We recently posted on our Instagram about how to fertilize your plants with your period blood. Here at Pixie Cup, we are all about periods and period hacks and this was new to us! In light of the time of year and everyone starting and tending to their gardens, we did some digging. Quickly, we realized how popular this method was as a green-living ritual from feminists and plant lovers alike.
Is it ok to use period blood to fertilize your plants?
While studies haven’t been specifically done on it, we can look at the chemical breakdown of menstrual blood and see that some things make sense. Blood contains three primary plant macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So, if you’re a gardener and menstrual cup enthusiast, you may want to try to use your next cycle to help your plants!
Nitrogen.Put simply, nitrogen promotes plant growth. It’s the star of the show and makes your plant bushy, leafy, and promotes growth! Nitrogen is part of every protein in the plant, so it’s required for virtually every process—from growing new leaves to defending against pests. Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their rich green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. Lack of nitrogen shows up as yellowing (chlorosis) of the plant.
Phosphorus. Phosphorus is responsible for transferring energy from one point to another in the plant. Energy from the stem can be transferred to the tips of the leaves with the help of phosphorus! It’s also critical in root development and flowering.
Potassium. Potassium helps regulate plant metabolism and affects water inside and outside of plant cells. It is important for good root development and for these reasons, potassium is critical to plant stress tolerance! When you repot a plant it disturbs the root system and can cause shock. Potassium helps the plant bounce back and re-establish its roots in the new soil and new pot.
Using a menstrual cup will make fertilizing your plants easier
If you want to give period blood fertilization a shot, using a menstrual cup will help make that easier! A menstrual cup is a cup-shaped device made of medical-grade silicone. It is inserted into the vaginal canal and creates a seal. It collects menstrual blood for up to 12 hours, safely. When you go to empty your menstrual cup, be sure to pinch the base or slide a finger up one of the sides to “break the seal” which makes removal quick and easy.
What if I use reusable menstrual pads?
Great point! We actually had a reader comment saying she did this exact thing. Soak your reusable menstrual pads in a bucket or container and use the liquid that comes from the soaking to fertilize your plants. This is a great method as it’s already diluted for you and ready to go. As a precaution, if you intend to use your soaking water on your plants, do not allow it to sit/soak for longer than a few hours. Bacteria can grow if left stagnant for too long.
PLEASE NOTE: You cannot soak a disposable pad. This is only for reusable period pads
It’s not recommended to pour period blood directly onto the soil to fertilize your plants. The concentrated fluid could cause an odor as it dries and could attract insects. It’s best to dilute and make a watering solution! Empty your menstrual cup right into a half-gallon container and fill with water. This dilution is fit for daily watering. It’s also not an exact science so more water is fine too if you need to make it stretch to feed your garden!
PLEASE NOTE: menstrual blood should be used right away and not stored. It is a bodily fluid that contains bacteria and could become a hazard the longer it ages.
Maybe watering your plants with blood has a deeper meaning
More than nourishing plants, maybe this practice also nourishes women’s relationship to their periods. This is crucial because traditionally society has taught us that the natural, healthy experience of menstruation is embarrassing and a source of shame. We whisper for a tampon. We log our periods on a locked app on our phones. We apologize to our significant other for the “inconvenience.” Maybe using something from us to feed something else, connects us to ourselves and to the earth. Our periods are a perfect time to focus on self-care and adding gardening and tending to our plants could be a great addition.
Do you have a routine during your period? Do you think fertilizing your plants with your menstrual cup would be a good addition? Let us know if you have tried this before! If you don’t have a menstrual cup, head over to our store for a variety of styles and sizes.
If you were to track your anxiety, you might find that the increased times follow a somewhat monthly pattern. While this may sound strange, anxiety, along with a lot of other symptoms, can rise and fall with the hormonal changes of your period. Let’s dive into anxiety and your menstrual cycle!
What are the menstrual cycle phases?
To understand your period symptoms, it’s important for you to know the different phases of your cycle, and what role they play in your body. You may be surprised to learn that your menstrual cycle is not just one week of blood flow. It is a complex, month-long cycle that includes four main phases. As you learn how your cycle flows and how your body responds, you will be able to understand your emotions in a whole new way, which is so helpful in managing anxiety.
During menstruation, your progesterone decreases, which causes the uterus lining to shed. This is sometimes known as the “Winter” phase of your cycle, which makes sense because your energy is low and all you probably want to do is curl up inside with a blanket and a cup of tea. This phase is a great time to process, think, and invest in yourself a little. Do things that make you feel cozy, happy and safe.
Your body will start to experience a rise in testosterone and estrogen, so you’ll probably feel some extra energy and positive thoughts will start to flow! This phase — we’ll call it “Spring” — is a great time to get lots of work done, and complete social activities while you have the energy! During this phase, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, is also rising to prepare your uterus for a new potential pregnancy.
Ah, ovulation… the “Summer” of the month! Expect maximum energy and confidence because your estrogen and testosterone levels have been rising to this point. This is a great time to act on planning, schedule meetings, flirt with your guy… and have some fun! Because as soon as ovulation occurs, your energy will start to slow down again and the cozy mood will take over.
Assuming that pregnancy did not occur after ovulation, the next phase is your Luteal Phase… or “autumn.” This phase can involve some bloating, cravings, and anxiety. What you can do, though, is focus on eating healthy foods, grabbing an herbal tea instead of sugar- and caffeine-packed latte, and get as much sleep as possible. If that anxiety rises, take the opportunity to remind yourself that this is a phase and it’s okay to feel a little low. It can be comforting to know that your hormones are speaking, and allow them to tell you to take it easy and chill. There’s nothing wrong with stepping back from high-impact activities and social engagements when your energy is low.
Do diet and exercise affect anxiety?
What you eat and whether you’re regularly exercising or not also can play a big role in aiding or alleviating anxiety. Taking natural supplements can help in boosting your mood such as vitamin B for energy and vitamin C for an immune booster. Recent studies have shown that turmeric is also a powerhouse for all kinds of health benefits including anxiety. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies will aid in less bloating and sluggishness too!
How to cope with anxiety during your menstrual cycle
While your menstrual cycle can impact the level of anxiety you experience, there can sometimes be a much deeper cause. We want to encourage you to seek out counseling, surround yourself with encouraging people + positivity.
Have you thought about using a menstrual cup? Women who are switching say that they have made their lives better and they aren’t going back! Once a menstrual cup is in place, it can safely be left for up to 12 hours without the worry about infection. If it’s placed properly, you won’t be able to feel it at all and you’re able to go about your life, worry-free. Sounds great, right? One less thing to worry about during our periods!
This content was originally written on October 7, 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Do you know how long your menstrual cycle is? When your period shows up every month, is it a surprise or do you know it’s coming? When you go to the doctor and they ask for the first date of your last period, are you prepared or do you give them a blank stare? Have you ever been on vacation and been completely caught off guard by Aunt Flo?
Tracking your period can help in all of these situations! Whether you use an app, write everything down on a paper period tracker, or do something completely unique and creative in a bullet journal, keeping track of different symptoms throughout the month can provide you with a wealth of information about your body. Not only will you know when to expect your period, you’ll also know when you’re about to ovulate and be able to identify any unusual symptoms that could indicate a health problem. And, arming yourself with all of this in-depth information about your own body will ultimately make you more comfortable with your cycle and help you feel more in control around “that time of the month.”
So how do you track your cycle? Let’s dive in!
What is a period tracker?
A period tracker is a tool for tracking various symptoms related to your menstrual cycle. Depending on your individual needs, this could include keeping track of information such as:
Your period start and end dates
Your basal body temperature
Your flow volume
PMS symptoms such as cramps or bloating
Irregularities or any areas of concern
Why should you track your period?
There are countless reasons to track your period! At a very basic level, it can help you understand essential information about your menstrual cycle, such as how long your cycle typically lasts. One of the most common reasons to track your period is so that you can predict when your period will start. No more wearing pantiliners for days “just in case” or wondering if it’s okay to plan that weekend camping trip!
Knowing what’s normal for your body will allow you to monitor your health more closely. If you notice any unusual symptoms emerge, you can share these with your doctor. A change in your menstrual cycle is often the first symptom of a health problem — even those that may not seem related to the reproductive system, such as a thyroid issue or diabetes.
Other benefits of tracking your cycle:
Plan important events around your period. You probably don’t want to worry about your period if you have an important event coming up, like a beach vacation or a wedding! Getting intimate with your cycle allows you to plan ahead.
Know when you’re ovulating. You can use this information to your advantage whether your goal is to conceive or avoid conception!
Plan around serious symptoms. Are you prone to anxiety, menstrual migraines, or severe cramps? You can look ahead and plan accordingly. Don’t make plans to go to a party if you know you’re going to want to binge watch your favorite show with a pint of ice cream!
Know right away if your period is later than expected.
How do you track your menstrual cycle?
The symptoms you choose to track are totally up to you! You can keep track of just the length of your cycle, or you can track everything on the list — even add your own information! Our downloadable period tracker includes spaces to track your flow, basal body temperature, cervical fluid, common PMS symptoms, and mood, along with blank lines so you can add any additional information you want to keep track of.
Let’s take a closer look at how to track and use some of this information.
This one is fairly self explanatory: keep track of when your period starts and how long it lasts. The first day of your period is Day One of your cycle, so start a new sheet on that day. Fill in the appropriate box for each day of your cycle according to how heavy your flow is. You may even want to use different colors to make it easy to spot changes over time.
If you like, you can include additional data such as blood color or flow volume.
Basal body temperature
What is basal body temperature (BBT)? Your BBT is the lowest body temperature reached during rest. As you sleep, your body temperature drops slightly. The average BBT range is between 97.0 and 97.7 during the first part of your cycle, and it increases slightly after ovulation.
If you’re interested in keeping track of when you ovulate, your basal body temperature can tell you! Start taking your temperature first thing every morning when you wake up, before you get out of bed. You can use a regular digital thermometer, or if you want to get super exact, use a basal body temperature thermometer specially designed for tracking ovulation.
Hormones released during ovulation make your BBT increase slightly. Midway through your cycle (typically around day 14), you should notice a sudden spike in your BBT. This means you have ovulated! If you’re trying to conceive, now is the perfect time to have intercourse. On the other hand, if you’re not trying to get pregnant, this is NOT a good time to have unprotected sex.
Have you ever noticed a white or off-white discharge in your underwear or on the toilet paper? This cervical mucus, or cervical fluid, is another indication that ovulation is approaching. Cervical fluid is produced by the cervix, and it changes in appearance and consistency as estrogen levels rise and your body prepares for ovulation.
For a few days after your period, you likely won’t see any fluid. During this time, a follicle in your ovary starts producing estrogen as it prepares to release an egg. As estrogen levels increase, more cervical fluid is released. It may change from a creamy, white fluid to a clear, stretchy fluid that is often compared to egg whites.
The purpose of cervical fluid is to help your body get pregnant. The fluid gives sperm a substance to swim in; otherwise, the sperm wouldn’t be able to reach the egg after it’s released. You can use your period tracker to keep track of cervical fluid so that you know when you’re about to ovulate.
Keep track of any other symptoms you experience, such as bloating, cramps, headaches, fatigue, or acne. After a few months of tracking, you may start to see some patterns emerge. This will help you predict when these symptoms are likely to occur during your next cycle so you can be prepared.
How do you calculate when your next period will be?
After ovulation, your cycle enters a stage known as the luteal phase, which lasts until menstruation. This is when the body prepares for a possible pregnancy. Levels of the hormone progesterone begin to rise, triggering the body to thicken the lining of the uterus. If you get pregnant, the fertilized egg has a nice, soft spot to implant and grow. If you don’t get pregnant, that lining is shed during your period.
Here’s the cool thing about the luteal phase: it’s very consistent. So if you know from tracking your cycle that your luteal phase is around 14 days, and if you also chart when you ovulate, you can get a really good idea of when your period will start.
What if your period is late?
Tracking your period will allow you to see right away if your period is late. After you’ve tracked for a few months and have a good idea of the length of your luteal phase, you should know within a couple of days if it’s time to go to the store for a pregnancy test!
You’ve probably heard that stress can delay menstruation. This is true — sort of. Stress can delay ovulation, but it won’t affect the luteal cycle. That means that stress during the first half of your cycle can delay your period, but stress that occurs after ovulation won’t have any effect on the length of your cycle. So if your period is late and you think worrying about it will just delay it further, it won’t! But, if you have severe or unusual stress around the middle of your cycle, it might be a good idea to note that on your tracker.
The end of your cycle
When your period starts again, it’s Day One of a new cycle. Make a note on your tracker of how long your cycle lasted. Unless you have a condition that affects menstruation, like PCOS, you’ll likely start to see a pattern emerge. If you know that your cycle is usually 28 days, you can plan around your period for months in advance!
Your period doesn’t have to be a mystery. Start tracking your cycle and you may be amazed at what you can learn about your own body! This is a lot of information, so don’t worry if it takes several cycles to get the hang of it! If you want to learn more about all of your menstrual symptoms and what they mean, check out the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
As always, if you have any questions, we’re here to help! We’d love to know how tracking your cycle has helped you. Drop a comment below to let us know!
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Many women are switching to menstrual cups because not only are they better for the environment, but also for health + wellbeing! Continue reading to learn more about the revolutionary period care and the benefits of using a menstrual cup.
What is a menstrual cup?
Aren’t sure what a menstrual cup is? It’s a flexible cup designed for use inside the vagina during your period to collect menstrual blood. The cup actually collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it as tampons or pads do. Menstrual cups are commonly made of 100% medical grade silicone. They’re flexible and easy to care for.
How do I use a menstrual cup?
If you’ve used tampons for years, you’ll likely be able to adjust to a menstrual cup with ease. For the pad-only users, it may take a little getting used to but you’ll get the hang of it! Here are some simple instructions:
First off, wash your hands well.
We suggest applying a water-based lubricant (like our Pixie Cup Lube) to help make insertion easy and comfortable. Apply the lubricant to the rim of the cup.
Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would a tampon but without the applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
Once the cup is in your vagina, grab the stem and rotate it. This will help it spring open to create an airtight seal that stops your cup from leaking.
What are the health benefits of using a menstrual cup?
We’ve recently discussed how tampons can contribute to vaginal dryness. When your vagina is dryer than usual, it can become a breeding ground for bacterial overgrowth, which may disturb the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina. Ultimately this could lead to an infection. Your menstrual cup doesn’t disturb your natural fluids and flora in the vagina and does not soak up anything.
Tampons are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which 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. Our friend, Meg, gives a great explanation of TSS in her YouTube video.
Menstrual cups are eco-friendly!
This is a pretty hot topic regarding the benefits of a menstrual cup these days! The average woman uses 5 tampons a day during her period. That combined with the number of days in your period, multiplied by the number of years the typical woman menstruates equals thousands of tampons or pads in the landfill. Ack!
Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years if properly taken care of! That means that 1 single menstrual cup can save up to 3,500 tampons/pads being sent to landfills. That number really puts it into perspective, huh? And when the menstrual cup’s life has come to an end, all you have to do is throw it into your wood stove or have a ceremonial burning at the next bonfire. It burns to simple ash that is completely biodegradable.
How convenient are menstrual cups?
Girl, pull up a chair! A tampon holds 5ml of fluid when it’s completely maxed out. Our Pixie Cups come in three sizes. Here is a great visual:
Small – holds 25ml | Large – holds 30ml | XL – holds 35ml
That means you can literally go hours between changes. It depends on your flow, but technically you can safely go 12 hours before you empty your menstrual cup.
Hot yoga class? Go sweat it out.
Are you training for a marathon? This period protection has your back.
Spending the day at the beach? Pack the sunscreen, but don’t pay any attention to Aunt Flo!
On a budget? Another benefit of a menstrual cup is it’s a purchase you make once a decade. No more last-minute runs to the gas station convenience store or sending your boyfriend to buy your pads. It’s one less thing you have to scramble cash for every month.
One of the things most women hate during their periods is how “dirty” or “gross” they feel. Not only are your hormones raging and you’re potentially bloated, but you smell. Even if no one else can pick up an odor, you can. And that’s honestly what matters most: YOU BEING CONFIDENT. Because a menstrual cup holds your menses completely airtight in the vagina, there is no odor that comes sneaking out. If you have an issue with your menstrual cup leaking, we have some tips and tricks to help with that.
No more surprises!
If you are tracking your period regularly, via an app on your phone or by bullet journaling, you probably have a really good idea of when your period is going to arrive. Gone are the days of hyper-packing your purse or backpack just in case your period surprises you. If you use a period cup, you can place it in the morning and go about your day — if Aunt Flo visits, you’re already prepared for her!
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.