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How to use and care for reusable menstrual pads

How to use and care for reusable menstrual pads

So you’re looking into hopping on the reusable menstrual pad bandwagon? You’ve come to the right place! We recently released our Organic Cotton Pixie Pads and we’re so excited about this new product!

reusable menstrual pads

A lot of thought went into creating our new Pixie Pads. We’ve seriously worked hard to bring you pads that are good for both you and the planet. We are so thrilled to be able to offer another option to manage your period in an eco-friendly way!

Here’s everything you need to know about using and caring for reusable menstrual pads.

What are reusable menstrual pads? 

In the late 1800’s, nurses started to fashion disposable pads out of a wood pulp fiber for the ease of throwing them away after use. In January 1921, Kotex published their first advertisement about a disposable menstrual pad product. Up until that point, cloth and rags were the norm for a woman on her cycle every month. As more women began working outside the home, the demand for disposable pads and menstrual products began to rise. Disposable tampons weren’t invented until 1931! 

Reusable menstrual pads have become popular again with consumers becoming more conscious of our carbon footprint and looking for ways to reduce waste. With growing concerns over what we put into landfills, many mass consumables such as diapers, pads + tampons, plastic bags, and paper towels have steadily been rivaled by reusable options. 

The bathroom in particular is one area that tends to produce a lot of waste. Most bathroom products are single-use items and can be hard to recycle. But sustainable products such as menstrual cups, cloth menstrual pads, bidets (seriously, get yourself a Tushy) and reusable makeup remover pads are rising in popularity! 

Thanks to COVID-19, so many of us were faced with the brutal reality that we need to shift to more sustainable options. Toilet paper and paper towels weren’t the only scarcity! Single-use menstrual products were also hard to find during the initial COVID-19 wave that led to a shortage of disposable products around the country (and the world). If you haven’t already made the switch, a menstrual cup is a fantastic way to reduce your use of single-use bathroom products (and you’ll never again have to rush to the drug store after realizing you’re out of tampons!)

How do reusable menstrual pads work? 

The concept of a reusable cloth pad is the same as a single-use disposable pad. They are designed to fit in your underwear, snap securely in place, and absorb your menstrual flow. 

As with disposable pads, they come in different sizes and absorbency levels. Our Pixie Pads are available in 3 different sizes: pantiliner, day pad, and overnight pad. They consist of three unique layers: soft organic cotton (which is comfortable against the skin), absorbent inner layers of bamboo terry cloth, and a bottom layer of PUL, which is what makes them leak proof! Each size has a different number of bamboo terry cloth layers inside (the pantiliner has 1 layer, the overnight pad has 4 layers).

reusable menstrual pads

Are reusable menstrual pads sanitary? 

Reusable cloth pads are sanitary when used and cared for properly. With any menstrual hygiene product that sits against the skin, it’s important to use the correct absorbency and change them when they become saturated. If the pad is wet, it can irritate the skin. 

“Reusable sanitary pads are just as healthy and safe as disposable ones,” gynecologist Dr. Anne Henderson told Women’s Health. “It is a myth that there is a need to kill bacteria on the pads as sanitary pads are not sterile, regardless of whether they are disposable or reusable. Simple hygienic cleaning is all that is required – nothing more complex than that.

So, how do you wash reusable menstrual pads?

Washing reusable menstrual pads is actually simple!

  1. Rinse and soak

    Rinse your pad after removal and toss it into a wet bag (we include one!) until you’re ready to do the laundry. You could also opt to soak your pads in water to help reduce staining until you’re ready to wash them. Try dropping them into a leak-proof trash can or bucket with water, a teaspoon of Castile soap, and some antibacterial essential oils like peppermint or tea tree oil.how to wash reusable menstrual pads

  2. Wash

    We suggest using a simple, eco-friendly detergent that doesn’t contain additives or fragrances. Wash in cold water to prevent staining. If you’ve soaked your pads in water, dump them into the washer and run them through a rinse and spin cycle first. Then you can add towels or anything else you want to wash along with your pads. Never use fabric softener with your reusable menstrual pads; the conditioners in the fabric softener will coat the fibers and reduce absorbency. If you find that your pads are less absorbent over time, you may need to “strip” them of any detergent buildup. This is incredibly popular in the cloth diaper community. (Learn more about that here.)
    how to wash reusable menstrual pads

  3. Dry

    We strongly recommend hanging to dry to prevent shrinkage. If you’re crunched on time, you can tumble dry them on a low-heat setting.how to wash reusable menstrual pads

That’s it! Once dry, your pads are ready to use again.

Do reusable menstrual pads save me money?

Yes, reusable menstrual pads will definitely save you money! The initial upfront purchase (like switching to a period cup) could cause sticker shock to some, but the pads will pay for themselves within a few months, depending on how often you typically purchase single-use pads.

For example, the average box of organic disposable pads runs $22, and one box may last 2 cycles if you’re changing them every few hours. (We aren’t including panty liners or overnight pads in this estimation.) 

Depending on how often you wash + dry your Pixie Pads, you may want a few packs in different sizes. That means you could break even in 6-8 months. 

It’s estimated that the average menstruating human will dispose of over 16,000 single-use pads and tampons in their life. That’s a lot of money and a lot of waste! Our Pixie Pads can last for years with proper care, save you money, and keep those single-use plastics out of the landfills. We recently talked about how menstrual cups save you money in the long run as well.

How long do reusable menstrual pads last?

The lifespan of a cloth pad can vary, depending on how often they are used and how they are cared for. Generally, you can expect them to last up to 5 years with proper care. Some people say their cloth pads last even longer. 

Ready to give cloth pads a try? Our Pixie Pads are available in 3 sizes and are made with high-quality, certified organic cotton, free of dyes, chlorine bleaching, fragrances, and harsh chemicals. Pixie Pads have multiple layers that will give you the leak-free protection you need, day or night and heavy or light!

How to use Kegel weights

How to use Kegel weights

Do you have concerns about your pelvic floor muscles? If so, you’re not alone. Pelvic floor issues are common among women. The muscles of the pelvic floor serve a number of functions: They help with bladder control, bowel control, and sexual function. They also support the pelvic organs — which include the bladder, uterus, cervix, vagina, and rectum — and help keep everything in the proper place. Strong pelvic floor muscles also help you prepare for and recover from childbirth. So it’s important to keep your pelvic muscles strong no matter what stage of life you’re in! 

If the muscles of your pelvic floor become weak, it can lead to problems such as urinary incontinence (leaking urine), bowel dysfunction, reduced vaginal sensation, and difficulty wearing tampons. Severe cases of pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when the muscles can no longer support the organs in the pelvic region, and the organs become weak or loose. In some cases, the organs can even drop into or outside of the vaginal canal.

Please note: Some people who experience urinary incontinence may have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This condition can be made worse by the use of Kegel exercises or vagina weights, which may create more tension or pain. If you are experiencing pelvic floor issues, make an appointment with your doctor or a pelvic floor therapist for an accurate diagnosis.

how to use kegel weights

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles

Fortunately, you can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with targeted exercises. We wrote a whole blog post about pelvic floor exercises here! 

You’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises. Developed by a gynecologist named Arnold Kegel in the 1940s, Kegel exercises involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urinating midstream. This is the same action you’ll perform to contract during Kegel exercises. Once you’ve identified the action, you can do Kegel exercises anywhere. Try holding the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. For best results, aim for three sets of 10-15 reps every day. 

To further strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, you can add weights to your Kegel exercises. These weights are known as Kegel weights or Kegel balls.

What are Kegel weights? 

Kegel weights, also known as vaginal weights or Kegel balls, are small weights designed to be used inside the vagina. They provide resistance, just like any other strength training routine. Think about it — you can do biceps curls without dumbbells, but you won’t get the same results. In the same way, Kegel weights help you achieve even better results from your Kegel exercises.  

How do Kegel weights work? 

The idea of inserting a weight into your vagina may sound strange, but stay with us! The weights can actually make doing Kegel exercises easier: they give your muscles something to contract around, and provide resistance that will help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles faster. Plus, they help you make sure that you’re doing your Kegel exercises correctly, because you’ll be able to feel the weight being squeezed and lifted. Kegel weight sets, like our Pixie Cup Kegel Weights, often come with several different weights so that you can increase the weight as you get stronger. 

How to insert Kegel weights 

Using Kegel weights for the first time may seem a little intimidating, but they’re easy to get the hang of! Inserting a Kegel weight is similar to inserting a tampon.

  1. Relax

    If your muscles are tense, it will be more difficult to insert the weight. You may want to rest one foot on the side of the tub or a chair, or even lie down.

  2. Insert the weight

    Insert the weight slowly. If you like, you can use a little bit of lubricant to make insertion easier. As you tighten your pelvic floor muscles to support the weight, you may notice that it’s naturally drawn into the vagina and away from your fingers. Some weights have a handle or a cord to make removal easier; this should remain outside the vagina. 
    how to use Kegel weights

  3. Contract your muscles

    Contract your muscles, just like you normally would when doing Kegel exercises. To start, try holding the contraction for just two seconds at a time. As you get used to the weights, you can work your way up to longer contractions.

How to remove Kegel weights

When you’re finished with your exercises, lie down in a comfortable position. You can add more lube to the vaginal opening to ease discomfort if desired. Relax your muscles and slowly pull on the handle to remove the weight. After removing, clean your weight thoroughly and allow it to air dry. 

Kegel weight tips

To get the most out of your Kegel weights, follow these tips: 

1. Find your pelvic floor muscles

Before you try using Kegel weights, you’ll want to make sure that you’re inserting them properly. If the weight is placed too high or too low, you won’t get an effective workout. To determine the proper placement, try inserting a finger into your vagina and then contract your pelvic floor muscles, just like you would when you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. You’ll feel the muscles contracting around your finger. You want to insert the weight so it sits just above this muscle. And don’t worry about the weight getting lost inside you; there’s only so far it can go before it reaches your cervix

2. Choose a good position

If you’re new to Kegel weights, you may want to try them while lying down. That’s because gravity can make lifting the weights more challenging. As you progress, you’ll be able to use the weights while sitting, standing, or even walking around. Whichever position you choose, make sure you’re comfortable and not distracted, so you can focus on doing your exercises correctly. 

3. Start small 

When you’re just starting out, use the lightest weight, and try holding the contraction for just two seconds at a time. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to hold the contractions longer and work up to heavier weights. 

4. Make it a habit

One of the best ways to stick to a new habit is to add it to a habit you’re already doing — a technique known as habit stacking. Chances are, you’re already spending time every morning brushing your teeth and washing your face. Try adding your Kegel weight exercises to this part of your morning routine a few days a week, and soon it’ll be second nature. 

5. Be patient

Like any workout routine, using Kegel weights will take some time to deliver results. To get a clear picture of your progress, keep track of your workouts in a designated notebook or a note on your phone. Write down which weight you used, how long you held the contractions, and how many reps you completed. After a while, you’ll be able to look back and really see how all your effort has paid off. 

6. Keep your weights clean

Anything you’re using inside your vagina — whether it’s Kegel weights or a menstrual cup — should be clean and sterilized to prevent any bacteria from passing into the vagina. Wash your weights with a pH-balanced cleanser after each use. Our Pixie Cup Wash is perfect for this! It’s made from 100% all-natural plant-based ingredients and is safe for your weights and anything else that comes into contact with your genital region. 

Kegel weight FAQs

Still not sure if Kegel weights are right for you? Take a look at some of these frequently asked questions about Kegel weights. 

How long can you leave Kegel weights in? 

Kegel weights are intended to be used for roughly five-ten minutes a day, three days a week. As you get stronger, you can work up to longer sessions and more reps. 

Can I leave Kegel weights in all day?

Kegel weights are not designed to be worn all day. Using them for too long can overexert the pelvic floor muscles, potentially leading to injury. Ouch! Don’t try to rush the process. Again, start with shorter contractions and a lighter weight, and work your way up as you get stronger. 

How long does it take to see results?

Your individual results will vary depending on the current state of your pelvic floor muscles, but some people report noticing a difference after just one week of using Kegel weights. When using Kegel weights regularly, most people will notice benefits within a few weeks to a few months. 

Who can benefit from Kegel weights?  

Kegel weights are often helpful for women who: 

• Have had any sort of pelvic surgery, such as fibroid surgery, and need to restrengthen their pelvic floor
• Have symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence or a prolapsed uterus
• Are pregnant and want to strengthen the pelvic floor to make labor and delivery relatively easier
• Have given birth vaginally and want to tighten vaginal muscles that have become loose
• Have gone through or are going through menopause, which increases the risk of uterine prolapse 
• Frequently lift heavy objects, which can strain the pelvic floor muscles

Ready to give Kegel weights a try? Pixie Cup Kegel Weights are now available!

PLEASE NOTE: This product is not intended to treat or cure medical issues. Please consult your doctor prior to use. Anything advised here 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 pelvic health. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician.

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

One of the questions we hear quite often from women all over the world is, “can a virgin use a menstrual cup?”

The short answer is, yes! You can start using a menstrual cup as soon as you get your period, no matter how old you are or whether or not you’ve had sex.

That said, we understand that many people who are virgins often have concerns about using a menstrual cup or other menstrual products designed to be worn inside the vagina. So don’t feel alone if you’re hesitant about using a menstrual cup as a virgin!

Let’s take a closer look at the concept of virginity and some of the questions we receive about using a menstrual cup as a virgin.

Understanding the concept of virginity

To start with, let’s make sure we have a shared understanding of what it means to be a virgin. By definition, a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. Conversations about virginity often refer to the hymen — a small piece of skin inside the opening of the vagina. The hymen is a very misunderstood part of the body. Many cultures view the hymen as an indication of virginity and believe that it remains “intact” until a person has sexual intercourse. 

Contrary to popular belief, however, the hymen doesn’t fully cover the vagina, and it doesn’t break or “pop.” The hymen naturally stretches and wears down over time, and may become stretched long before your first sexual experience. As you may know, many different activities can stretch the hymen, such as bike riding, yoga, dancing, or gymnastics. Some women are even born without hymens. So it’s important to not place too much significance on the state of your hymen. 

Will a menstrual cup take away your virginity? 

Your virginity is not based on a thin piece of skin, it is a simple fact about your life experience. You are a virgin if you have not had sexual intercourse, and that doesn’t change if you use a menstrual product such as a menstrual cup or a tampon. Using a menstrual cup doesn’t take away your virginity, and it does not say anything about your value as a person. 

For some people, and in many cultures, virginity is an important concept. Some people may feel like they can’t use the menstrual products they want because they are afraid it will take away their virginity, or that they will be judged for using these types of products. Women all over the world struggle with the question of whether or not it is acceptable in their religion or culture to use a menstrual cup. 

We deeply desire for each woman to have the freedom and the right to use a menstrual cup and experience the joy and ease that it can bring to her life. We need to be the voice that tells the world that the value of a woman is not determined by the state of her hymen, but by the existence of her soul.

Does using a menstrual cup break the hymen? 

As mentioned above, the hymen doesn’t actually break; it stretches. And yes, using a menstrual cup can stretch the hymen. But again, the hymen can be stretched by all sorts of activities, including something as simple as riding a bike. The cup won’t stretch your vaginal canal itself, but it may stretch your hymen. 

Are menstrual cups hard to use for a virgin? 

Menstrual cups take a little getting used to for anyone. So, don’t get discouraged if it all seems confusing! We’ve noticed two things that could cause someone to experience difficulty using a menstrual cup as a virgin: your own level of comfort, and your flexibility. 

Your level of comfort

Using a menstrual cup requires getting up close and personal with your body. You’ll need to assess your own mind and see if you feel comfortable with the thought of using an internal period product. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with your vagina and have never used a tampon, getting comfortable with a cup may take a little more time and effort. But we believe it’s worth it! Using a menstrual cup helps many people gain a greater understanding of how their bodies work, which can be incredibly empowering.

Take it slow and give yourself some grace to figure it out. It often takes people a few cycles to really get the hang of it. We believe in you, and we wholeheartedly recommend a menstrual cup to everyone who menstruates because it truly is a life-changer! Imagine 12 hours of leak-free protection and no more worrying about soaking through pads at night! Not to mention swimming, backpacking, and all of your other favorite activities without fear of leaks or stains.

Your flexibility

The vaginal muscle of virgins or young girls can be more tense, which may make inserting a menstrual cup more difficult in the beginning. But don’t worry! Your body is stronger and more resilient than you could imagine. Your vaginal canal was created to expand when needed, and then return to its normal state, without stretching out. Otherwise, how could women ever give birth vaginally?

If you’ve never used a tampon or inserted anything into your vaginal canal, it could feel a bit uncomfortable at first. We advise you to start with a smaller cup. We have two small cups: our regular Pixie Cup small, and the Pixie Cup Luxe small. What’s the difference? The Luxe is a softer and more flexible material, which some people find more comfortable. However, some people prefer the more rigid material of our regular cup because they find that it pops open more easily. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

We also recommend that you start with the punch-down fold. There are different ways to fold your cup so that you can insert it, and your preferred method may change over time. But the punch-down fold is a great one to start with. Place your index finger on the top of the rim and press inwards to the base of the cup, forming a triangle. This gives you a small point of insertion. You may also want to use a little lubricant to help make things a little more comfortable. (We sell a really smooth Pixie Cup Lube that is AMAZING).

Click here for more detailed instructions on how to use your cup.

Do menstrual cups hurt? 

If properly inserted, a menstrual cup should not hurt. In fact, most menstrual cup users say that they can’t even feel their cup once it’s in, and they even forget they’re on their period! If your cup hurts or feels uncomfortable, there could be a few different reasons. Your cup may not be inserted properly, or you may need a different size. Try taking your cup out and reinserting it. Make sure you run a finger around the top to check for folds. If you continue to have trouble getting your cup in comfortably, try a different cup or a smaller size. We offer a 100% happiness guarantee, so if your cup doesn’t work for any reason, let us know! We’ll help you find one that does.

Can you practice using a menstrual cup when you’re not on your period?

Yes! You can absolutely practice using your cup before your period starts. In fact, we often recommend this to new cup users. If you practice using your cup when you’re not on your period, you’ll be much less nervous when it comes time to use it. If possible, practice inserting your cup when you’re not feeling rushed and you have some privacy. Because wearing a menstrual cup is not associated with toxic shock syndrome, you can leave it in for a while if you want to see how it feels, but don’t leave it in for longer than 12 hours. 

Removing your cup properly is also important. Your cup forms a seal inside the vagina, which you must break before you can remove it. Don’t simply grab the bottom and try to pull it out! Read our menstrual cup instructions for more info. Finally, make sure you always properly clean and sanitize your cup after use, even if you’re just practicing.

Can my cup get stuck up there? 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from new cup users. Don’t worry! There’s only so far your cup can go before it hits your cervix. It cannot migrate into your uterus or get lost inside your body. However, there may be times when your cup forms a tight seal up against your cervix, and it’s hard to remove. If that happens, don’t panic! It’s important to always remove your cup correctly by first breaking the seal. Pinching the base of the cup often does the trick, but if that doesn’t work, you can insert one finger alongside the cup and push the rim in. Read our blog on menstrual cup removal tips for more info.

Ready to try a menstrual cup? Visit our online store and take 10% off your first order with the code 10FIRST!

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This content was originally written on June 4, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?

One of the most common questions we receive about menstrual cups is, “Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?”

The short answer is, yes! Not only is it perfectly safe to sleep with a menstrual cup, you will also probably wake up to fewer leaks and less mess! Gone are the days of having to wash your underwear in the sink or getting unsightly mattress stains because your pad shifted or bunched up during the night or just wasn’t big enough. *insert wild cheering*

sleep with menstrual cup

Menstrual cups can be safely worn for up to 12 hours, so there’s no reason they can’t be left in overnight. That said, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of leaking during the night, especially if you have a heavy flow.

1. Use the right menstrual cup

Finding the best menstrual cup for your body can make all the difference when it comes to making your menstrual cup pop open and preventing leaks.

Everyone is different, so don’t assume that what works for your friend will work for you. Some people find that a cup made from a more rigid material will pop open more easily. If you have a tilted uterus or a low cervix, you may find that a smaller cup made of a more flexible material works best for you. If this all sounds confusing, don’t worry! We have a handy guide to help you find the best menstrual cup for your body.

2. Take size into consideration

If you know you have a heavy flow, you may want to choose a larger menstrual cup, especially to wear at night. Our largest cup is our Pixie Cup XL, which holds 35ml of fluid. That’s the equivalent of 7 tampons! With that much capacity, you can rest and sleep undisturbed without worrying about getting up in the middle of the night to empty your cup. You can also wear a smaller cup during the day and a larger one at night if you’re worried about leaks.

3. Empty your cup before bed

You should empty and clean your menstrual cup at least every 12 hours — possibly more often if you have a heavy flow. We recommend emptying your cup right before bed so you can sleep as long as possible without needing to remove your cup.

4. Use a little extra protection

Some of us have such a heavy flow that it’s near impossible to avoid leaks overnight. If this is you, it might be a good idea to invest in a pair of period underwear or some reusable Pixie Pads to guarantee that you don’t wake up to a mess.

5. Ease your cramps with essential oils

Sometimes it isn’t the flow so much as those darn cramps that wake you up in the middle of the night. Try easing your cramps with a little essential oil blend on your stomach before bed. Many women also find that when they stop using tampons and switch to a menstrual cup, their menstrual cramps improve.

6. Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. It’s common to have difficulty sleeping during your period. Worrying about leaks is just one of the things that can interfere with sleep during menstruation. Fluctuating hormones and changes in body temperature can also make it hard to sleep through the night. If this sounds like you, check out our blog on how to sleep better on your period.

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you transition into using a menstrual cup! If you still have questions about sleeping with a menstrual cup, let us know! We absolutely love hearing from you. We will answer your questions to the best of our abilities. And don’t forget, we offer a 100% Happiness Guarantee and we stick by it. If you purchase a Pixie Cup and aren’t completely satisfied, we’ll help you find one that works or give you a refund.

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This content was originally written on February 25, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

“Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup

“Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup

“Help, I think my menstrual cup is stuck!” If you’re experiencing a “stuck” menstrual cup, don’t panic! Take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to help.

It’s important to remember that your menstrual cup can only go so far before it reaches your cervix, and guess what? That’s the end of the tunnel. There’s nowhere else for it to go. Your menstrual cup can’t migrate into your uterus or get “lost” inside you.

That said, sometimes it can be hard to get a grip on your cup or break the seal. This can happen if the cup migrates further up in the vaginal canal, or if it forms a seal right up against your cervix.

If this happens to you, you may be tempted to call your doctor or head to the emergency room. Before you do, try our tips for removing a stuck menstrual cup.

1. Relax and breathe

It can be scary and frustrating when you can’t get your cup out, especially if this has never happened to you before. However, many menstrual cup users have experienced this at one time or another, and have gone on to use their cup happily for many years. 

The best thing you can do right now is relax. That may feel impossible if you’ve been fighting with a stuck cup, but take a moment to just breathe. If you’re too tense, all of your muscles will be contracted, and it will make it harder for your cup to come out. 

If you need to step away for a few minutes and regroup, go ahead. Do some breathing exercises, make a cup of tea, or do whatever else you need to calm down. It’s okay if your cup has already been in for 12 hours. Nothing bad is going to happen if you need to wait a little longer.

2. DO NOT use a spoon or other item to remove your cup

You may have heard of something known as the “menstrual cup stuck spoon trick.” However tempting it might be to use tweezers or a spoon or something else to help you reach your cup, don’t do it! We do not recommend inserting anything into your vagina that isn’t made to go there. The vaginal canal is a sensitive area, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or causing infection. Plus, it simply isn’t necessary. You can break the seal on your cup just as easily with your finger if you do it correctly.

3. Take a squat

When you’re ready to try again, it may be helpful to get into a squatting position. Get as low as you can to the ground. This will allow you to reach further into your vaginal canal. You can also lift one foot up onto the edge of the toilet or bathtub.

Before you get started, make sure your hands are clean and dry. The drier your hands are, the easier it will be to get a grip on the cup. If the base of the cup is close to the vaginal opening, you could even use a little bit of toilet paper to dry it off.

4. Don’t bear down

You may have read some advice to bear down when you’re trying to get your cup out, but we don’t recommend this. Bearing down when under stress is not good for all the organs and muscles in the pelvic region.

When you have a bowel movement or are giving birth, your muscles work together naturally, and are not being forced. Some reports indicate that improper removal of a menstrual cup could be linked to prolapse of the pelvic muscles, although this has not been proven.

5. Gently break the seal

To properly remove your cup, you need to break the seal that it formed when you inserted it. DO NOT yank on your cup and attempt to pull it straight out. Pulling on a sealed cup will strain the pelvic muscles.

There are two ways to break the seal:

  1. Pinch the base of the cup. Grab the cup as far up as possible and pinch it. You may want to squeeze it for a few seconds to allow the seal to release. If you can’t quite get a hold of the cup, grab the stem and wiggle the cup back and forth a bit (don’t pull) until you’re able to grab the base. Listen for the sound of air leaking, which means the seal is broken.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try inserting one finger up along the side of your menstrual cup and feel for the rim of the cup. Gently push in the rim, similar to the process used for the punch-down fold, until you hear the seal break. This can allow some fluid to leak out, so it’s best to do this when sitting on the toilet or squatting in the shower.

Once the seal is broken, tip the cup a little bit to allow more air into the vagina, and try wiggling your cup out or removing it at an angle.

If that doesn’t work, try a different position. Sometimes changing position can make all the difference. If you’ve been squatting, try putting one foot up on the edge of the bathtub instead.

Still can’t get your cup out?

If you’ve tried all these steps — and made sure to relax and breathe — and you still can’t get your cup out, it may be time to call your doctor. Remember that not all gynecologists are familiar with menstrual cups, and you may need to tell your doctor not to attempt to pull it straight out. Also, don’t let your doctor throw your cup away! There’s no reason it can’t be sanitized and reused.

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Make sure you have the right size

If you frequently have trouble getting your cup out, it could mean that your cup is the wrong size. If you have a higher cervix but are using a shorter cup, the cup may migrate further up in the vagina and be hard to reach.

Measuring your cervix can help you choose the right cup for you.

At Pixie Cup, we offer several shapes and sizes to help everyone find the perfect fit. All of our bodies are different, so it makes sense that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to menstrual cups. Learn how to find the best menstrual cup for your body.

We also offer a 100% happiness guarantee. If you buy a Pixie Cup and it isn’t the right size or it otherwise doesn’t work for you, we’ll work with you to find one that works or refund your money! We want everyone to experience true period freedom, and your happiness is our priority.

Check out our different menstrual cups and menstrual cup accessories in our store.

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This content was originally written on February 19, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

What if I have a low cervix?

What if I have a low cervix?

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.

low cervix menstrual cup

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.

How do I know if my cervix is low?

Measuring your cervical position is a must! This will help determine what menstrual cup to purchase, it will tell you a lot about the stage of your cycle if you’re tracking it throughout the month, and help determine the health and strength of your pelvic floor. Here is the easiest way to measure your cervix. 

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. 

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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.

Ready to try a Pixie Cup? Head over to our store to get 10% off your first order!

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