Many women are switching to menstrual cups because not only are they better for the environment, but also for health + wellbeing! Continue reading to learn more about the revolutionary period care and the benefits of using a menstrual cup.
What is a menstrual cup?
Aren’t sure what a menstrual cup is? It’s a flexible cup designed for use inside the vagina during your period to collect menstrual blood. The cup actually collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it as tampons or pads do. Menstrual cups are commonly made of 100% medical grade silicone. They’re flexible and easy to care for.
How do I use a menstrual cup?
If you’ve used tampons for years, you’ll likely be able to adjust to a menstrual cup with ease. For the pad-only users, it may take a little getting used to but you’ll get the hang of it! Here are some simple instructions:
First off, wash your hands well.
We suggest applying a water-based lubricant (like our Pixie Cup Lube) to help make insertion easy and comfortable. Apply the lubricant to the rim of the cup.
Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would a tampon but without the applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
Once the cup is in your vagina, grab the stem and rotate it. This will help it spring open to create an airtight seal that stops your cup from leaking.
What are the health benefits of using a menstrual cup?
We’ve recently discussed how tampons can contribute to vaginal dryness. When your vagina is dryer than usual, it can become a breeding ground for bacterial overgrowth, which may disturb the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina. Ultimately this could lead to an infection. Your menstrual cup doesn’t disturb your natural fluids and flora in the vagina and does not soak up anything.
Tampons are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which happens when a substance is in the body for too long. A menstrual cup holds menses in the silicone cup as opposed to having it continually touch the vaginal walls. Our friend, Meg, gives a great explanation of TSS in her YouTube video.
Menstrual cups are eco-friendly!
This is a pretty hot topic regarding the benefits of a menstrual cup these days! The average woman uses 5 tampons a day during her period. That combined with the number of days in your period, multiplied by the number of years the typical woman menstruates equals thousands of tampons or pads in the landfill. Ack!
Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years if properly taken care of! That means that 1 single menstrual cup can save up to 3,500 tampons/pads being sent to landfills. That number really puts it into perspective, huh? And when the menstrual cup’s life has come to an end, all you have to do is throw it into your wood stove or have a ceremonial burning at the next bonfire. It burns to simple ash that is completely biodegradable.
How convenient are menstrual cups?
Girl, pull up a chair! A tampon holds 5ml of fluid when it’s completely maxed out. Our Pixie Cups come in three sizes. Here is a great visual:
Small – holds 25ml | Large – holds 30ml | XL – holds 35ml
That means you can literally go hours between changes. It depends on your flow, but technically you can safely go 12 hours before you empty your menstrual cup.
Hot yoga class? Go sweat it out.
Are you training for a marathon? This period protection has your back.
Spending the day at the beach? Pack the sunscreen, but don’t pay any attention to Aunt Flo!
On a budget? Another benefit of a menstrual cup is it’s a purchase you make once a decade. No more last-minute runs to the gas station convenience store or sending your boyfriend to buy your pads. It’s one less thing you have to scramble cash for every month.
One of the things most women hate during their periods is how “dirty” or “gross” they feel. Not only are your hormones raging and you’re potentially bloated, but you smell. Even if no one else can pick up an odor, you can. And that’s honestly what matters most: YOU BEING CONFIDENT. Because a menstrual cup holds your menses completely airtight in the vagina, there is no odor that comes sneaking out. If you have an issue with your menstrual cup leaking, we have some tips and tricks to help with that.
No more surprises!
If you are tracking your period regularly, via an app on your phone or by bullet journaling, you probably have a really good idea of when your period is going to arrive. Gone are the days of hyper-packing your purse or backpack just in case your period surprises you. If you use a period cup, you can place it in the morning and go about your day — if Aunt Flo visits, you’re already prepared for her!
Bullet journaling has become a super common way of using a planner. Some could say it’s a fad due to its rapid increase in popularity but actually it’s been around for decades! It’s a wonderful method that keeps a record of everything you could ever want to toss at it including tracking your period. It captures the eye of both the methodical record keepers and planners as well as that of the creative, whimsical crowd too. It’s so easily tailored to your personality, so many people have fallen in love with it! Bullet journal period tracking is a great way to keep track of important data related to your flow so that you can spot trends and gain a better understanding of your cycle.
Logging your period is as common as it is important; whether you’re trying to get pregnant, trying to avoid pregnancy or monitoring what your hormones are up to. The data collected provides incredible information on what’s actually happening in your body. Maybe you’re already marking a small ‘x’ or asterisk next to the date on your calendar when your period starts so you sort of know when you can expect Aunt Flo next. A true period bullet journal, though, is a bit more detailed that logs all your period-related symptoms for several months. What’s the first thing your gynecologist asks you when they first walk in the appointment room? 😉
“What’s the first day of your last period?”
Bullet journal tracking allows for more detail
There are many apps you can download from your phone’s app store that can keep this data at your fingertips. However, sometimes apps are limited in what they’re able to track or can tend to fit us into a box… and you, girlfriend, are anything but cookie-cutter! With bullet journaling your period, you’re able to customize it to fit you, through and through. You’re able to document symptoms that are important to you: are you prone to migraines? Need more deodorant? Are you extra fatigued? You can track anything from your mood, to how you’re physically feeling, what foods you’re craving… or really just when you bleed and when you don’t.
Apart from the obvious, here are some bullet journal period tracking ideas:
Your mood or mental health
Times you’ve had sex
Track enough menstrual cycles to capture important patterns
Our periods are there for a reason! They communicate so many things that are actually happening in our bodies. If something is off within us (physical, emotional or mental!) our period is a place where it could show. Hormones have their hand in just about everything and where our period is hormone-driven, the slightest hitch will be shown there!
If you and your physician are trying to get to the bottom of a potential health issue, tracking your period and as many details as you can is important. After a few months, a pattern will be noticeable!
Does your period leave you frustrated? Is it inconsistent? The Period Repair Manual is an awesome resource when questions circle your mind or if you’d just like to know more about the role your cycle plays in your life. This book is a must for any menstruating women’s library!
Keep notes on how you handled your period
We all have period products we know and love. Then there are some of us that haven’t really questioned it, we’ve just always used them because our mom or role model told us to. Trying something different might be a little scary, but it could be well worth it!
Do you use a tampon + a pad during the heavy first few days of your cycle?Does it taper off and you’re able to just use a tampon? Do you find you may be more crampy on the days you use a tampon?
Maybe you should try a menstrual cup! A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone product that holds menses in the vagina and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Most women report that they have less cramping and pain when using a menstrual cup and can even forget they are on their period! Imagine that. These 10 women shared how switching to a cup made their lives better.
How do you track your period? What are some game-changers you’ve learned along the way? We created this handy tracker for each month if you’re looking for something quick, easy and hassle-free!
The idea of “period freedom like never before” lifts the hopes and perks the ears of every woman. Wouldn’t all of us love the opportunity to live life without fear of leaks or being caught off-guard by Aunt Flo?
If a menstrual cup truly does provide period freedom, why doesn’t every woman own a menstrual cup?
There are so many answers to this question, and we are doing our best to answer all of them, week by week, right here on our blog! Today, the question we are addressing – one that holds some women back from trying a Pixie Cup – is this: Will I be able to feel my Pixie Cup?
We understand why women ask this question. After all, it’s really hard to imagine how a “cup” can fit inside our bodies without us even noticing it.
The answer to this question is, you should not be able to feel your Pixie Cup while it is inside your vagina. That being said, some women may feel some slight discomfort when first using the Pixie Cup, so we will address why that is and how it can be fixed in a few simple steps.
First, you may notice the stem of your menstrual cup if you have a low cervix. If you can feel the stem inside, or if it is not completely inside your vagina, you can remove your cup and trim the stem a little with some scissors, and file the ends down with a nail file if they feel sharp. Start by trimming less at first, so you don’t accidentally cut off too much. If your cup is still bothering you, let us know. We will help you to find a cup size that is a better fit for you.
Second, it is possible that you could feel some pressure on your cervix. This occurs when the rim of the cup seals around the cervix instead of within the vaginal walls. If you notice this pressure, be sure to insert your cup a little lower in your vagina so your cup can seal within the walls of your vaginal canal. If your cup continually moves up toward your cervix, let us know. You might be a better fit with a larger Pixie Cup size.
Have you noticed any discomfort with your menstrual cup? Share your tips and tricks for Pixie Cup use in the comments!