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Scared to try a menstrual cup? This will help!

Scared to try a menstrual cup? This will help!

Have you considered using a menstrual cup, but you’re hesitant to try it? Maybe you’re afraid it will hurt or you’ve heard other’s fears about it getting stuck. Trying anything new can be slightly unnerving, but we wholeheartedly believe that your life will be better after switching to a menstrual cup. But don’t take our word for it! In this post, we’ll openly chat about any fears or hesitancies every woman has before ditching the disposable products for the last time! Let’s do this!

girl holding menstrual cup

FEAR: What if my menstrual cup is stuck?

FACT: A super important thing to remember when using a menstrual cup: 

It’s all about the seal 

When inserting, you want to make sure to hear the seal so you know the seal is made. When you go to remove the cup, the same applies, only backward. Break the seal. By pinching the base of the cup, you’re able to let enough air in to break the seal. Pull the cup down and keep upright so you don’t dump the menses that have been collected until you want to! We interviewed a doctor about this same topic

FEAR: What if I can’t reach my menstrual cup? 

FACT: If you go to remove your menstrual cup and you can’t feel it, DON’T PANIC. Sometimes when women insert their menstrual cup, they could be sitting in a certain way that makes it easy for the cup to seal to the cervix. Though this does happen, it’s not the goal of wearing a menstrual cup. You want the cup sitting in your vaginal canal so you can easily reach the stem to remove. There are several tips on relaxing your body and moving certain ways to make it easier to reach your cup!

FEAR: What if my menstrual cup leaks? 

FACT: This is a big one when switching to a menstrual cup! For any menstrual product, right? Getting caught in less-than-desirable circumstances with leaks! Eek! The big point with stopping leaks is making sure the seal is set in place. If you have a low cervix, (check out this guide to measuring your cervix height) it can be easy to catch your cervix and not get the proper seal. Secondly, once you feel your cup is in place, either gently turn your cup via the base OR run your finger around the lip of the cup to make sure the cup has popped open. 

 

FEAR: What if inserting the menstrual cup hurts? 

FACT: It may be slightly uncomfortable inserting the cup until you get used to it, but most people do not experience any pain. We have a specially formulated Pixie Cup Lube that’s safe for you and safe for your menstrual cup. A little on the rim of the cup prior to inserting takes the worry away! Or you may be looking at the size of the cup and wondering how that is fitting there. We hear you! Finding the right fold when switching to a menstrual cup is key! There are three popular folds; figure out which is best for you! Once the cup is in place, you shouldn’t be able to feel it at all. If for some reason you do feel it, experiment with the placement in the vaginal canal. Or you could need a smaller sized cup.

FEAR: What if wearing a menstrual cup affects my IUD?

FACT: Good news, girl! You can have your cake and eat it too. It’s totally possible to wear a menstrual cup and have an IUD. You’re not alone; this is a super popular question when women are switching to a menstrual cup. There are a couple things to consider when using a period cup with your IUD… like making sure the strings of the IUD are short enough that they don’t get caught in the rim of the period cup. Or making sure you break the seal of your cup prior to removing. This will be sure to not place any undo tension on the IUD. We made a whole blog post about this exact topic, with cool illustrations too!

menstrual cup and IUD

FEAR: Can I poop with a menstrual cup? 

FACT: Yes! You have a lot of muscles that are packed into the pelvic floor area in your pelvis, so everything touches and everything moves, to some degree, together. It’s really important to make sure your cup is properly placed (and not too low) in the vaginal canal. If it’s too low in the first place (and stem + base fully sticking out) you risk “birthing” or pushing the menstrual cup out during a bowel movement. If you’re questioning it, just quickly feel the placement. Some women do prefer to remove it prior to having a bowel movement, but it is not required.

FEAR: Can I pee while wearing a menstrual cup? 

FACT: Totally! One of the many wonders of female anatomy is that we have a lot going on in a pretty small area. The urethra and bladder sit close to the vagina, which means it is possible for a menstrual cup to put pressure on them when being worn. This can result in two things: the sensation of feeling like you have to pee + a slower urine stream. Both of these things can be remedied by finding that “sweet spot” either lower or higher in the vaginal canal where neither are affected. Another tip from our friends at Put A Cup In It is to opt for a softer cup! Our Pixie Cup Slim is our softest, most pliable cup yet. 

girl holding menstrual cup

FEAR: Can wearing a menstrual cup cause uterine prolapse?

FACT: We recently chatted about a prolapsed uterus and how to prevent it. There isn’t enough study to show that wearing a menstrual cup can lead to a prolapse. Two things to do that would stop that in its tracks is to 1) exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly and 2) make sure to break the seal of your period cup before pulling it out of the vagina. 

FEAR: Can wearing a menstrual cup cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?

FACT: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) happens when a substance is in the body for too long. A menstrual cup holds menses in the silicone cup as opposed to having it continually touch the vaginal walls. With tampons, you have the risk of particles of cotton being left behind and holding onto aging blood, which can lead to TSS. Menstrual cups leave no trace! They are approved to hold menses in the vagina for up to 12 hours. It’s not recommended for longer than that because of the fact it’s just not good for you and can lead to infection

 

You’ve got this!

Switching a menstrual cup is a big decision! You’re daring to be different, and daring to make a difference for not only the planet but also for another woman somewhere around the world. With our Buy One, Give One program, every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we donate one to a woman in need. So not only are you changing your life, you’re actually changing someone else’s too. Menstrual cup support sites and communities are popping up as the trend for eco-friendly menstruation grows.

What hesitation is holding you back? Comment below and let us know! We’d love to answer you and provide support and maybe even add your fear to our blog post! Don’t forget we have our 100% Happiness Guarantee. If you don’t like your Pixie Cup, we’ll work with you to fit your needs or refund your money!

Check out the different menstrual cups and products we have to offer in our store

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A Prolapsed Uterus: What You Need to Know

A Prolapsed Uterus: What You Need to Know

prolapsed uterus intro photo

A prolapsed uterus can affect women of any age, but primarily affect someone who has gone through menopause or women who have given vaginal birth. Thank goodness it’s not overly common… but it does happen. As scary as it sounds, prolapse isn’t hopeless! Once diagnosed, people dealing with prolapse have an array of options to help them get things back into place. Continue reading for facts and how to prevent or treat uterine prolapse. 

What is a prolapsed uterus?

The uterus (or womb) is a muscular structure that’s held in place by pelvic muscles and ligaments. If these muscles or ligaments stretch or become weak, they’re no longer able to support the uterus, causing prolapse. The definition of ‘prolapse’ is slipping or moving downward. In the event of uterine prolapse, the uterus has migrated down from its original placement into the vaginal canal.  

A prolapsed uterus may be labeled ‘incomplete’ or ‘complete’. Within those are 4 different degrees also. An incomplete prolapse occurs when the uterus is only partly sagging into the vagina. Complete prolapse occurs when the uterus falls so far down that some tissue protrudes outside of the vaginal opening.

  • First Degree – the cervix drops into the vagina.
  • Second Degree – the cervix drops into the vagina just before the opening.
  • Third Degree – The cervix is outside the vagina.
  • Fourth Degree – The entire uterus is outside the vagina. This condition is also called procidentia. This is caused by a weakness in all of the supporting muscles.

What causes prolapse?

As mentioned, ‘prolapse’ means movement or slipping downward. So actually this can happen to any organ in the pelvic region. A prolapsed uterus is primarily present in women 50+ or who are postmenopausal. However, it can happen to any woman with these leading factors:

  • Pregnancy/childbirths with normal or complicated delivery through the vagina (childbirth is probably the biggest strain to the pelvic region known to man)
  • Weakness in the pelvic muscles
  • Weakening and loss of tissue tone after menopause and loss of natural estrogen
  • Conditions leading to increased pressure in the abdomen such as chronic cough (with bronchitis and asthma), straining (with constipation)
  • Being overweight or obese with its additional strain on pelvic muscles
  • Major surgery in the pelvic area leading to loss of external support

Basically, it’s all about muscle and ligaments becoming weak; the uterus needs to be held in place, and if the structures that do that are no longer strong enough, it may slip. Consequently, when one pelvic organ prolapses, it increases the likelihood that others follow because it’s a waving red flag that the group of muscles holding things together in the pelvic area is weak.

Can a menstrual cup cause uterine prolapse?

With new trends and new devices, come new speculations. There aren’t conclusive studies that show menstrual cups cause prolapse of the uterus or other pelvic organs. Healthcare providers do suggest that it can further an already present issue by misuse of a menstrual cup.

When using a menstrual cup, do not bear down on the menstrual cup to lower it in the canal. When you’re wanting to remove the cup, be sure that you completely relax your pelvic muscles prior to removal. Breaking the seal is super important prior to removal. Do so by either pinching the base of the menstrual cup or putting one finger up the side of the cup and listen for the sound of air, meaning the seal has been broken.

What are the symptoms of a prolapsed uterus?

Here are some signs to keep in mind should you have any of the traits above. It greatly depends on the degree of prolapse that is occurring. If it’s mild, doctors will give you a list of exercises and send you on your way!

  1. You feel like you’re sitting on a golf ball. All bodies are different and all situations are different. As mentioned previously, there are different degrees of severity with uterine prolapse. Feeling like you’re sitting on a ball would happen with degree 3 or 4 where the uterus is emerging from the vagina. 
  2. Difficulty urinating. Incontinence, urinary hesitancy, or incomplete bladder emptying which can lead to recurrent UTIs. Slow-release of the urine or feeling like something is pressing on your bladder. 
  3. Constant cramping or pulling in the pelvic region. This may seem like an obvious one but if one organ is moving away from where it should be, the effect could continue and cause a feeling of “heaviness” in the pelvic region. 
  4. Bowl issues. As I mentioned earlier, if something like your uterus is prolapsing, chances are the muscles in your pelvic region are very weak. This can lead to other muscles prolapsing. Props to you if you guessed intestine prolapse! 
  5. Painful sex. Because of how the female reproductive system is laid out, a prolapsed uterus involves the cervix as well; both uterus and cervix “fall” into the vagina, depending on the degree. Sex is painful at best and sometimes impossible depending on the degree of the prolapse. 
  6. Seeing your cervix physically birthing from the vagina. At this point, the pain will be inevitable and this would qualify as a medical emergency and you be brought to the emergency room as soon as possible. But even if you just feel something peculiar inside your vagina alongside peculiar sensations in your pelvic area, you should still get yourself checked out as soon as possible.
yoga pose

How can I prevent uterine prolapse?

After all that, that is a really important question! 

Exercises for the pelvic floor. You’re in luck! We recently spoke in great detail about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. There are several exercises and stretches you can do in the comfort of your home on a daily basis that will help whip them into shape! 

Kegel Exercises. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first. To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three. It’s recommended to do these a handful of times a day!

Hormones. If you are postmenopausal, your production of estrogen goes down. This has been linked to the weakening of the muscles in the pelvic region. A doctor could suggest an estrogen cream or suppository to help balance you out. Again, this is only a suggestion for someone hormone-deficient.

Vaginal pessary. This is a vaginal device that supports the uterus and keeps it in position. Crazy right!?  It is important to follow the instructions on care, removal, and insertion of the pessary. Discuss with your provider if this treatment is right for you.

Losing weight. Extra weight within the abdomen places unnecessary strain on the pelvic muscles. 

Surgery. Thankfully this is the last option and only if your uterine prolapse is in the 3rd or 4th degree.

Using a menstrual cup with a prolapsed uterus

If you are experiencing slight uterine prolapse and you’re premenopausal, you will still have a period! Tampons could lead to easy irritation due to the position of the vagina and uterus if it is prolapsing. Have you thought about trying a menstrual cup? They are a medical-grade silicone cup-shaped device that folds and sits in the vaginal canal to collect menses. 

Even with a prolapse, many people have been able to use a menstrual cup successfully and without pain. (yay!) Make sure to measure your cervix to get an idea of the space you’re working with. Most women have reported that a menstrual cup that is designed to sit lower in the vaginal canal works best. We have all the information about cup design and size right over here!

menstrual cup versus tampon

If you suspect you have a prolapse occurring, we urge you to go to your doctor to get checked out and diagnosed. Hopefully, this post made the idea of a prolapsed uterus a little less scary and with some hope for recovery! 

Have you experienced a prolapsed uterus in the past? How did you bounce back? Did it affect your menstruation? Be sure to check out our selection of menstrual cups! With the different sizes and shapes, there is one sure to fit your needs! 

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Getting rid of the menstrual cup smell

Getting rid of the menstrual cup smell

Have you noticed an odor coming from your menstrual cup? The truth is, if you use your cup at all, there’s a risk that you could end up with a stinky menstrual cup on your hands. While a menstrual cup smell doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your cup (or with your period), it can be annoying. The good news is, there are some steps you can take to make sure that your cup stays sparkling clean and smelling nice even after years of use, and it’s really not that hard to do!

get rid of menstrual cup smell

Is it normal for my menstrual cup to smell?

Yes! It’s completely normal for a menstrual cup to develop an odor with regular use. This odor may be completely different from the smell associated with your menstrual flow. Some people have described the smell as similar to eggs, broccoli, or sulfur. Others have described the menstrual cup smell as sour. But don’t worry — it’s unlikely that other people will notice the smell of your menstrual cup or the smell of your period. But if it bothers you, here’s how to fix it!

How do I get the smell out of my menstrual cup?

The tips below will help remove both smell and discoloration from your menstrual cup. It’s always a good idea to read your manufacturer’s instructions for your specific cup brand. The following is what we recommend for Pixie Cup menstrual cups. If you have a cup from a different manufacturer (such as a Diva Cup or a Lena Cup), they may recommend different cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

Prevent or remove menstrual cup smell with deep cleaning

If you’ve noticed that your menstrual cup has a weird smell, or if you just want to prevent it from smelling in the future, make sure to keep your cup sparkling clean. It’s really important to take good care of your cup and keep it clean at all times, and this will help decrease the likelihood of any unpleasant odors.

We recommend deep cleaning and sanitizing your cup before and after each period, and giving your cup a quick rinse when you change it at least once a day. This will dramatically reduce the likelihood of unwelcome smells.

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Don’t wear your cup too long

Menstrual cups are safe to wear for up to 12 hours. Ideally, it’s best to remove and empty your cup even more frequently — every 4 to 8 hours if possible. Leaving your cup in for longer than recommended can increase the chance of an odor developing. If your cup already has an odor, leaving it in too long could make it worse.

Rinse with cold water first

You may be tempted to wash your cup in hot water right after you take it out, but hot water can actually cause odor and stains to set in. When you remove your cup, wash or rinse it in cold water first. You can follow this by washing it in warmer water. The same is true for underwear or other clothing that gets menstrual blood on it: Give it a good scrub in cold water to keep stains from setting.

Give it a good scrub

Set aside a toothbrush that is designated just for your cup. After rinsing your cup under cold water, give your cup a good scrub with soap. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash. Avoid using soap or other cleaning products that aren’t intended specifically for menstrual cups — they may contain oils, fragrances, or other chemicals that can increase the risk of odor or harm the silicone. When you wash your cup, make sure you get in between the grooves and clean the air holes around the rim to remove any residue that can build up in those areas.

If you’re changing your cup in a public restroom and can’t wash it, it’s fine to just wipe it off and reinsert. Keep some menstrual cup wipes in your bag or pocket for this purpose, and just make sure to give your cup a good wash the next time you’re at home.

Steam or boil your cup before and after your period

Before and after each period, we recommend sanitizing your menstrual cup by steaming or boiling it. You can boil it on the stove for 2-10 minutes. Or, to make sanitizing your menstrual cup easier, we created our menstrual cup steamer. The steamer sits right on your bathroom counter and sterilizes your cup in just three minutes!

Give your cup a sun bath

Find a nice sunny spot and let your cup soak up some rays for a few hours! This will help with both odors and discoloration. Just don’t leave it where it may get too hot or melt.

Use a naturally scented rinse every month or two.

Sometimes your cup needs a little more than soap and water to keep it smelling fresh. You can create an all-natural menstrual cup rinse with just some lemons and vinegar! Make sure to boil or steam your cup before use to remove any lemon or vinegar residue.

One last note…

Keep in mind that vaginal infections and yeast infections can cause unpleasant smells. If you notice an unpleasant or unusual odor that isn’t just related to your cup, it may be time to see your doctor.

Check out our online store to purchase our menstrual cup wipes, wash, steamer, and other products that can help you keep your cup clean and odor-free!

This content was originally written on May 28, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Should you steam or boil your menstrual cup?

Should you steam or boil your menstrual cup?

Which is better, steaming or boiling your menstrual cup? Does it matter? It really comes down to which one is more convenient for you. Not sure which one you prefer? Keep reading!

First, we want to start out by telling you a little about menstrual cup cleaning. It’s so important to keep your cup sparkling clean at all times because your vaginal canal is one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

There are two different things you should do each cycle to keep your menstrual cup clean: clean your cup between each use, and sanitize your cup before and after your cycle.

should you steam or boil your menstrual cup

1. Cleaning

Cleaning is a quick clean or rinse (here’s a DIY recipe for a quick and easy menstrual cup rinse) of your cup when you empty it.

Once a day, you should wash your cup with soap and water. Each time you empty your cup, you should wipe it out with a Pixie Wipe or give it a quick rinse under warm water.

Out in public? No problem! Learn how to clean your cup in a public restroom.

2. Sanitizing

Sanitizing is completely different than cleaning, but equally important! Before and after each cycle — both when you get your menstrual cup out for your period and when you put it away again — you need to make sure all bacteria is removed from your cup. This keeps your cup clean and stain free. It also helps prevent odors.

There are two different ways you can sanitize your cup. The most common method is boiling your cup, but many cup users find that they prefer steaming. They both do the same thing, so the best option for you just depends on which one you prefer!

Why do you have to boil your menstrual cup?

Boiling your menstrual cup sanitizes it and makes it safe to use. Any time you put a foreign object into your body, there’s a chance you could be exposing yourself to bacteria. Infections from menstrual cups are rare, as long as you use your cup correctly and clean it properly. Boiling your cup before and after every cycle, and washing it between uses, will help keep bacteria at bay.

It’s also important to wash your hands before inserting or removing your cup. You’re more likely to get an infection from bacteria on your hands than from the cup itself.

How often should you boil your menstrual cup?

Boil your menstrual cup twice a month: when you get it out at the start of your cycle, and when your period is finished.

How long should you boil your menstrual cup?

We recommend boiling your cup for about 10 minutes. If you boil your cup for too long, it could cause the silicone to thin and soften over time.

How to boil your cup

Simply put a pot of water on the stove to boil and turn it to high. When it reaches a boil, insert your cup. Make sure there’s enough water to completely cover your cup. Some cup users like to put their cup inside a whisk to keep it from touching the sides of the pot. If you don’t like the idea of using a pot that you cook with, consider buying a small pot to use just for this purpose.

sterilizing menstrual cup

It’s a good idea to stay close to your cup and keep an eye on it while it boils. You might be tempted to wander off and do other things, but we’ve heard stories of people who left their cup on the stove and forgot about it! If this happens, you could burn your cup and ruin it. If you do need to walk away, set the timer on the stove so you don’t forget to come back.

Can you boil your menstrual cup in the microwave?

Many people like the idea of boiling their menstrual cup in the microwave. Using a microwave is often more convenient, especially if you’re living in a dorm room or otherwise don’t have access to a stove.

The answer is yes … sort of. You can sterilize your menstrual cup with water that’s been boiled in the microwave. Don’t put the cup itself in the microwave, or it could damage it.

Fill a large mug with water – not too full or else it could boil over – and put it in the microwave. When the water has reached a boiling point, take it out and drop your cup in. Make sure your cup is submerged and leave it for a few minutes.

Our Pixie Cup sterilizing container was made just for this purpose! It’s collapsible, so it’s discreet and easy to store. It’s also microwave safe. Simply fill it with water and place it in the microwave for a few minutes. Or, you can plan your menstrual cup in the cup and pour boiling water over it. Your cup will emerge sparkling clean and germ-free!

menstrual cup sterilizing container

Steaming your cup

Pixie Cup spa

Steaming is a relatively new option for menstrual cups. While it has been used for quite some time now to sterilize other silicone products, steaming is new to the menstrual cup world!

Steaming is a hassle-free way to remove 99.9% of germs from your menstrual cup. Our Pixie Cup Steamer makes sterilizing your cup easy!

Steaming your cup has several advantages over boiling. For starters, you don’t have to use your cookware to sterilize your cup. In fact, you don’t have to take your cup into the kitchen at all! This is especially great if you share a house with other people and you don’t love the idea of them seeing your menstrual cup on the stove. The steamer has the appearance of a small humidifier or diffuser, and can be tucked away in the corner of your bathroom counter when not in use.

When it’s time to sterilize your cup, simply place it in the steamer with 5ml of water, replace the cover, and push the button. Your cup will be sanitized in 1-3 minutes while you put on your makeup or brush your teeth. No more worrying about burning your cup if you forget about it on the stove! The more water you add to the steamer, the longer it will run.

The next time you get your period, pop your cup back into the steamer, and it’ll be good to go.

Want to try steaming your cup? Order your Pixie Cup Steamer now and receive FREE shipping on orders of $25 or more!

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This content was originally written on July 2, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Menstrual cups, Tampons and Vaginal Dryness

Menstrual cups, Tampons and Vaginal Dryness

How are you *down there* after your period ends? Does your body snap back to normal quickly? Do you find that if you are an avid tampon user you tend to be dry? Some studies suggest that tampons can cause vaginal dryness. 

tampon and menstrual cup

How do tampons cause vaginal dryness?

Chronic vaginal dryness usually is a deeper issue. It can be related to hormones, hydration, and your general pH + flora being in (or out of) line. However, tampons can exacerbate the issue. Tampons, in general, are an extremely absorbent material made to do just that… absorb. In turn, it absorbs everything… and we mean everything. The good, the bad + the ugly!

Here are a few ways tampons can cause vaginal dryness:

  1. You use a tampon the day after your period… just in case! Your body is at a crucial point the few days after your period. It’s working hard to restore the pH to normal and put everything in balance. By inserting a tampon at this time, you’re basically only absorbing the good stuff. Reach for a panty liner or a reusable pad instead if you’re worried!
  2. You only use one level of absorbency through your entire menstruation. While it’s tempting to buy the value pack loaded with supers or super plus tampons, there are different absorbency levels for a reason. Once your menstruation lightens, there is less to soak up, so a super tampon is absorbing more than your menses and is going to capture the normal vaginal fluids. By soaking up the good bacteria as well, you’re leaving your vagina susceptible to an imbalance, which can lead to multiple types of infections.
  3. You use scented tampons. It’s mighty tempting to use a scented menstrual product to help mask the smell during that time of the month, we get it! Added scents, fragrances, and perfumes are harsh on the vagina and can throw off the pH. 

Does a menstrual cup cause vaginal dryness?

The quick answer to this is a resounding no! Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone and do not absorb any fluid at all. They are goblet-shaped and the concept is to be inserted in the vagina to collect (rather than absorb) period blood. Because they are made of materials like silicone and create airtight seals inside the vagina, menstrual cups don’t encourage bacterial growth, so concerns of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) are diminished greatly. Especially when you’re sterilizing your cup or washing it with soap as you should.

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups can be worn worry-free for up to 12 hours! During the heavier days of your cycle, they will become fuller faster and may need to be emptied more often. Women are switching to menstrual cups for the freedom they offer, the protection they have + the comfort they give! But don’t take our word for it; here are stories from 17 women who made the switch.

tampons and menstrual cup vaginal dryness

How can tampons cause infection?

While we’ve mentioned Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), tampons can lead to other infections such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Unfortunately, both are caused by either an overgrowth or undergrowth of bacteria already present in the vagina. 

Here are some common ways a tampon can cause infection:

  1. You only wash your hands after insertion. Cleaning your hands after insertion only makes sense… you might get a little messy. However, being aware of what could potentially be on your hands before you insert is a big one too. 
  2. You don’t change your tampon every time you relieve yourself. Your tampon absorbs urine very quickly after going to the bathroom. At this point your tampon isn’t effective and is just hanging onto urine in your vagina. During a bowel movement, the muscles cause your tampon to shift or even come out partially. If the tampon catches any fecal matter, you could be headed for an infection.
  3. You forget to take it out. The last day of our cycle can tend to be light. Life gets busy and you realize a couple of days later you still haven’t taken it out! Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a serious condition related to bacteria overgrowth when a substance is left in your body for too long.
  4. You don’t change it after swimming. Like with urinating, your tampon has now absorbed all that excess fluid. This time, it’s bleach water from swimming in a pool or salt water from the ocean. 

How do I encourage vaginal health?

You’ve probably heard of pH levels in your body and having them run acidic or alkaline. Most everything in your body runs super-friendly while this is in balance. Your vagina is no exception! 

Drink lots of water. Being hydrated keeps your vagina happy. You experience a dry mouth as an indicator of dehydration and a dry vagina can mean that too. It’s recommended that you drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day — more if you’re an athlete!

Take a probiotic. Probiotics and gut health awareness have come a long way in recent years. There are many different types of probiotics and many levels of potencies. Grab one from your local health food store that is geared toward “women’s health.” It will contain the unique strains that live in the vagina!

Avoid refined sugars. Yeast feeds on sugar, and an easy way to keep a yeast infection at bay is by minimizing refined sugars in your diet.

Avoid synthetic or tight clothing. We all own leggings. It’s hard not to! And yoga pants are a must! If you use these items for working out, be sure to change out of them as soon as you possibly can to rid your lady region of sweat + moisture, which would encourage bacteria growth.  

While we do not claim to be medical experts, we are here to help in any way we can! If you experience chronic vaginal dryness, it may be time to make an appointment with your gynecologist so they can run some tests and see what’s going on down there.

Have you thought about trying out a menstrual cup? We have a 100% Happiness Guarantee so if you don’t absolutely love your menstrual cup, we will refund you! What do you have to lose?

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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.

Washing your menstrual cup with soap

Washing your menstrual cup with soap

washing your menstrual cup with soap

The first key to menstrual cup success is making sure it’s cleaned properly. Sterilizing your menstrual cup before the first use in your cycle and right before you store it for the month is crucial. However, quickly washing your menstrual cup with soap before reinserting is perfect.

How do I wash my menstrual cup?

Ideally, washing your menstrual cup with a synthetic oil-free, unscented, gentle soap is best. Silicone is a substance that withstands tremendous levels of heat, but chemically we have to be mindful of what we use on it. Secondly, we have to be careful of anything that residually could be put into our vagina. Our lady region has a perfect balance — soaps, perfumes and synthetics can severely throw off our pH level, which could result in an infection of its own!

Our Pixie Cup Wash is formulated with your menstrual cup and our va-jay-jay in mind! We have 13 all-natural ingredients that make up our Pixie Cup Wash. No crazy ingredients here — only things that are safe, work and that you can pronounce 😉

Pixie Cup wash and lube

Here are our super-safe Pixie Cup Wash ingredients:

  • Distilled water is water that has been filtered to remove minerals. 
  • Phellodendron (amur cork tree) extract
  • Fructus Cnidii extract
  • Khu-seng extract
  • Radix Stemonae Extract
  • Aloe Vera
  • Cirtus
  • Cocoamidopropyl Betaine
  • Menthol
  • Tremella Extract

So now that we’ve talked about ideal soaps and ingredients, let’s talk about what NOT to use when cleaning your menstrual cup!

Cleaning agents to avoid:

scented/fragranced soap
dishwashing soap
bleach
oil-based soap
rubbing alcohol
anti-bacterial soaps
baking soda

As tempting as it is to grab your mainstream lady wash from the shower, it’s definitely not a good idea. Just don’t do it. Believe it or not, they are designed to only stay on the outside of your body! (Doctors are starting to speak against them too) Where a menstrual cup is an internal object, it’s best to make sure there is no perfume or residue that could be deposited and cause irritation or infection.

What about Toxic Shock Syndrome? (TSS)

Leaving your menstrual cup uncleaned could lead to infection, which is a rabbit hole that’s not fun. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is something that is typically associated with tampons. That being said, if a menstrual cup isn’t cleaned completely, it can carry bacteria as well! Meg does a fantastic job of describing what exactly TSS is and how it pertains to you, a tampon and a menstrual cup.

How should I store my menstrual cup?

Be sure to boil or steam your menstrual cup to sterilize it after your cycle as finished before you put it away for the month. Make sure that you are keeping it in a breathable bag so it doesn’t keep moisture and aid bacteria growth — Steer clear of plastic or airtight containers!

Now… how about keeping a bottle of our Pixie Cup Wash on hand so you’re never without a perfect + safe option?