It’s officially back to school time! Along with the craziness of starting the third academic year to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re headed to college, you need to make sure you have all the essentials for a super cozy and aesthetically pleasing dorm room.
Along with your plush pillows, mini succulents, and fairy lights, don’t forget to grab some eco-friendly dorm essentials that will help you reduce waste and save money. Because goodness knows this planet has enough trash, and a college student’s wallet can always use a break.
Check out these super easy ways and budget-friendly ways to make your dorm room an inviting and eco-friendly space!
The ultimate eco-friendly college dorm essentials list
Chemex Coffee Maker
Aside from looking so dang cool on your counter, this coffee maker is 100% waste free! Made entirely out of glass, wood, and leather, this coffee maker also makes an unbelievably delicious cup of coffee that will help you survive those late study nights.
Chemex Reusable Coffee Filters
Did you know that you can reuse coffee filters? We love the organic cotton coffee filters from CoffeeSock, which fit perfectly in the Chemex coffee maker, but you can find all different types online. This is a super easy way to save waste every morning. Plus, if you save the coffee grounds to use as compost… it’s a double win!
Wool Dryer Balls
Replace disposable dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. These little items are like magic! They bounce around in your dryer and help your clothes dry faster by separating them from each other. And if you spray them with a little water, they can reduce static. Because they help your clothes dry faster, they cut down on dryer time, which also saves electricity.
Pixie Menstrual Cup
If you really want to reduce waste in your life, try cutting out disposable period products. Each woman uses approximately 10,000 tampons in her lifetime… and that’s not even counting pads and panty liners. One reusable Pixie Cup lasts up to 10 years. Plus, you can wear it up to 12 hours at a time. No more stuffing your bag with tampons before you leave for class! Shop Pixie Cups.
Pixie Menstrual Cup Steamer
This handy steamer will get your menstrual cup sparkling clean in just three minutes. Just add water! It’s the perfect option for a dorm room where you may not be able to boil your cup after each cycle. (Plus, who wants their menstrual cup on full display in a shared kitchen?) Shop steamers.
Whether you want to wear a backup method with your menstrual cup, or you just prefer pads, reusable pads give you another way to manage your period in an eco-friendly way. Pixie Pads are made with organic cotton and are super soft and comfortable. Simply wash and reuse — no more emergency drug store runs for that time of the month! Shop Pixie Pads.
It’s all too tempting to grab a set of plastic silverware when you have to eat out on the go. This handy little bamboo utensils set is perfect to use in your dorm room, keep in the car, or take on the go!
Forget buying stacks of textbooks for those general education classes that you know you’ll never use again! Instead, you can save paper and purchase or rent the books on an e-reader! Plus, it’s super handy to have when you’re traveling home for Christmas break and need a book to read on the flight! Shop Kindles on Amazon.
Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag
Sandwich bags are discarded by the millions every day! It’s so simple and easy to use a silicone sandwich bag that you can reuse every day and save hundreds of bags from landfills. Imagine how much waste would be saved if everyone took just this one simple step!
Collapsible Water Bottle
We get it… not everyone wants to drag a gigantic water bottle around wherever they go. That’s when a collapsible water bottle is a perfect choice — when collapsed, it can fit inside your backpack and then you can just expand it when you need to fill it up!
Plastic straw bans are spreading. Help keep straws out of the ocean by keeping a reusable straw in your bag and pulling it out when you grab a drink!
You’re curled up in a corner of the library with a copy of The Notebook… chances are you’re gonna be looking for a tissue to wipe that tear or two. We’re taking you back to the 1900s with this one, but it doesn’t do any harm to keep a hankie in your purse for emergencies and save the tissues from heading straight into the trash. We love these organic cotton HankyBooks!
Reusable Cotton Facial Rounds
It’s super easy to make this switch! Reusable facial rounds are soft and gentle on your skin, and can be used with your favorite makeup remover or toner! All you have to do is drop them into the wash after each use and they’re as good as new! Some brands are even compostable once you’ve worn them out.
Reusable Beverage Cup
When you make your daily Starbucks run, bring along a reusable cup for your cold brew. It doesn’t slow down the process at all, and it saves a huge amount of trash each day. Tip: keep your cup clean. Baristas don’t like it when customer bring in icky mugs!
We hope this post was helpful to you as you find new ways to save waste in your daily life. If you are looking for more ways to reduce waste every day, check out our blog post about creating a zero waste bathroom.
What are some steps you take to reduce waste in your life? Do you have suggestions for other products? Let us know in the comments!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the questions we hear quite often from women all over the world is, “can a virgin use a menstrual cup?”
The short answer is, yes! You can start using a menstrual cup as soon as you get your period, no matter how old you are or whether or not you’ve had sex.
That said, we understand that many people who are virgins often have concerns about using a menstrual cup or other menstrual products designed to be worn inside the vagina. So don’t feel alone if you’re hesitant about using a menstrual cup as a virgin!
Let’s take a closer look at the concept of virginity and some of the questions we receive about using a menstrual cup as a virgin.
Understanding the concept of virginity
To start with, let’s make sure we have a shared understanding of what it means to be a virgin. By definition, a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. Conversations about virginity often refer to the hymen — a small piece of skin inside the opening of the vagina. The hymen is a very misunderstood part of the body. Many cultures view the hymen as an indication of virginity and believe that it remains “intact” until a person has sexual intercourse.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the hymen doesn’t fully cover the vagina, and it doesn’t break or “pop.” The hymen naturally stretches and wears down over time, and may become stretched long before your first sexual experience. As you may know, many different activities can stretch the hymen, such as bike riding, yoga, dancing, or gymnastics. Some women are even born without hymens. So it’s important to not place too much significance on the state of your hymen.
Will a menstrual cup take away your virginity?
Your virginity is not based on a thin piece of skin, it is a simple fact about your life experience. You are a virgin if you have not had sexual intercourse, and that doesn’t change if you use a menstrual product such as a menstrual cup or a tampon. Using a menstrual cup doesn’t take away your virginity, and it does not say anything about your value as a person.
For some people, and in many cultures, virginity is an important concept. Some people may feel like they can’t use the menstrual products they want because they are afraid it will take away their virginity, or that they will be judged for using these types of products. Women all over the world struggle with the question of whether or not it is acceptable in their religion or culture to use a menstrual cup.
We deeply desire for each woman to have the freedom and the right to use a menstrual cup and experience the joy and ease that it can bring to her life. We need to be the voice that tells the world that the value of a woman is not determined by the state of her hymen, but by the existence of her soul.
Does using a menstrual cup break the hymen?
As mentioned above, the hymen doesn’t actually break; it stretches. And yes, using a menstrual cup can stretch the hymen. But again, the hymen can be stretched by all sorts of activities, including something as simple as riding a bike. The cup won’t stretch your vaginal canal itself, but it may stretch your hymen.
Are menstrual cups hard to use for a virgin?
Menstrual cups take a little getting used to for anyone. So, don’t get discouraged if it all seems confusing! We’ve noticed two things that could cause someone to experience difficulty using a menstrual cup as a virgin: your own level of comfort, and your flexibility.
Your level of comfort
Using a menstrual cup requires getting up close and personal with your body. You’ll need to assess your own mind and see if you feel comfortable with the thought of using an internal period product. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with your vagina and have never used a tampon, getting comfortable with a cup may take a little more time and effort. But we believe it’s worth it! Using a menstrual cup helps many people gain a greater understanding of how their bodies work, which can be incredibly empowering.
Take it slow and give yourself some grace to figure it out. It often takes people a few cycles to really get the hang of it. We believe in you, and we wholeheartedly recommend a menstrual cup to everyone who menstruates because it truly is a life-changer! Imagine 12 hours of leak-free protection and no more worrying about soaking through pads at night! Not to mention swimming, backpacking, and all of your other favorite activities without fear of leaks or stains.
The vaginal muscle of virgins or young girls can be more tense, which may make inserting a menstrual cup more difficult in the beginning. But don’t worry! Your body is stronger and more resilient than you could imagine. Your vaginal canal was created to expand when needed, and then return to its normal state, without stretching out. Otherwise, how could women ever give birth vaginally?
If you’ve never used a tampon or inserted anything into your vaginal canal, it could feel a bit uncomfortable at first. We advise you to start with a smaller cup. We have two small cups: our regular Pixie Cup small, and the Pixie Cup Slim small. What’s the difference? The Slim is a softer and more flexible material, which some people find more comfortable. However, some people prefer the more rigid material of our regular cup because they find that it pops open more easily. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
We also recommend that you start with the punch-down fold. There are different ways to fold your cup so that you can insert it, and your preferred method may change over time. But the punch-down fold is a great one to start with. Place your index finger on the top of the rim and press inwards to the base of the cup, forming a triangle. This gives you a small point of insertion. You may also want to use a little lubricant to help make things a little more comfortable. (We sell a really smooth Pixie Cup Lube that is AMAZING).
If properly inserted, a menstrual cup should not hurt. In fact, most menstrual cup users say that they can’t even feel their cup once it’s in, and they even forget they’re on their period! If your cup hurts or feels uncomfortable, there could be a few different reasons. Your cup may not be inserted properly, or you may need a different size. Try taking your cup out and reinserting it. Make sure you run a finger around the top to check for folds. If you continue to have trouble getting your cup in comfortably, try a different cup or a smaller size. We offer a 100% happiness guarantee, so if your cup doesn’t work for any reason, let us know! We’ll help you find one that does.
Can you practice using a menstrual cup when you’re not on your period?
Yes! You can absolutely practice using your cup before your period starts. In fact, we often recommend this to new cup users. If you practice using your cup when you’re not on your period, you’ll be much less nervous when it comes time to use it. If possible, practice inserting your cup when you’re not feeling rushed and you have some privacy. Because wearing a menstrual cup is not associated with toxic shock syndrome, you can leave it in for a while if you want to see how it feels, but don’t leave it in for longer than 12 hours.
Removing your cup properly is also important. Your cup forms a seal inside the vagina, which you must break before you can remove it. Don’t simply grab the bottom and try to pull it out! Read our menstrual cup instructions for more info. Finally, make sure you always properly clean and sanitize your cup after use, even if you’re just practicing.
Can my cup get stuck up there?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from new cup users. Don’t worry! There’s only so far your cup can go before it hits your cervix. It cannot migrate into your uterus or get lost inside your body. However, there may be times when your cup forms a tight seal up against your cervix, and it’s hard to remove. If that happens, don’t panic! It’s important to always remove your cup correctly by first breaking the seal. Pinching the base of the cup often does the trick, but if that doesn’t work, you can insert one finger alongside the cup and push the rim in. Read our blog on menstrual cup removal tips for more info.
If you’ve ever used a tampon, you’ve probably heard and feared the words toxic shock syndrome, or TSS. Every tampon box contains a warning that wearing a tampon for too long or using the wrong absorbency can increase the risk of this serious health condition.
One of the questions we often hear is, “Can menstrual cups cause TSS?” It’s important for anyone who menstruates to understand what TSS is, why it’s connected to menstrual products, and how to use your menstrual products safely.
What is toxic shock syndrome?
Most people don’t realize that toxic shock syndrome is not strictly associated with menstruation! TSS is a complication caused by a bacterial infection, which can affect anyone. According to WebMD, TSS “can happen to men and women who have been exposed to staph bacteria while recovering from surgery, a burn, an open wound, or the use of a prosthetic device.”
TSS is a medical emergency that can lead to death. If caught early, TSS can be treated, but symptoms often mimic the flu, and those who have TSS may not seek help right away.
What causes TSS?
The main cause of TSS is an overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus, or staph bacteria. Staph bacteria is normally present in the vagina, along with other naturally occurring bacteria, but doesn’t usually cause an infection. In order for an infection such as TSS to occur, two things need to happen. First, the bacteria need an environment that allows them to grow rapidly. Second, the bacteria must then enter the bloodstream.
Menstrual fluid is one such environment in which rapid bacterial growth can occur. If tampons are left in for too long, the bacteria can grow to dangerous levels. This is why tampons — or any menstrual product used internally — should never be left in for longer than recommended.
How do the bacteria then enter the bloodstream? This can happen a few different ways. The insertion or removal of a dry tampon can scrape the inside of the vagina, causing small abrasions that could allow the entrance of bad bacteria into the bloodstream. Using a super-absorbent tampon, especially when your flow is light, can cause vaginal dryness, which can also make small tears more likely.
In the 1970s, a particular brand of super-absorbent tampons was linked to several deaths from TSS. That brand was later taken off the market, but cases of TSS do still occur today. While the number of reported cases of TSS from tampon use has declined considerably since the 1980s, the risk still exists, especially for anyone who uses tampons improperly.
More than one third of TSS cases happen in women under the age of 19, and up to 30% of people who get TSS will get it again.
If you are menstruating and you experience a high fever and vomiting, seek medical help right away, especially if you have been using tampons. If you are using a tampon and you become ill, remove it immediately.
Are menstrual cups dangerous?
Everyone once in a while, a new article pops up claiming that menstrual cups can cause TSS or are otherwise unsafe. However, research overwhelmingly shows that menstrual cups are very safe when used properly. A comprehensive review of 43 different menstrual cup studies found that not only did menstrual cups leak less than pads and tampons, but menstrual cups also posed no increased health risks and had no negative impact on vaginal bacteria.
The study found five reported cases of TSS from menstrual cup use, but it’s unclear whether the cups were used properly.
A 2018 study conducted in France sparked a slew of negative press after claiming that menstrual cups were more likely to increase production of the bacteria that causes TSS. But the study wasn’t actually conducted on humans. The researchers had placed menstrual products inside plastic bags, which is clearly a different environment than inside the vaginal canal.
It’s also important to remember that menstrual cups have been increasing in popularity over the past decade. If menstrual cups were more likely to lead to TSS, we would be hearing of far more reported cases linked to menstrual cup use. That simply hasn’t happened.
Can menstrual cups cause TSS?
The simple answer is yes, menstrual cups can cause TSS if used improperly or left in for too long. The truth is, anything left in the body for too long can encourage the growth of bacteria. If you were to leave your menstrual cup in for an extended period of time (we recommend changing and rinsing your cup every 12 hours), bacteria could begin to grow in the fluid that is trapped inside your cup. If that bacteria is then able to enter your body, that could potentially be very dangerous.
However, in order for that to happen, you would have to leave your cup in for a very long time. Of the known cases of TSS linked to a menstrual cup, at least 2 occurred because the menstrual cup was inserted and not emptied or cleaned for more than 7 days.
TSS with a menstrual cup is unlikely because…
The silicone will not break down or leave pieces behind. Tampons are especially dangerous because pieces of the tampon can break away and get stuck inside the vaginal canal. These tiny fragments can be imperceptible and become a feeding ground for staph bacteria. Your menstrual cup will not break apart and is always removed in its entirety, leaving no particles to feed bacteria.
The menstrual cup is gentle and easy to insert and remove, so it’s not likely to cause tears in the sensitive skin of the vaginal canal.
How can I avoid TSS with a menstrual cup?
First, just your decision to use a menstrual cup in the first place significantly decreases your risk of toxic shock syndrome! That being said, you still need to be careful to make sure your vaginal canal is kept free of bad bacteria overgrowth.
With any menstrual product used internally, the important thing is to follow the instructions, keep it clean, don’t leave it in for longer than recommended, and use a trusted brand.
Follow these tips to stay healthy while using a menstrual cup:
Keep your Pixie Cup clean and sanitized
We can’t stress this enough! Cleaning your menstrual cup properly is probably the most important thing you can learn in your menstrual cup journey.
To keep your cup in the best shape, rinse and wash your cup – preferably with a gentle, natural soap or Pixie Cup Wash – at least once every twelve hours. Make sure you sanitize your cup by boiling or steaming it before and after each cycle.
Empty your Pixie Cup often
We get it… your Pixie Cup is so comfortable that it can be easy to forget you’re wearing it! We are guilty, too! If you know you are prone to forgetting, set a timer on your phone, or leave your Pixie Cup Wash out on the bathroom counter to remind you. It’s important to remove and clean your cup at least twice each day, even on your lighter flow days.
If you can’t get to a bathroom or otherwise can’t remove your cup within 12 hours, don’t freak out! It’s something that’s happened to many menstrual cup users without any harmful effects. Just don’t make a habit out of it!
We hope this blog post helps you feel more comfortable about using menstrual cups safely. If you have any more questions at all, drop them in the comments or send us a message. Our mission is to help every menstruating human live free. We are here to help you achieve success with your menstrual cup… every single time.
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 and vaginal health. 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.
This content was originally written on July 29, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
“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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!