How to Clean your Menstrual Cup in a Public Bathroom

How to Clean your Menstrual Cup in a Public Bathroom

We hear this question all the time…. what do you do when your menstrual cup needs to be emptied and you’re at work, at school, or in another public place? What if you live in a dorm where the bathroom stalls are separate from the sinks? 

Having to deal with a menstrual cup while away from home is one of the biggest fears among new cup users. But don’t worry, there are several different ways you can approach the situation! And while the process may look a little different than your home routine, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t clean your menstrual cup in a public bathroom or a dorm bathroom. 

menstrual cup public bathroom

But before we move forward, remember that a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours. You do not need to remove your menstrual cup every time you go to the bathroom, although some people prefer to. Depending on the size of your cup and how heavy your flow is, you may not need to empty and clean your cup while you’re away from home. 

However, there are times when cleaning your cup in a public restroom may be necessary — while traveling, for example, or if you have a heavy flow. In those cases, being prepared is key to menstrual cup + public bathroom success. 

We also want to mention that if you purchase the Disc, you can get away from removing a menstrual cup in a public bathroom. Menstrual Disc has a self auto-dumping feature that allows some of the continents to empty out while on the toilet without removal. There might be reasons why you need to remove your Pixie Disc while in a public stall, if that does happen you should keep reading!

Here are our top 6 tips for cleaning your cup or disc while you’re away from home. 

1. Look for a private restroom or stall with a sink

These days, it’s increasingly common to find a menstrual-cup-friendly bathroom option, whether it’s a family bathroom or an accessible stall with its own sink. Many coffee shops have private restrooms with the toilet and sink in one room. Having a sink handy makes it easy to wash and reinsert your cup just like you would at home. To avoid questionable restroom soap with ingredients that could cause irritation, keep our travel-sized Pixie Cup Wash in your bag! 

2. Use our Public Restroom Carry Cup to rinse your cup or disc

Our Carry Cup is a great gadget for public bathrooms. It’s collapsible, so it doesn’t take up much room in your bag. Simply pop it open and fill it up with water from the sink before you enter the stall. (Make sure to wash your hands while you’re at it!) Then, once you’re in the stall: 

  • Remove your cup or disc and dump the contents in the toilet. 
  • Place your menstrual product in the Carry Cup and seal it with the lid. 
  • Shake gently.
  • Remove your rinsed cup/disc and reinsert. (You don’t have to worry about drying it off.) 
  • Dump the water into the toilet and collapse the cup. Wash the Carry Cup out when you’re back at home or at the sink.
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3. Keep a bottle of water in your bag

If you don’t have a sink or a Carry Cup handy, you can rinse off your cup with a bottle of water. Simply hold your cup over the toilet and rinse it off, then reinsert. 

Note: Do not pee on your cup to rinse it off! This was suggested on one of our videos. We’re not sure if it was meant as a joke or not, but just in case … don’t do this. Urine is full of various waste chemicals that could harm the delicate tissues of the vagina and disrupt the vaginal pH balance

4. Use some Public Bathroom Wipes 

If you prefer an option that’s a little less messy, you can use some personal hygiene wipes. Our Pixie Wipes are individually wrapped, so you can easily stash a few in your purse or your back pocket. They’re also great for cleaning your hands before removing your cup or a menstrual disc since they tend to be messier with removal.

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5. Dump and reinsert

If you’re truly caught unprepared and need to empty your cup, don’t worry! If necessary, you can always dump your cup and reinsert it without rinsing. You can also use a little bit of toilet paper to wipe it off, but be careful not to leave any tissue stuck to the cup. While we recommend cleaning your cup every time you empty it to keep things sanitary, it’s okay to skip the wash every once in a while if it’s absolutely necessary. 

When you get home, or the next time you have access to a restroom with a sink, we recommend removing your cup and cleaning it as you normally would. 

6. Bring another cup

While one cup is enough for most people, some cup users like to have more than one menstrual cup on hand. Our Combo Pack comes with both our large and small cups so that you have options during your cycle. 

If you don’t like the idea of reinserting your cup without properly washing it, you can always bring a second cup into the bathroom stall with you. Rinse off your used cup with one of the methods described above, pop it into a Ziplock bag to wash later, and insert your second, clean cup! A backup cup is also great to have on hand in case you happen to drop your cup into the toilet or on the bathroom floor (it’s happened to almost all of us!).

Is there anything we forgot? What are your favorite tips for using a menstrual cup when you’re in a public bathroom or don’t have access to a sink? 

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This content was originally written on 1/15/2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Menstrual cups for teenagers: a guide for teens and parents

Menstrual cups for teenagers: a guide for teens and parents

If you’re a teen — or the parent of a teen — and you’re curious about menstrual cups, we’re glad you’re here! At Pixie Cup, a big part of our mission is empowering women to live free, and we believe menstrual cups help make that happen in so many ways.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: periods are a completely normal part of life, and nothing to be ashamed of. But, we get it — they can be messy and inconvenient. That’s where menstrual cups come in! A menstrual cup can provide 12 hours of leak-free period protection. And, one menstrual cup can last up to 10 years! That means no more messy pads that feel like diapers, no more sitting on the sidelines while your friends are having fun at the pool, and no more starting your period only to discover you’re out of tampons. Our brand-new Pixie Cup Teen was designed in collaboration with teens to give you the perfect fit, so you can own your period now

teen menstrual cup

If you have questions about menstrual cups, you’ve come to the right place!

Can teens use a menstrual cup?

Teens can absolutely use a menstrual cup! There is no reason anyone who menstruates can’t use a menstrual cup. In fact, learning to use a menstrual cup as soon as your first period can make your period life much easier and a more positive experience.

Is a menstrual cup good for teens? 

Menstrual cups are great for teens. Imagine … no worrying about leaks. No rushing to the bathroom between classes to change a pad or tampon. No worrying about how to deal with your period when you’re at the pool or away at summer camp. Plus, using a cup can help you better understand your body and your cycle, and many menstrual cup users report additional benefits, such as shorter periods and less cramping. Who wouldn’t want that?

Can you use a menstrual cup on your first period?

Yes, you can use a menstrual cup on your first period. As long as you are comfortable with the idea of inserting and removing a cup, there is no reason you can’t use one right from the start!

What is the smallest menstrual cup? 

We designed our Pixie Teen Cup to be our smallest cup. It holds 18ml of fluid, which is approximately the capacity of two tampons. It’s slightly firmer than our Classic Pixie Cups, which can help make it easier to make your menstrual cup pop open. It’s also great for anyone with a lighter flow or a low cervix, or menstrual cup beginners of any age!

But what about …

We often hear from teens (and parents) who have concerns about using a menstrual cup. Below are some of the questions we hear most often. Don’t see your question listed? Contact us and let us know! 

Will a menstrual cup make me lose my virginity? 

No, a menstrual cup will not take away your virginity. By definition, a virgin is someone who has never had sex. Internal products like tampons or menstrual cups don’t change that. But this is such a common question, we have an entire blog post on the subject! Visit Can a virgin use a menstrual cup? to learn more. 

How do you clean a menstrual cup in a public restroom? 

Cleaning a menstrual cup at school or any other place with a public restroom takes a little extra planning, but it can be done! Our Pixie Wipes and Sterilizing Container were made for exactly this purpose.

Keep in mind that menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, so you may not need to remove it and clean it while you’re at school. But in some cases — for example if you have a very heavy flow — you may find yourself in a situation where you have to clean your cup while you’re away from home. Learn everything you need to know about cleaning a menstrual cup in a public restroom here.

Can menstrual cups cause toxic shock syndrome? 

A lot of girls are hesitant to use tampons because of their association with toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a complication caused by a bacterial infection, and it can actually happen to anyone — not just menstruating girls and women. TSS is often linked to tampons because inserting a tampon can cause minor abrasions in the vagina, which can allow bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. 

Our menstrual cups are made with medical-grade silicone, and are extremely gentle. Use of a menstrual cup does not cause vaginal abrasions or dryness. While a few cases of TSS have been linked to menstrual cup use, it is extremely rare. With proper use and cleaning, menstrual cups are extremely safe. Learn more about menstrual cups and the risk of TSS

Can I swim with a menstrual cup? 

One of the worst things about managing your period during the summer is figuring out what to do about activities such as swimming and other water sports. A lot of people think that unless you wear tampons, you’re out of luck. But a menstrual cup is the perfect solution! Once you get the hang of inserting your cup, it should not leak, and you can safely wear it in the water. Learn more about swimming with a menstrual cup

Before you try a menstrual cup …

With that out of the way, let’s talk details. How do you actually use this thing anyway? Here are our top five tips for menstrual cup success!

1. Be patient

The first time you try a menstrual cup, you may find yourself laughing a little in slight panic. You’re supposed to put that there? Don’t worry, we promise it will fit! Be patient with yourself and give your body some time to get used to this new thing you’re trying. It’s totally normal for it to take a few cycles before you’re perfectly comfortable inserting and removing your cup. If it all seems a little weird at first, you are definitely not alone! Although using a cup can take a little practice, it’s definitely worth it, so don’t give up! 

Check out Jaleia Christine’s advice for new cup users.

2. Use lubricant

A little lubricant can make all the difference when inserting a menstrual cup. Our Pixie Cup Lube is the only lubricant on the market designed specifically for menstrual cups! It’s a water-based and fragrance-free formula that’s safe for your sensitive skin. Just squeeze a tiny bit onto the rim of your cup for a smooth and hassle-free insertion. 

3. Find your favorite fold

There are many different ways to fold a menstrual cup, and everyone has a favorite! The punch-down fold is popular because it creates a small insertion point. Once the cup is folded, the point of insertion is no bigger than a regular tampon. Check out our post on menstrual cup folds, and try a few different methods until you find one that works best for you. 

4. Do a practice run

You may find it helpful to practice inserting your cup before you actually need to use it. Pick a time when you can have the bathroom to yourself and you won’t be interrupted. Wash your cup, grab your lube … and relax. If you’re feeling nervous or anxious, it can make your muscles tense up, which will make inserting your cup harder. Practice inserting your cup and checking to see that it’s fully open. There should be no folds when you run your finger around the outside of the cup. When the cup is inserted properly, you shouldn’t even feel it. Practice removing your cup by gently breaking the seal and wiggling it out (don’t just pull on it).  

5. Use a backup

It’s totally normal to experience some leaking as you get used to using a menstrual cup, especially during the first few cycles. If you see some leaks, don’t panic! Wear a pantyliner (we like our reusable Pixie Pads) or some period underwear as a backup. After a few months, you may not need to use a backup anymore, or you can continue using one for additional peace of mind, especially if you have a heavy flow. 

Advice for parents

If you’re researching options for your teen or preteen daughter, you probably have a lot of questions. Between cups, discs, reusable pads, and period underwear, there are a lot more options for menstrual management than you probably had when you were younger! And while menstrual cups are a perfectly safe option for young girls, we understand not everyone is comfortable using internal menstrual products. 

Some tips for helping your daughter start her period life with freedom and confidence:

  • Make sure she understands her options. Help her research, but let her choose which products she wants to use. Remember it’s her body, and she should be comfortable with whatever products she chooses. 
  • Don’t push her to use internal menstrual products if she isn’t ready. Sometimes girls just need some time to get used to the idea. We’ve seen many girls who gradually came around to the idea of a menstrual cup simply because they were tired of not being able to participate in swimming and other activities while on their period. 
  • Don’t limit your daughter’s access to menstrual hygiene products simply because of her age. It’s not uncommon for girls to get their first period as young as 10. That may seem young to start using a menstrual cup (especially if you remember being hesitant to use tampons as a teen!). But it’s more a question of maturity rather than age. Some young girls may be mature enough to use a cup. If she feels like she’s ready to use a cup, be supportive. Help her learn and understand how to use and care for a cup properly. 
  • Make cups a part of her daily routine. One of the great things about cups is that they can be worn for up to 12 hours. That means unless your daughter’s flow is very heavy, she likely won’t have to worry about changing her cup while at school. Make using her cup part of her morning and evening routine — have her set a timer on her phone so she doesn’t forget to take it out and clean it. 

As a mom of teens / tweens, I don’t want my girls using any menstrual products that contain harmful chemicals. I talked to my girls about menstrual cups very early and helped them learn how to use them. They love the freedom that cups provide, and I love that they aren’t using tampons made with pesticide or bleach.

– Candace

Menstrual cups can be a little intimidating at first, but like anything else, they get easier with practice! Our online store has everything you need to experience period freedom. And as always, we are here to help! If you have additional questions, drop a comment below or contact us.

“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 menstrual cup removal stress, 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 for menstrual cup removal

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

For proper menstrual cup removal, 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 having menstrual cup removal issues?

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. We also created this cervix ruler to help you feel more confident in your decision and knowing your body!

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.

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

How to make your menstrual cup pop open

How to make your menstrual cup pop open

Is your menstrual cup leaking or not popping open? Menstrual cups make life 1000% percent easier when you’re on your period, but figuring out how to use them can take a little time. The #1 secret to a leak-free period with a menstrual cup? Making your menstrual cup pop open.

If you are lazy, here is a short video for you!

Getting your menstrual cup to pop open correctly will allow it to form a tight seal so that you won’t experience any unwanted leaking. Today, we’re going to share some helpful tips to make sure your cup opens up perfectly every time.

While the cup itself is designed to be leak-free, it can take a few tries to get comfortable using and inserting it. We recommend that you practice at home first (rather than in a public restroom) so you can learn the perfect cup technique that works for you. You may even want to practice inserting your cup when you don’t have your period. If you do, don’t leave the cup in — just get familiar with how it feels when it’s inserted properly and forming a seal, and then remove the cup.

Why won’t my menstrual cup pop open?

There are a few different factors that could be preventing your cup from fully opening. It could simply be a matter of finding a fold that works well for you, or you could actually need a different cup.

First, grab some lube

If you aren’t already using lube when inserting your cup, this is a must! Our Pixie Lube is designed specifically to provide a smooth insertion and a good seal for your menstrual cup. Not only does it make inserting your cup easier, it will help you position your cup correctly so that it can form a seal and prevent leaks. For many cup users, using a little bit of lube is all it takes to get their cup to pop right into place.

Lexie

This product made my cup pop right in! I was having trouble getting my cup in … This works like a charm.

3 easy steps to make your menstrual cup pop open

Now, let’s make sure you’re inserting the cup properly. Before inserting your cup, always wash your hands thoroughly. And, try to relax! This process can feel intimidating to new cup users, but if you’re feeling tense, it will make inserting your cup harder. So take a few deep breaths and remember, while learning how to use a menstrual cup can be a little uncomfortable at first, it should never be painful, and the cup can’t get lost inside you. So there’s nothing to worry about!

  1. Use the C-fold for insertion

    The C-fold is a simple fold that you can do with one hand, and that allows the cup to pop open easily.

    how to make your menstrual cup pop open

  2. Run a finger around the rim

    After your cup is fully inserted, run a clean finger around the rim of the cup (the top). As you do, you may feel some folds or indentations.

  3. Grab the base and twist

    If you feel folds, grab the base of the cup and gently twist the cup in a circular motion. Turn the cup one full rotation. This will help it pop open and form a seal.

That’s it! For most people, following these steps will allow their cup to pop open properly and provide leak-free protection!

Why is my cup still leaking?

If you’ve tried these steps and your cup is still leaking, there are a few possible reasons:

  1. Your cup could be the wrong size. If your cup slides up or down a lot during the day (a little movement is totally normal… we’re talking a LOT of movement) you might have the wrong cup size. Pixie Cup is available in two different styles and three sizes, so we have options for just about everyone!

Take our quiz to find out which Pixie Cup is right for you!

Which Pixie Cup is right for you?

How do you know which menstrual cup is right for you? Everyone is different, so we’ve created several different versions of our Pixie Cup! Your flow, cervix position, and activity level can all affect the fit and feel of your cup.

Our 8-question quiz will help you determine which cup best suits your body and your lifestyle! Take our cup quiz to find your perfect fit and get a special discount!

  1. Your menstrual flow could be heavier than your cup can handle. We designed the Pixie Cup in a bell shape to capture as much fluid as possible — more than several tampons. But, if you have an especially heavy period, you may need to empty your cup more often. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of emptying your cup every few hours, try our XL Pixie Cup! No matter what size you wear, make sure you empty and clean your cup at least every 12 hours to keep it clean and sanitary.
  2. You might have a tilted cervix. If you have a tilted cervix, and your cup isn’t properly aligned, your menstrual flow might run along the vaginal wall, missing the rim of your cup completely. If this is the case, try wearing your cup lower. You may also want to try our Pixie Cup Slim, which was specially designed for people with a tilted or low cervix.
  3. You may need a cup made with a firmer material. Some people find that it’s easier to get their cup to pop open when they use one that’s slightly more rigid. If you’re using a cup that’s very soft and flexible, try one that’s more firm, such as our original Pixie Cup.

Menstrual cups take a little bit of practice, but don’t let that scare you. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone uses a slightly different technique. Before long, you’ll figure out which folds and tricks work for your body. Once you’re comfortable using a cup, you’ll never go back to pads and tampons!

Did our tips work for you? If so, drop a comment below to let us know!

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This content was originally written on December 16, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

8 menstrual cups tricks for newbies

8 menstrual cups tricks for newbies

Haven’t you heard? Menstrual cups are awesome. [I know we’re sorta biased, but it’s true!] If you’re thinking about making the switch, you’re in the right spot. We’re about living that free life! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned user, we have 8 menstrual cup tricks that may help when you’re stumped! 

holding menstrual cup

What is a menstrual cup?

For the uninitiated, menstrual cups (also known as period cups) are flexible bell-shaped devices that you insert into your vagina to catch your menstrual fluid. Typically made from medical grade silicone, you can actually safely wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours then you can empty out however often it is necessary based on the heaviness of your flow. 

What are some menstrual cup tricks?

If you’re new to menstrual cups, these are tips and tricks we would tell our BFFs if they were about to try a period cup for the first time. You’ve got this!

  1. Read the instructions! You may be looking at this egg-shaped cup wondering how hard it could actually be. Good news: it’s not hard, you’ll just feel more confident once you pull out the instruction packet and have a good read. 
  2. Relax! This is incredibly important. If you’re tense, your muscles throughout your body will be tense too. Your pelvic muscles respond to stress very easily. Inserting a menstrual cup if you’re freaked out or worried will be no fun! Try inserting on a day that you don’t have your period. Don’t leave it in long-term, but insert, stand up and walk around so you can see if you got the knack of it. You should never feel your menstrual cup if it’s in place correctly!
  3. Use lube! Whether you’re on your period or not, if you’re dry down there, it’s going to make inserting a menstrual cup uncomfortable. Everything is just easier when it glides smoothly, right? We have our Pixie Cup Lube that is designed specifically for your menstrual cup and for your vagina. 
  4. Figure out the folds! There are three popular (and easy) folds. Figure out which one works with you the very best. You should hear or feel the menstrual cup pop open once you release it in your vagina. 
  5. Wait for the pop! Depending on what fold you choose, you should feel the pop of your menstrual cup springing open! This is absolutely crucial. This magical pop is the only thing standing in the way of a carefree period day or one of horror films. Just kidding… but close. Making sure your period cup pops open is vital to creating a seal and keeping your day leak-free.
  6. Empty your menstrual cup in the shower! Whether you shower at night or in the morning, this is a great period hack. You don’t have to worry about a crazy mess because everything washes down the drain. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash because it’s gentle on your period cup and on you! 
  7. Pinch don’t pull! So, if your menstrual cup is working and kicking period woes like it should be, then it’s going to have created a really tight seal keeping it leak-free. If you try to pull your period out at this point, you’ll basically get nowhere and place unneeded pressure on your cervix and pelvic muscles. Be sure to break the seal! Do this by pinching the base of your menstrual cup or by sliding a finger up the side. You should feel the release or hear the sound of air escaping. 
  8. Size does matter! We’re all shaped differently and one menstrual cup doesn’t fit all. Thankfully there are several sizes and styles. Here at Pixie Cup we have our small, large and extra large menstrual cups depending on your flow or if you’ve had babies via vaginal birth. Our Pixie Cup Slim is specifically designed for women with a low cervix. If you are questioning what size menstrual cup is best for you or how to measure your cervix, we’ve got all the information you need. We even created this handy cervix ruler just for you.

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menstrual cup for beginners

You’ve got this!

Being nervous switching from something you know well like a pad or tampon to something entirely new can be nerve-wracking! We totally get that. Everyone has those beginning fears. Check out our store for all the menstrual cup styles and sizes. Let us know how we can help. We’d love to chat with you!

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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.