If you’re without a tampon or pad, it can really disrupt your day and make you lose focus from your work. Have you thought about using a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a small flexible cup made of medical-grade silicone. It fits in the vaginal canal and collects menstrual blood (leak free!) for up to 12 hours!
Be comfortable. Nothing is worse than being stuck in a desk chair wearing something snug or uncomfortable. Especially if you are prone to bloating on your cycle, wearing loose fitting clothing can help get your mind off of that and on to your work. Your midsection isn’t the only place that bloats! Are you constantly on your feet at work? Think about comfortable shoes too.
Cope with the cramping. Dehydration can make cramping even worse, so making sure you’re drinking plenty of water and electrolyte drinks is key. Maybe slow up on the caffeine-laden things like coffee or sodas. Another idea would be to keep a heating pad handy. If you’re sitting at a desk most of your shift, you could easily have one around your back or abdomen!
Additional supplements. On top of your daily multi-vitamin, taking vitamin B can help with energy when you’re feeling fatigued. Also, magnesium helps tremendously with cramping if you suffer the first few days of your period. Nuts are high in magnesium as well as dark chocolate. Who would argue with chocolate during their period!? #nobrainer
Notice what you’re eating. What did you pack for lunch? While our cravings will most likely have us reaching for something salty, sweet or greasy (comfort food, right?) the best things to have during our period are the exact opposite. Think light! Fruits, leafy greens and anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger. For proteins, think chicken, fish and tofu.
Exercise. Keep a pair of sneakers under your desk and take a walk around the block on your lunch break! The fresh air and exercise are suggested to be helpful during our periods and can decrease PMS symptoms. If you struggle with your mental health during your period, exercising causes your body to release chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy. Not only is your brain dumping out feel-good chemicals, but exercise also helps your brain get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious!
Can you take time off of work during your period?
This is a tricky one. The U.S. currently doesn’t acknowledge menstruating women in the workplace. If you have sick days or personal days accumulated, taking one during the worst part of your period wouldn’t be considered poor work performance or cause attendance issues. There is a long history of women (and employers) coping with their periods while still being professional. If you have really hard periods, our advice to you is to talk to your doctor, use your best judgment, and listen to your body. Again, tracking your period can be extremely helpful in making you feel equipped when that time of the month rolls around including managing your period at work.
Many women around the world run into period problems. Some greater than others. A woman who is facing cultural shame would likely miss work during her cycle. A schoolgirl in Kenya will miss up to six weeks of school due to menstruation and the lack of period care available to her.
Here at Pixie Cup, we believe in period freedom for all women. It is our mission! We do this through our Buy One, Give One program. Every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we give one to a woman in need. You’re saying ‘YES’ to period freedom for yourself, and at the same time, you’re saying ‘YES’ to changing someone else’s life too.
As women, our bodies endure a lot. You should probably start every single day with patting yourself on the back. You do hard things! Half the time you don’t even know it. Through our whole menstrual cycle (25-40 days) a lot is happening. There are peaks and valleys all leading up to our actual menstruation. I like to think of menstruation as the time that our bodies let go of that which doesn’t serve us anymore. There is pain, it’s uncomfortable some of the time, but on the other side, you’re at your best and ready to take on the world. During your period, it’s super important to be easy on yourself. Your emotions are run by your hormones during this time and if you’re like me, I can make a mountain out of a molehill! We’ve put together some of our favorite things for self-care during our period.
Self-care ideas for during our period
Get outside. I probably can’t stress this one enough. The world feels like it’s crumbling when I’m on my period, and if nothing else, I force myself to at least go for a walk. It’s proven that when you exercise, your brain releases the feel-good hormones called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain or anxiety or stress. You’ve probably heard the term “runner’s high” or something of that nature. That’s exactly what they are referring to!
Eat better. I know everything in you is craving a pint of ice cream and a good movie. Those desires may actually be a bi-product of a deficiency! Ever want to eat a pan full of brownies?! Your body could be craving magnesium. Magnesium helps ease cramps and overall has a calming effect on the body. Check out this cool article about periods and magnesium. Another big one is iron. Your body is discharging up to 16 teaspoons of blood during your period. That’s a crazy amount. (Remember what I said about you doing hard things?) I take a food-derived liquid iron supplement during my menstrual phase and I physically feel the difference. If you are low on iron your energy will fall through the floor.
Reusable menstrual products. This was a total game changer for me! When I discovered menstrual cups, my mind was blown. I was no longer a slave to tampons and carrying them with me, remembering them on the grocery list or making mad dashes to the corner store. I was free to swim on my period, to not have to jog with a pad in my spandex pants or pack my glove box with a “just in case” stash. I literally forget that I’m on my period and it’s the best thing ever. Have you ever thought about making the switch to a menstrual cup? We know it’s definitely a change and we’ve got your fears covered.
Slow down. We live such a fast paced life that having quiet time or downtime can actually make some of us uncomfortable. (I’m over here raising my hand) This can come from a number of things. An internal programming of guilt that we aren’t “being productive” or that our lives take a lot of work to make ends meet and juggling all the demands equals zero free time. Most of us know when our periods are coming. Maybe schedule that week to be a little lighter? Ask someone to share responsibilities with you? If your planner is your BFF, physically write down and block off time for yourself. It’s so much easier said than done, I get it, but I think you will find the return will be richer. You’ll have the creative juices and the energy to tackle what you need to.
Have a journal. This is perfect for a couple of reasons. First, on a very physical level, you will be able to spot trends in your mood, in your body, and differences in your cycle. We highly recommend keeping a journal of your period anyways, and we even have this handy downloadable period tracker! Also, if you’re anxiety-prone, taking thoughts out of your head and putting them on paper is super helpful too. This is a great mental self-care tactic during your period.
Sleep. We probably can’t stress this factor enough. You need sleep and a good amount of it, especially on your period. We recently talked about how sleep and fatigue affect us and 7 tips on getting better sleep during our periods. While we are tired and especially exhausted during our period, sometimes it’s hard to sleep due to the hormone fluctuations going on in our bodies. Oh, the irony…
Grounding. This topic deserves a blog post all on its own. Grounding is the act of connecting to the earth and to your body. It’s doing something that brings you back to the moment (back to center), it heightens bodily awareness and overall calms you. My body tells me to ground myself when I know I have a busy day ahead of me, I’m stressed out or if anxiety starts getting the best of me. In some sense, I’ve allowed outside influencers to disconnect me. Grounding can happen in a number of ways. Taking a few minutes to unplug and go into your yard barefoot. This enables you to soak up electrical energy from the earth. For me, gardening or pruning/watering my plants, getting my hands in the dirt does the trick.
How do you define self-care?
Up until a couple of years ago, self-care was a foreign concept to me. I quite literally furrowed my brow when someone mentioned “self-care” one day. If you’re like me, the idea of taking care of yourself was unknown because you constantly self-sacrifice to make sure others are taken care of or your life does not lend itself to time off, let alone sitting and watching a movie and giving yourself a pedicure or curling up with a book and a cup of tea. The definition of self-care isn’t the same for everyone. It’s whatever calms you, whatever serves you, whatever makes you feel like you are important too. Here are some myths that can certainly be applied for self-care during your period also.
How do you self care during your period? We’d love to hear your ideas on how you are kind to yourself. Tell us what brings you joy! If you’ve thought about switching to a reusable menstrual product like a menstrual cup, we’ve got you covered! Head over to our store and see the different sizes and styles. If you need help knowing which is best for you, we’ve got you covered there too. Let’s bust those menstrual cup fears and the self-care myths.
PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor. You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to anything related to menstruation. If you have any concerns about using a Pixie Cup, consult your doctor before use. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician before using any menstrual cup.
Haven’t you heard? Menstrual cups are awesome. [I know we’re sorta biased, but it’s true!] If you’re thinking about making the switch, you’re in the right spot. We’re about living that free life! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned user, we have 8 menstrual cup tricks that may help when you’re stumped!
What is a menstrual cup?
For the uninitiated, menstrual cups (also known as period cups) are flexible bell-shaped devices that you insert into your vagina to catch your menstrual fluid. Typically made from medical grade silicone, you can actually safely wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours then you can empty out however often it is necessary based on the heaviness of your flow.
What are some menstrual cup tricks?
If you’re new to menstrual cups, these are tips and tricks we would tell our BFFs if they were about to try a period cup for the first time. You’ve got this!
Read the instructions! You may be looking at this egg-shaped cup wondering how hard it could actually be. Good news: it’s not hard, you’ll just feel more confident once you pull out the instruction packet and have a good read.
Relax! This is incredibly important. If you’re tense, your muscles throughout your body will be tense too. Your pelvic muscles respond to stress very easily. Inserting a menstrual cup if you’re freaked out or worried will be no fun! Try inserting on a day that you don’t have your period. Don’t leave it in long-term, but insert, stand up and walk around so you can see if you got the knack of it. You should never feel your menstrual cup if it’s in place correctly!
Use lube! Whether you’re on your period or not, if you’re dry down there, it’s going to make inserting a menstrual cup uncomfortable. Everything is just easier when it glides smoothly, right? We have our Pixie Cup Lube that is designed specifically for your menstrual cup and for your vagina.
Figure out the folds! There are three popular (and easy) folds. Figure out which one works with you the very best. You should hear or feel the menstrual cup pop open once you release it in your vagina.
Wait for the pop! Depending on what fold you choose, you should feel the pop of your menstrual cup springing open! This is absolutely crucial. This magical pop is the only thing standing in the way of a carefree period day or one of horror films. Just kidding… but close. Making sure your period cup pops open is vital to creating a seal and keeping your day leak-free.
Empty your menstrual cup in the shower! Whether you shower at night or in the morning, this is a great period hack. You don’t have to worry about a crazy mess because everything washes down the drain. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash because it’s gentle on your period cup and on you!
Pinch don’t pull! So, if your menstrual cup is working and kicking period woes like it should be, then it’s going to have created a really tight seal keeping it leak-free. If you try to pull your period out at this point, you’ll basically get nowhere and place unneeded pressure on your cervix and pelvic muscles. Be sure to break the seal! Do this by pinching the base of your menstrual cup or by sliding a finger up the side. You should feel the release or hear the sound of air escaping.
Size does matters! We’re all shaped differently and one menstrual cup doesn’t fit all. Thankfully there are several sizes and styles. Here at Pixie Cup we have our small, large and extra large menstrual cups depending on your flow or if you’ve had babies via vaginal birth. Our Pixie Cup Luxe is specifically designed for women with a low cervix. If you are questioning what size menstrual cup is best for you or how to measure your cervix, check out the linked blog posts!
You’ve got this!
Being nervous switching from something you know well like a pad or tampon to something entirely new can be nerve-wracking! We totally get that. Everyone has those beginning fears. Check out our store for all the menstrual cup styles and sizes. Let us know how we can help. We’d love to chat with you!
Essential oils are a powerful tool for our health. You’re taking all the goodness from the plant and concentrating it. They have been used for relieving headaches to relaxing muscles, correcting digestive issues to calming nerves. Naturally, we want to know if essential oils can helpduring our menstrual cycles! Here are some practical and easy tips to help you.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being. Essential oils are basically plant extracts. They’re made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance. It can take several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil. In addition to creating scent, essential oils perform other functions in plants, too. Essential oils are the essence of the plant that are captured via distillation or mechanical methods like cold-pressing, depending on the plant type.
How do essential oils work?
Some of the health claims associated with these oils are controversial but they are incredibly popular if you are seeking alternative medicine or a more holistic approach. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Essential oils can also be absorbed by the skin. They are popular in massage therapy as they are mixed in a lotion or carrier oil before being applied to the skin.
How can I use essential oils safely?
Because essential oils are incredibly strong and concentrated, it is vitally important to read up on the individual oil prior to using. Some are safe to apply full strength and others have to be heavily diluted with a carrier oil or lotion to diminish its concentration. Something as common and loved as peppermint needs to be significantly thinned so it doesn’t chemically burn your skin.
Please always read the instructions on the side of the bottle before administering.
Common ways to safely use essential oils include:
Aroma Therapy. Diffusing is the most popular essential oil use! Diffusers can be found in all shapes, sizes and colors and use water to vaporize the oils. Necklaces, bracelets and keychains made with absorbent materials you apply essential oils to and sniff throughout the day. Even something like an essential oil inhaler! These portable plastic sticks have an absorbent wick that soaks up essential oil.
Topically. A mixture of essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil that can be massaged into skin. But again, because essential oils are concentrated, they can cause irritation. Avoid using them full-strength on skin.
How can I use essential oils during my menstrual cycle?
Hormones are all over the place during our menstrual cycles, we know this, right? We feel empowered during parts of our cycle, potentially anxiety-ridden during other parts and overall fatigued depending on the day of our cycle! Certain essential oils or oil blends are tied to potentially giving relief for different symptoms. Here are some popular essential oils to use during your period and menstrual cycle.
Menstruation. This is where we feel most exhausted! You’ll most likely crave alone time or rest. Frankincense or sandalwood or a grounding blend to overall settle you. At this point in the menstrual cycle, you should do things that aid in your comfort. To help with cramping, there are blends of essential oils for your menstrual cycles like this DIY recipe . If you’re prone to cramping, have you thought about trying a menstrual cup?
Pre-Ovulation. At this point you’re feeling your best! Your energy has come back and peaked and you’re ready to conquer the world. If you ever see a pattern of motivation or need for accomplishment, you’ll probably notice it’s just after your period ends! During this time you’ll reach for energizing oils such as peppermint and citrus like orange or grapefruit.
Ovulation. You’re feeling good about yourself, sultry, attractive, and active! You may find you’ll apply a little more makeup or pick an outfit that makes you feel the best about yourself. Floral and earthy essential oils are popular during this menstrual phase. Scents like jasmine, rose, vetiver, and patchouli.
Pre-menstrual. Our body is gearing up to release and let go and this is the phase we start craving the comfort foods and the desire to curl up and relax. If you’re feeling crampy, clary sage diluted with a lotion and rubbed on the abdomen can help relax the muscles and balance the hormones that are spiking during this time. Much like we reach for ginger tea when we feel unwell, ginger essential oil can help ground and calm us.
If you’re prone to cramping like we mentioned earlier, you should consider trying a menstrual cup! Women have commonly said that tampons cause cramping especially during the first couple days of your period. Menstrual cups are an egg-shaped vessel that collects menses versus a dry, porous material that absorbs all fluid it comes in contact with. You’re able to safely leave them in your vagina for up to 12 hours! The first couple days of your period you may have to empty the cup sooner than that due to heavy flow. If you’ve ever wondered which menstrual cup size or style is best for you, we have some pointers. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve used essential oils for a menstrual cycle and if you’ve ever considered switching to a menstrual cup!
PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor. You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to anything related to menstruation. If you have any concerns about using a Pixie Cup, consult your doctor before use. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician before using any menstrual cup.Pixie Cup has not been sponsored in this post and any links or suggestions are not affiliates, they are purely from personal use or experience.