Is PMS all in your head? Are periods shameful? Is period blood dirty? So many questions surround something so normal as menstruation. We tackle 7 common period myths we are asked frequently in hopes of helping you live free and empowered! #breakthestigma
First of all, it’s important to understand that a woman’s menstrual cycle is not the same as her period. The actual time that a woman bleeds is known as menstruation, but her menstrual cycle is the entire time from one period starting to the next. I didn’t know this until recently, and as a menstruating human, it goes to show there is a lot of ignorance and misinformation around the issue!
Although it’s assumed that a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, that’s only an average number and everyone is unique.
Some women’s cycles are much longer, from 29 to 35 days, while others can be shorter. So many factors can change this. From woman to woman, but also from month to month. Things like stress, travel, weight fluctuation, stress, hormone changes, emotions, stress, birth control, medication (and did I mention stress?) can all affect when a woman’s period occurs.
There’s a very real physical change in a woman’s body during this time. In the days leading up to a woman’s period beginning — this time has coined us the phrase “PMSing” — her levels of estrogen plummet, while her levels of progesterone sharply increase. Talk about an imbalance for a bit!
Estrogen is linked to serotonin, the “happy hormone,” and progesterone is linked to the part of the brain that causes fear, anxiety, and depression. The effects of hormones on mood are complicated, and while progesterone may depress some emotions, it has a mood-balancing effect.
During that time of the month we are tired and most likely overwhelmed. It’s super easy to dismiss what’s happening if we have an excuse like it’s “just hormones,” but mood changes caused by hormones are still real. It may happen on a more monthly basis for us, but it doesn’t invalidate our feelings.
From the killer team of girls at the University of Texas, The Chatty Gal, “Contrary to that belief, the blood you menstruate is just as “clean” as the venous blood that comes from every other part of the body and it’s harmless as long as you don’t have any bloodborne diseases.”
It doesn’t mean conditions are less than ideal down there.
We’re taught that periods are dirty. (and grated they are messy, but not dirty) Period blood actually isn’t rejected body fluids or the body’s way of flushing out toxins. Think of it as an evolved vaginal secretion — there’s some blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria. It’s super important to keep up your water intake during your period as well. This helps flush everything that is happening during your period.
Here’s another to include in our common period myths! If you feel like exercising, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. It’s actually a great way of controlling PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps because it increases the supply of oxygen to your muscles. Because exercise gives you a natural endorphin high, it can elevate your mood and actually make you feel better. One of the main benefits of exercise while menstruating is the endorphin release and workout “high.” Since endorphins are a natural painkiller, when they release during exercise, you may feel relief from uncomfortable periods. Here at Pixie Cup we love living free and pursuing whatever we love to do. We’re all about being outdoors and being active every day of the month. A menstrual cup is a great way of continuing your exercise and be active during your period. Because it can safely hold period blood for up to 12 hours, there is no hassle like you’d have with a tampon.
Another big one among common period myths is that girls who haven’t had sex will find wearing tampons or a menstrual cup painful. This isn’t true, although levels of comfort depend on the person and general anatomy. For example, we recommend a young customer who might be apprehensive to try our Pixie Cup Luxe Small. We have other helpful products like our Pixie Cup Lube to help things be as smooth and comfortable as possible. Another concern is that tampons or period cups can somehow “take away your virginity.” This myth has deep roots tied to all sorts of cultural upbringing and traditions.
This is a common period myth, especially when we’re trying to justify how we are feeling. Wrong! Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms are related to the way your hormones change through your monthly cycle. Symptoms can be emotional (like irritability, depression or fatigue, and physical (cramps or headaches). Check out the facts on PMS and get some tips for minimizing the very real symptoms of PMS. Take this time during the month to really log your symptoms
As a menstruating woman, I feel this one hard. Unfortunately, we have a long history of embarrassment to overcome. Whether that be cultural or otherwise. Hiding my period was what I was taught to do from the age of 12 when I first started my period. I even had separate waste cans for me to conceal any sort of evidence (or smell) that I was on my menses. I fell into the habit of apologizing for what my body did naturally, opting out of social events and beach days regularly. I’m so sorry if this is something you carry with you. Here at Pixie Cup, it’s our mission to break that shame and have a #lifechangingperiod. As we do that, we’re face to face every day with the cultural and mental boundaries that have been ingrained in us. Change starts with us! I know for myself, I’m daily striving towards that freedom, conquering that mental mountain. You can bet my daughter won’t be taught the same hiding techniques I was. Take space for you, embrace what your body does as an amazing thing. We’re right here with you.
For more information on using a menstrual cup, please contact us! We love to talk about all things period and love normalizing the conversation. If you’re interested in trying a Pixie Cup, head over to our store and get 10% off your first purchase.
Most of us are all about saving money in some form or another. We shop sales, we bargain hunt or shop second hand and hats off to any coupon clippers that are still out there holding strong! We are all at different stages of life, but typically saving a penny or two is the motivation to a lot of the decisions we make on a daily basis. If you’re a human who menstruates, you may want to check out these numbers and how menstrual cups can save money.
How much does an average period cost?
On average, a person bleeds from five to seven days and menstruates from age 13 until age 51. That equates to a total of (ready for it?) 456 periods over those 38 years! Kind of amazing, right? I know I feel empowered when I realize I can do anything that anyone else can do and I can do it bleeding. You’re incredible!
Now 456 is a huge number! Let’s talk in more tangible figures. We’re going to calculate the difference in costs over five years (or 60 periods) so you can get a general idea of how much you’ll save in a feasible amount of time!
Of course, there’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ period and If you’re reading this it’s likely you’ve already started menstruating. Depending on how heavy or light your flow is, you’ll probably need to increase or decrease the costs accordingly. Ready for the numbers?
How much money do you save using a menstrual cup?
Tampons. The average box of tampons (talking store brand) is about $4. Now, there is a lot coming out recently about what’s actually in tampons and how we are wise to start reaching for the organic options. So if you’d rather have the top-shelf stuff, we’re looking at potentially $7 for a month’s supply. The average person changes their tampon every four hours. Using one tampon every four hours equals six tampons per day. Multiply 6 tampons by the number of days you bleed (five days on average) and you’re using 30 tampons per period. Multiply that by 60 periods you’ll get in 5 years and boom: 1,800 tampons. At 36 tampons per box, that’s 50 boxes of tampons at approximately $7 each. So, over the course of five years, that’s going to cost you $350.
Pads. Are you still a die-hard pad user? Here are some numbers for you! The common opinion says it’s best to change your pad every 4 hours as it becomes saturated easily and holds bacteria. A pack of 40 pads can cost also around $7 per package for a standard brand or $8 for an organic option.
Using one pad every four hours = six pads per day. Multiply six pads by the number of days you bleed (five days on average) and you’re using 30 pads per cycle. If you have 60 periods and you’re using 30 pads per cycle, you’ll be using 1800 pads. With 40 pads per package and an average price ticket of $8, you’re looking at spending $360 in 5 years.
Menstrual cup.Here at Pixie Cup we offer several menstrual cup options and a couple of them come in combo packs so you can adjust according to your flow. Our combo packs average $25 and if you properly take care of your menstrual cup, it can last you up to 10 years! So your period cost for a decade literally becomes $25.
Do I need anything to go with my menstrual cup?
Nope! Once you have mastered inserting your menstrual cup, you’ll be free of leaks and free of period hassle. We have some great accessories that are designed to make your menstrual cup transition and journey even better and easier. Our Pixie Cup Lube is great for newbies as it helps with any uneasiness that comes with something new! Our steamer makes sterilizing a breeze as well as our Pixie Cup Wash for a quick wash between changes.
Are period cups worth it?
With the numbers we chatted about today, we definitely think so! But you make that call. Leaving something so familiar to you like a pad or tampon is hard and we fully acknowledge that. We are here to back you up every step of the way during your menstrual cup journey. Our 100% Happiness Guarantee ensures that we like to keep things simple and our friends happy.
Reach out to us! Let us know your #wins or struggles. We’ll be so glad to help.
Essential oils are a powerful tool for our health. You’re taking all the goodness from the plant and concentrating it. They have been used for relieving headaches to relaxing muscles, correcting digestive issues to calming nerves. Naturally, we want to know if essential oils can helpduring our menstrual cycles! Here are some practical and easy tips to help you.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being. Essential oils are basically plant extracts. They’re made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance. It can take several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil. In addition to creating scent, essential oils perform other functions in plants, too. Essential oils are the essence of the plant that are captured via distillation or mechanical methods like cold-pressing, depending on the plant type.
Because essential oils are incredibly strong and concentrated, it is vitally important to read up on the individual oil prior to using. Some are safe to apply full strength and others have to be heavily diluted with a carrier oil or lotion to diminish its concentration. Something as common and loved as peppermint needs to be significantly thinned so it doesn’t chemically burn your skin.
Please always read the instructions on the side of the bottle before administering.
Common ways to safely use essential oils include:
Aroma Therapy. Diffusing is the most popular essential oil use! Diffusers can be found in all shapes, sizes and colors and use water to vaporize the oils. Necklaces, bracelets and keychains made with absorbent materials you apply essential oils to and sniff throughout the day. Even something like an essential oil inhaler! These portable plastic sticks have an absorbent wick that soaks up essential oil.
Topically. A mixture of essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil that can be massaged into skin. But again, because essential oils are concentrated, they can cause irritation. Avoid using them full-strength on skin.
How can I use essential oils during my menstrual cycle?
Hormones are all over the place during our menstrual cycles, we know this, right? We feel empowered during parts of our cycle, potentially anxiety-ridden during other parts and overall fatigued depending on the day of our cycle! Certain essential oils or oil blends are tied to potentially giving relief for different symptoms. Here are some popular essential oils to use during your period and menstrual cycle.
Menstruation. This is where we feel most exhausted! You’ll most likely crave alone time or rest. Frankincense or sandalwood or a grounding blend to overall settle you. At this point in the menstrual cycle, you should do things that aid in your comfort. To help with cramping, there are blends of essential oils for your menstrual cycles like this DIY recipe . If you’re prone to cramping, have you thought about trying a menstrual cup?
Pre-Ovulation. At this point you’re feeling your best! Your energy has come back and peaked and you’re ready to conquer the world. If you ever see a pattern of motivation or need for accomplishment, you’ll probably notice it’s just after your period ends! During this time you’ll reach for energizing oils such as peppermint and citrus like orange or grapefruit.
Ovulation. You’re feeling good about yourself, sultry, attractive, and active! You may find you’ll apply a little more makeup or pick an outfit that makes you feel the best about yourself. Floral and earthy essential oils are popular during this menstrual phase. Scents like jasmine, rose, vetiver, and patchouli.
Pre-menstrual. Our body is gearing up to release and let go and this is the phase we start craving the comfort foods and the desire to curl up and relax. If you’re feeling crampy, clary sage diluted with a lotion and rubbed on the abdomen can help relax the muscles and balance the hormones that are spiking during this time. Much like we reach for ginger tea when we feel unwell, ginger essential oil can help ground and calm us.
If you’re prone to cramping like we mentioned earlier, you should consider trying a menstrual cup! Women have commonly said that tampons cause cramping especially during the first couple days of your period. Menstrual cups are an egg-shaped vessel that collects menses versus a dry, porous material that absorbs all fluid it comes in contact with. You’re able to safely leave them in your vagina for up to 12 hours! The first couple days of your period you may have to empty the cup sooner than that due to heavy flow. If you’ve ever wondered which menstrual cup size or style is best for you, we have some pointers. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve used essential oils for a menstrual cycle and if you’ve ever considered switching to a menstrual cup!
PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor. You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to anything related to menstruation. If you have any concerns about using a Pixie Cup, consult your doctor before use. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician before using any menstrual cup.Pixie Cup has not been sponsored in this post and any links or suggestions are not affiliates, they are purely from personal use or experience.
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.
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.
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 Luxe is our softest, most pliable cup yet.
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 morewhen 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.
You’ve already made the switch from single-use tampons and pads to reusable menstrual cups and that’s big! Congratulations! A couple of things: you’ve made the world a greener place and you’ve changed a woman’s life too. Kind of crazy, right? We all ditch the disposable menstrual products for different reasons. Some gals switch because menstrual cups are more convenient or more cost-effective. Others choose a period cup because they are better for your body and the earth.
No matter what made you switch, we’re so glad you did! There are a few reasons you could be looking up how to recycle a menstrual cup such as: using period-stopping birth control, pregnancy, medications, menopause or it’s been well-loved and needs replacing! Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone, which can be safely disposed of in a few different ways. Continue reading for a couple of suggestions on how to recycle a menstrual cup.
What is medical-grade silicone?
More technically referred to as medical-healthcare grade, class VI silicone tested for biocompatibility, this type is typically the material of choice for a wide range of products, including menstrual cups, baby bottle nipples, scuba mouthpieces, and food and skin contact products. Silicone creates watertight seals, it has antimicrobial properties, is hardwearing and withstands UV light sterilization.
When should I recycle my menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is safe to use for up to 10 years… technically. That being said, the care and keeping of your cup plays a heavy role. Depending on the soap (and if it contained drying agents like alcohol) that was used on it regularly can cause damage. If you notice any sort of cracking in your cup or the outside has become tacky to the touch, recycle immediately. At this point, the silicone has been damaged and shouldn’t be used any longer.
What do you do with menstrual cups that don’t fit?
Menstrual cups come in the same general shape but some are wider or thinner to get the perfect fit. Our bodies change especially after pregnancy or childbirth and what menstrual cup fit you before, could very well not be the right fit after. What do you do with old menstrual cups? If the cup is in good shape, it can actually be passed on. If there is light staining or slight odor, there are a few ways to get rid of those! Once your cup is sterilized, it’s germ-free and ready to be used… by you or someone else!
How do you recycle a menstrual cup?
Chop it up. Medical-grade silicone is safe. Safe to be inside your body as a menstrual cup, safe to eat off of, doesn’t give off any sort of toxins and is free from hazardous ingredients. You can chop up (or grind down) your menstrual cup and add to the soil of a potted plant or scatter in your garden!
Check with your local hospital. Hospitals use instruments all the time that are made of medical-grade silicone and eventually, they will need to be disposed of. Asking them if there is a procedure or method in place could be really helpful!
Burn it. If you don’t have time to contact facilities for local recycling advice, a super simple solution would be to burn your menstrual cup! Sounds crazy, we know, but it burns to simple ash and doesn’t give off toxic fumes. Keep in mind that silicone is heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit so it does take some time to break down. Placing it in a wood stove or in the embers of a bonfire is perfect!
How was your menstrual cup journey? Which way will you choose to recycle your menstrual cup? Did you wear it out and you need to replace it now? Check out our store for different sizes and styles or read this post to determine what size is right for you!