Can I go to the bathroom with a menstrual cup?

Can I go to the bathroom with a menstrual cup?

Being a menstrual company, we are all about periods all the time. We also get asked a lot of questions regarding female anatomy, menstrual cups and functioning while on your period. A common one is if you are able to poop and pee with a menstrual cup. The short answer is ‘yes!’ Keep reading for the reasons why. 

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Can I go pee with a menstrual cup? 

Yes! It depends on your unique anatomy, whether or not you may have to do some adjusting to your menstrual cup before or after going to the bathroom. Both urinating and having a bowel movement while wearing your menstrual cup is possible! You’ll figure out what works best for you.

But first… 

Women have two front openings.

The urethra. This is the first opening in the female anatomy. It’s just above the vaginal opening and its job is releasing urine. 

The vaginal opening. Bingo! It’s the vagina! 

Going pee with a menstrual cup is easy-peasy. If your period cup is positioned properly, you shouldn’t feel it at all. If it has fallen lower in the vaginal canal, it can push against the vaginal wall, creating pressure against your urethra, making it feel like you have to pee constantly. It could make it hard for urine to flow freely as well. If you’ve experienced either of these, you know exactly what I’m talking about! If, when you are wearing your menstrual cup, you feel like you constantly have to pee, try squatting or sitting on the toilet and pushing your period cup up further. Another tip from our friends at Put A Cup In It is to opt for a softer cup! Our Pixie Cup Slim is our softest, most pliable cup yet. 

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Can I go poop with a menstrual cup?

Some women prefer to remove their menstrual cup before having a bowel movement. A common concern is pushing the menstrual cup out while you’re pooping. We all have the less-than-ideal image in our minds of fishing a period cup from the toilet bowl. We get it! You’ll figure out what is best for you and your body, but we recommend removing your menstrual cup prior to having a bowel movement to free your mind. If you choose to leave it in, just know you more than likely will have to adjust its positioning once you’re through. So much is happening in our bodies during our periods. We’re basically rock stars. Did you know that you actually have to poop more when you’re on your period? If you’ve ever thought that, then no, you aren’t going crazy!

Do menstrual cups cause urinary tract infections?

There haven’t been studies done on this specific question but it’s thought that a period cup directly doesn’t cause UTIs, however, our hygiene and use of them may. As we mentioned above, having your period cup positioned properly really will make or break your experience! If you feel like your urine stream is confined when going pee with a menstrual cup, it could stop your bladder from being able to empty fully. UTIs are caused also by bacteria and it’s extremely possible for these germs to be on your hands when you insert your menstrual cup. It’s very important to make sure your hands are cleaned before and after insertion and that you are sterilizing your menstrual cup regularly. 

Largely, the issues mentioned above can be remedied with cleanliness and what size and style menstrual cup we choose! Good news, right? See our online store for different cup styles and several methods of sterilizing — which one fits your life best? Let us know!

Can you fertilize your plants with period blood?

Can you fertilize your plants with period blood?

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. 

menstrual cup

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

HOW TO:

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. 

menstrual cup and plants

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.

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Using your menstrual cup postpartum

Using your menstrual cup postpartum

Pregnancy can be a mixed bag, right? Some of us love it, some of us hate it. Regardless, it’s an incredible journey and one of the perks is having a 9+ month break from our periods! Postpartum is often referred to as the 4th trimester of pregnancy and for good reason! It’s definitely a second leg of the journey. We’re talking about adjusting to after-birth and using a menstrual cup postpartum. 

postpartum menstrual cup

Postpartum bleeding: what can I expect?

Postpartum bleeding is a mixture of blood and debris from the uterine lining. It looks like a period but it’s not the same thing. To distinguish them, the bleeding after birth is referred to as “lochia.”  Here’s what to expect the first six weeks after delivery.

  • The first 2 to 4 days after birth: Bleeding is very abundant and bright red. You’ll basically be wearing a diaper during this time. There may also be blood clots, but if they are as big as a golf ball, you need to seek medical advice.
  • From the 4th day and for the next one to two weeks: the loss of blood diminishes and the lochia becomes pink, sometimes brown.
  • Around the 3rd week post-partum and for the next 3-4 days: Bleeding regains intensity, which is due to the pregnancy hormones falling. But it’s nothing at all to do with your period because your menstrual cycle has not yet resumed.
  • Until 6 weeks after childbirth: Lochia is light yellow or white. It should smell similar to a period.

Lochia is present strongly for the first 6 weeks postpartum. If you are breastfeeding, you will feel your uterus contract and it will help shorten the length of your postpartum bleeding!

Can I use a menstrual cup postpartum?

The short answer to that is no. Your healthcare provider will strongly urge you to not put anything in your vaginal canal for the first 6 weeks after delivery. Nobody is created equal, and you may notice that your period returns relatively quickly after giving birth. Sometimes it stays away for months! A menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to 12 hours without changing it. You’re a new mom, you don’t have time to change a tampon! 😉

Everybody is different and the time it takes to heal from a vaginal birth varies from person to person. Consult your doctor before the use of your menstrual cup or any other internal feminine hygiene products.

What menstrual cup size do I need postpartum?

If you gave birth via c-section, you most likely won’t need to change menstrual cup sizes at all! If you gave birth vaginally, your doctor will give you instructions on how to strengthen your pelvic floor to help your vagina and uterus go back into place. Chances are, you’ll still be able to use your original Pixie Cup! We do have three sizes, so if you feel like sizing up is best, try our large or x-large.

Does my cervix change after giving birth?

You bet. Your cervix was basically the quarterback player during your birth process. It enabled you to safely push and birth your baby. Everything about your cervix changed during birth and it will take some time for it to go back to normal. After giving birth, you may become more aware of your cervix height and even if you have a tipped/tilted uterus! Your cervix never really gets a break and is constantly moving through our cycles. If you find that after pregnancy, your cervix is low during menstruation, you may want to try our Pixie Cup Slim. It’s designed to sit low in the vaginal canal and is a favorite among gals with a low cervix or tipped uterus

menstrual cup

Can I have an IUD inserted right after giving birth?

Yes! An IUD can be inserted after the placenta has been delivered. The average woman experiences abnormal bleeding after having an IUD inserted. If you choose a hormonal IUD, your bleeding will potentially start right away. The good news is that if you have it inserted right after birth, the IUD bleeding will happen right along with your postpartum bleeding. If bleeding exceeds the 6-week postpartum healing, consult your doctor. This discharge could be due to the hormonal IUD. A menstrual cup would be a very convenient solution to dealing with this extra discharge after the first six weeks. We recently talked all about IUDs and menstrual cups! If you choose a non-hormonal IUD, one common side effect is heavy periods. Take a break from changing tampons and give a menstrual cup a try! You won’t even notice that heavy menstrual bleeding! 😉 

Giving birth comes with so many decisions. Birth control, period management, birth plan, breastfeeding. You name it! Your body is doing a lot of changing and is trying to get back to normal after a 9-month pregnancy and that can be a rollercoaster! Be patient with yourself. Seek support. You’re a rockstar.

Are you interested in switching to a menstrual cup? Please let us know if you have any questions. We would love to help you decide which cup is best for you. Now or after a baby!

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7 ways to get better sleep on your period

7 ways to get better sleep on your period

Getting good sleep on your period is crucial to your mental and physical well-being during this time. There is so much happening in our bodies during menstruation and there are all sorts of reasons why sleep could be difficult any night of the month but today we’re chatting about how to get better sleep on your period.  sleeping on your period

What happens to your body during your period?

Menstrual cycles last from 25 to 35 days, with an average of 28 days for the average women. Fluctuation in four key hormones mark phases of the cycle and account for many of the symptoms we experience. A cycle begins on the first day of menstrual flow when levels of estrogen and progesterone are low. During the follicular phase (days 2-13), estrogen rises, leading to ovulation (day 14). The post-ovulation luteal phase (days 15-28) sees an increase in progesterone before hormone levels drop and a new cycle begins with the start of menstruation. 

Why can’t I sleep on my period?

It’s one of the great ironies of menstruation! The same thing that makes you so tired during the day can make it tough to sleep at night. With the fluctuation of hormones during your menstruation phase, it can do a number of things to our body. Some women report a peak in anxiety which causes our minds to race and worry.  Other gals talk about the ups and downs of body temperature, making getting comfortable feel impossible!

7 ways to get better sleep on your period

Sleep in the fetal position. If you’re normally a back or stomach sleeper, try rolling to your side and tucking in your arms and legs. This position takes the pressure off your abdominal muscles and can relieve tension that can make cramping worse! Keep your bedroom cool. Hormones that elevate your body temperature during parts of your cycle might make falling asleep difficult. Keep your bedroom between 60-68 degrees for a cool sleeping climate. Studies show that under cooler temperatures, our sleep-inducing hormone melatonin jumps which will aid in falling asleep and staying asleep. Keep to a schedule. When you go to bed at a similar time each night, including weekends, you give your body ample opportunity to anticipate and prepare for sleep. You will feel sleepy and wakeful at the same times each day! Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and your body is less likely to be thrown out of whack by menstrual symptoms. Reduce screen time. So much research is coming out about screen time, blue light and how it affects our minds. A lot of phones these days have a “night mode” or “dimming timer” that you can set to change every day. It transforms the backlight from a blue tone to a yellow or golden tone. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin which can make falling asleep difficult or not allow you to fall into a deeper level of sleep.  Do some journaling. Journaling is powerful! Writing your thoughts down enables you to see them, acknowledge them and then give your mind a rest. You’re not laying there having these things circle your mind if you can tell yourself they are now written down on paper. Sort of like making a grocery list. You make the list and then you purposely allow yourself to forget what you need because it’s written down! Relieving anxiety and quieting a busy mind will help you sleep on your period. Tracking your period is important too. You’re able to see patterns and know what to expect month-to-month. Yoga. Yoga has been used for centuries as a means of controlling your body, bringing it back to a grounded state of mind and to help with things like anxiety. Setting aside even 30 minutes just before bed to roll out the mat could be incredibly helpful! There are poses that are suggested to help with sleep as well as a few key ones to help with any period cramping. Heat therapy. If you experience cramps or lower back pain, try a warm water bottle or a timed heating pad. This will allow muscles to relax and ease up on cramping.  menstrual cup for sleeping

How do I stop leaking when I sleep on my period? 

If you’re a tampon user, definitely check the absorbance level of the tampon or consider sizing up on your heavy days when you know you’ll be sleeping for 7+ hours. Another idea would be to switch to a menstrual cup! Menstrual cups are a cup-shaped device made from medical-grade silicone. It’s soft so that it molds to fit your body and is designed to safely hold menstrual blood for up to 12 hours. Popping in a menstrual cup before bed is sure to help take away the worry. We have plenty of tips on how to stop any potential leaks
   If you’re interested in trying a menstrual cup to help with sleep on your period, head over to our store! Be sure to use pixieblog15 at check out for 15% off your order! shop now banner
Earth Day 2020: 15 Earth-Friendly Products That Make Switching Easy

Earth Day 2020: 15 Earth-Friendly Products That Make Switching Easy

We’re all starting to become a little more conscious of and concerned about our ecological footprint. Which is awesome, right? Also, with the rise of COVID-19 we’re all realizing the importance of sustainability. Making last-minute grocery runs or being able to count on some of our staples isn’t realistic during this time. In honor of Earth Day’s 50th birthday, we’re compiling a list of 15 earth-loving + sustainable items members of our team have come to love. earth day swaps

What is Earth Day? 

The creation of Earth Day was inspired by a unified effort to bring awareness to the ecological shortcomings surrounding our planet at the time. On April 22nd, 1970, 20 million Americans (which was 10% of the nation’s population at the time) took to the streets of college campuses, cities and towns around the country in protest, demanding new actions on how our planet handles waste, trade and things such as oil spills and pollution. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event!

What do you do for Earth Day? 

Celebrating Earth Day can happen in a variety of ways! Some big, some small. Earth Day is supposed to inspire us to make more eco-friendly choices and be more conscious of what we do and use on a daily basis. You could plant a tree or donate to The Canopy Project! Join in a park clean-up crew that day or decide to switch to natural cleaning products. Have you been mulling over going plastic free? Or what about making your own laundry detergent? Maybe one of these suggestions will strike your fancy! We’ve rounded up some of our favorites. 

15 eco-friendly swaps for Earth Day 2020

  1. Glass or metal straws. A simple switch from plastic straws to metal or glass or even this collapsible one is a great place to start! Whether a product is recyclable or not, relies heavily on a market being able to resell the material. Also, there are a lot of straws. Some estimates say that hundreds of millions of straws are thrown out every day in the US alone!
  2. Reusable K Cups. Keurig coffee machines took the world by storm over the last decade. What didn’t happen was finding a way to responsibly dispose of these billions of used K-cups! Keurig machines are awesome for on the go and you do waste less coffee if you are only brewing what you will consume (this equals a win). Switching to a reusable K-Cup is perfect because you’re not throwing away a non-recyclable item and you’re saving money by using your favorite bulk coffee.
  3. Menstrual cup. The idea of how many pads and used tampons end up in the landfill is enough to make your stomach turn! It’s estimated that the average woman will throw away 10+ thousand tampons during her menstruating lifetime. A menstrual cup is a small cup shaped device made out of medical-grade silicone. It collects menstrual blood safely and can be emptied every 12 hours and get this: it lasts for up to 10 years! So instead of buying 10,000 tampons you could actually only buy 4 or 5 menstrual cups over your lifetime. Be sure to purchase a reusable vessel to sterilize your period cup in too! menstrual cup
  4. Beeswax Wrap. Want to save on all that single-use plastic wrap? Beeswax wraps are an eco-friendly swap. They can be purchased anywhere these days, including Etsy. Making your own is also a fun project with fabric odds and ends!
  5. Cloth coffee filter. Do you have a pour over coffee pot? Or a Chemex? A reusable filter is the perfect swap! We found this cloth filter and love it. It’s made by a family-owned and operated business. They’re pretty cool. 
  6. Start Composting. If you have a backyard available to you, composting is easy. If you love to garden, composting is a no brainer! Finding a compost container is ideal so that it can be rotated especially if you plan to use it in a garden. (this is a great item to look for on second-hand sites) You can buy neat + tidy bins for your counter top in almost any decor theme you can imagine.  
  7. Ditch paper towels + napkins. It would shock you to know how much paper waste comes from a one-family household. It’s figured that 4.51lbs is generated each day, per person. And 25% of that is disposable paper. Crazy, right? Keep an eye out at the thrift store for cloth napkins and buy some really absorbent towels like these
  8. Reef-safe sunscreen. Recent reports are saying that two common ingredients in sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate, can be harmful to aquatic life. Are you swimming in the ocean, lake or river primarily? Choose a reef-safe sunscreen!
  9. Reusable jars. Are you wanting to make the switch from plastic food storage to glass? The price can sometimes be a deterrent. Our team loves to save our pasta sauce jars, pickle jars and jam jars! Wash them, soak them to remove the label and viola! You’ll be amazed at the stash you could build and realize what you would have gotten rid of. 
  10. Reusable Q-Tip. Like the straws we talked about earlier, Q-Tips are small, get lost in all the waste a household makes and cannot be recycled. Reusable options have risen in popularity and they are pretty cool. Can’t stomach the idea of washing a Q-Tip? Check out these biodegradable ones
  11. Make your own vegetable broth. This saves money + reduces waste! Whenever you’re chopping veggies, instead of throwing away the ends, nubs and skins, save them in a bag or container. Pop the container in the freezer and keep them there. Continue collecting scraps and putting them in the freezer container. You’ll be surprised how much you end up with at the end of the month! Boil it all down and make a hearty broth.
  12. Compostable toothbrush. Absolutely nothing about the standard toothbrush is recyclable. 100% of the time it ends up in a landfill. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is easy with all the styles and options available to you! 
  13. Solid shampoo. If you’re unfamiliar with this, it’s basically a bar of soap but it’s shampoo designed to be used on your hair. Shampoo bars have gained popularity with the #plasticfree movement. Likewise, you can also find conditioners
  14. Switch to a bidet. Toilet paper was a commodity we didn’t think twice about, right? Living this COVID-19 life has us all grasping for the bare necessities. Combine a bidet with Toilet UnPaper and you’re 100% self-sufficient. If you have old t-shirts, washcloths or towels, you could also cut those into squares and use them too! (double eco win!)
  15. Dryer sheet alternatives. If you’re steering clear of all things disposable, don’t forget about the little sheets that get thrown in the dryer! Wool dryer balls have been a favorite but if you have an allergy to wool or prefer a vegan option, these are great too.  

If you were to pick even one of these swaps in celebration of Earth Day, that would be a big step! Hopefully, we made the decision a little easier. How are you switching to a more sustainable life? We would love to know! If you’ve ever contemplated switching to a menstrual cup, now is the time! Head over to our website for 10% off your first purchase with us!