Get 25% off with code GREENFRIDAY25

Get 25% off with code GREENFRIDAY25

Menstrual cups, Tampons and Vaginal Dryness

Menstrual cups, Tampons and Vaginal Dryness

How are you *down there* after your period ends? Does your body snap back to normal quickly? Do you find that if you are an avid tampon user you tend to be dry? Some studies suggest that tampons can cause vaginal dryness. 

tampon and menstrual cup

How do tampons cause vaginal dryness?

Chronic vaginal dryness usually is a deeper issue. It can be related to hormones, hydration, and your general pH + flora being in (or out of) line. However, tampons can exacerbate the issue. Tampons, in general, are an extremely absorbent material made to do just that… absorb. In turn, it absorbs everything… and we mean everything. The good, the bad + the ugly!

Here are a few ways tampons can cause vaginal dryness:

  1. You use a tampon the day after your period… just in case! Your body is at a crucial point the few days after your period. It’s working hard to restore the pH to normal and put everything in balance. By inserting a tampon at this time, you’re basically only absorbing the good stuff. Reach for a panty liner or a reusable pad instead if you’re worried!
  2. You only use one level of absorbency through your entire menstruation. While it’s tempting to buy the value pack loaded with supers or super plus tampons, there are different absorbency levels for a reason. Once your menstruation lightens, there is less to soak up, so a super tampon is absorbing more than your menses and is going to capture the normal vaginal fluids. By soaking up the good bacteria as well, you’re leaving your vagina susceptible to an imbalance, which can lead to multiple types of infections.
  3. You use scented tampons. It’s mighty tempting to use a scented menstrual product to help mask the smell during that time of the month, we get it! Added scents, fragrances, and perfumes are harsh on the vagina and can throw off the pH. 

Does a menstrual cup cause vaginal dryness?

The quick answer to this is a resounding no! Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone and do not absorb any fluid at all. They are goblet-shaped and the concept is to be inserted in the vagina to collect (rather than absorb) period blood. Because they are made of materials like silicone and create airtight seals inside the vagina, menstrual cups don’t encourage bacterial growth, so concerns of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) are diminished greatly. Especially when you’re sterilizing your cup or washing it with soap as you should.

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups can be worn worry-free for up to 12 hours! During the heavier days of your cycle, they will become fuller faster and may need to be emptied more often. Women are switching to menstrual cups for the freedom they offer, the protection they have + the comfort they give! But don’t take our word for it; here are stories from 17 women who made the switch.

tampons and menstrual cup vaginal dryness

How can tampons cause infection?

While we’ve mentioned Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), tampons can lead to other infections such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Unfortunately, both are caused by either an overgrowth or undergrowth of bacteria already present in the vagina. 

Here are some common ways a tampon can cause infection:

  1. You only wash your hands after insertion. Cleaning your hands after insertion only makes sense… you might get a little messy. However, being aware of what could potentially be on your hands before you insert is a big one too. 
  2. You don’t change your tampon every time you relieve yourself. Your tampon absorbs urine very quickly after going to the bathroom. At this point your tampon isn’t effective and is just hanging onto urine in your vagina. During a bowel movement, the muscles cause your tampon to shift or even come out partially. If the tampon catches any fecal matter, you could be headed for an infection.
  3. You forget to take it out. The last day of our cycle can tend to be light. Life gets busy and you realize a couple of days later you still haven’t taken it out! Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a serious condition related to bacteria overgrowth when a substance is left in your body for too long.
  4. You don’t change it after swimming. Like with urinating, your tampon has now absorbed all that excess fluid. This time, it’s bleach water from swimming in a pool or salt water from the ocean. 

How do I encourage vaginal health?

You’ve probably heard of pH levels in your body and having them run acidic or alkaline. Most everything in your body runs super-friendly while this is in balance. Your vagina is no exception! 

Drink lots of water. Being hydrated keeps your vagina happy. You experience a dry mouth as an indicator of dehydration and a dry vagina can mean that too. It’s recommended that you drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day — more if you’re an athlete!

Take a probiotic. Probiotics and gut health awareness have come a long way in recent years. There are many different types of probiotics and many levels of potencies. Grab one from your local health food store that is geared toward “women’s health.” It will contain the unique strains that live in the vagina!

Avoid refined sugars. Yeast feeds on sugar, and an easy way to keep a yeast infection at bay is by minimizing refined sugars in your diet.

Avoid synthetic or tight clothing. We all own leggings. It’s hard not to! And yoga pants are a must! If you use these items for working out, be sure to change out of them as soon as you possibly can to rid your lady region of sweat + moisture, which would encourage bacteria growth.  

While we do not claim to be medical experts, we are here to help in any way we can! If you experience chronic vaginal dryness, it may be time to make an appointment with your gynecologist so they can run some tests and see what’s going on down there.

Have you thought about trying out a menstrual cup? We have a 100% Happiness Guarantee so if you don’t absolutely love your menstrual cup, we will refund you! What do you have to lose?

Shop menstrual cups

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.

Bullet journal period tracking

Bullet journal period tracking

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.

bullet journal period tracking ideas

Apart from the obvious, here are some bullet journal period tracking ideas:

  • Your mood or mental health
  • Self-care
  • Symptoms
  • Birth control
  • Food cravings
  • Discharge
  • Times you’ve had sex
  • Exercise 

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!  

 

Have additional ideas? Leave us a comment below!

Swimming on your period: a game changer

Swimming on your period: a game changer

Are you about to head out on vacation? Gearing up for a surf? For any of our southern hemisphere gal pals, you’re in the height of your warm weather and you’re looking for options regarding swimming on your period. You’ve come to the right place!

Pads, tampons, or menstrual cups… oh my! If you live an active lifestyle at all, pads just don’t cut it anymore. Thank goodness for modern innovation and advances! There is the tried and true tampon, but do you find their freedom only extends so far? Typically, you’re tied to a couple of hours of activity and you need to change it. Have you thought about a menstrual cup? 

A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone menstrual product that holds menses in the vagina and can be worn for up to 12 hours. With a menstrual cup, you truly don’t skip a beat; you don’t have to plan your tropical vacation around that dreaded week a month and you don’t have to think twice about a spontaneous dip!

Can you imagine a world where you didn’t dread your period? Where it didn’t put a hiccup in your activities in any way? Would you believe we’ve actually arrived there?

With a menstrual cup, you truly don’t skip a beat; you don’t have to plan your tropical vacation around that dreaded week a month and you don’t have to think twice about a spontaneous dip! 

Trying something new, like a Pixie Cup, is always a little scary but we’re here for YOU and we want to answer any questions you might have. So grab your favorite beverage and let’s dive into a Q&A sesh!

Will the menstrual cup slip out with all the extra water around?

Nope! Remember, the Pixie Cup creates a tight seal against all sides of your vaginal wall, so there isn’t any moving it without a good tug! It’s super important to make sure you have the proper size and style cup for your body. Check out how to find the right cup with our guide on how to measure your cervix and other important information!

 

Won’t I attract sharks or other unfriendly things while swimming on my period? 

With the right sized Pixie Cup, you don’t have leaks and therefore no one is the wiser! Including those sharks 😉 Here is a handy dandy guide to eliminating leaks forever!

How long can I be in the water before I need to head to shore to empty it? 

Girl, you got this! If I know that I’m going to be busy in an activity for an extended period of time, I always make sure to empty my cup prior to gearing up. Remember, if you have the right sized cup for your flow, you can wear a Pixie Cup for up to 12 hours without having hitch! It’s truly a set-it-and-forget-it solution for your active life!


Ok so, what if I have to pee in the ocean… can I do that with my Pixie Cup?

Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go! Believe it or not, if a Pixie Cup is properly placed, it doesn’t inhibit urination at all! We definitely recommend testing your fit and placement out at home prior to putting it to the true test out on the waters. 

Swimming on your period has never been easier and swimming with your menstrual cup has never been betterPixie Cup has your back!

Did we miss a question? Comment below!

It’s time to get rid of menstrual cup leaks

It’s time to get rid of menstrual cup leaks

Leaks. This just might be the greatest fear that keeps people from trying a menstrual cup. What if my cup leaks? 

Menstrual cups offer countless benefits over disposable menstrual products. Not only can they be worn for up to 12 hours at a time and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins, they also save you money and reduce waste. Many cup users also report positive side effects such as shorter periods and less cramping. But menstrual cups can take some getting used to, and if you’re a new user, it’s not uncommon to experience some menstrual cup leaking.

menstrual cup leaking

We hear from many women who are frustrated that their menstrual cup is leaking, even if it’s only been in for a few hours. They often think this means that menstrual cups just don’t work for them or won’t provide the hassle-free, leak-proof solution they’re looking for. But don’t give up yet! The solution to a leaking cup is often very simple.

Check out our assortment of menstrual cup lube, wipes, and other accessories. Order now and receive free shipping on orders of $25 or more!

Why is my menstrual cup leaking?

Before you read any further, we want you to know one thing: It may take a little time to get used to your cup and learn how to use it. Sometimes leaks will happen during that adjustment time, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the wrong cup or that you can’t use cups. It’s simply a learning period.

Factors such as how you fold or insert your cup, the position of your cervix, and where your cup sits in the vaginal canal can all affect how well it works. So, give yourself and your cup a little grace and keep trying until you find a leak-free system that works for you! We can promise that it will be 100% worth it.

That said, there are sometimes specific factors that may contribute to menstrual cup leaking. Take a look at these 10 reasons for menstrual cup leaks and learn how to fix them.

10 reasons for menstrual cup leaks

1. Your cup is too big

Yes, you read that right. Using a cup that is too big is the number-one cause of leaks among our customers. New cup users or people with a heavy flow often want to use the largest cup they can get. But a bigger cup isn’t always the answer. You also have to consider the diameter of the cup rim. If the cup is too big, it won’t fully open after it’s inserted. When that happens, you’ll have small indentations around the rim that can let leaks through. If leaks are a problem for you and you’re using a large or extra-large cup, trying going down in size. Another indication that your cup is too big is if it’s uncomfortable and feels like it’s putting too much pressure on your pelvic area (which can also make you feel like you have to pee).

2. Your cup is positioned incorrectly

Improper insertion is another common cause of menstrual cup leaking. The vaginal canal isn’t straight up and down; it’s angled toward the back. So as you insert your cup, make sure you direct it back toward the rear instead of straight up. It may also help to change your position while you insert the cup. Some women find it easier to squat, or stand with one leg on the toilet seat. Whichever position you choose, make sure your muscles are as relaxed, because tense muscles will make inserting your cup much harder.

3. Your cup didn’t open fully

how to stop menstrual cup leaking

Learning how to make your cup pop open can take a little practice. After your cup is inserted, run your finger around the rim. If you feel a fold or dip in the cup, this means it didn’t fully open. Simply twist the cup clockwise or counterclockwise and it should pop open. If that doesn’t work, you can try sliding the cup up and down a little bit as well, or use a different fold. Sometimes the the punch down fold doesn’t work as well as the C fold or 7 fold. Learn more about folds

4. Your cup is too small

If your cup is too small for you, it might not create a tight seal and instead slide down in your vaginal canal. This could allow fluid to leak around the edge of the cup. We offer several different cup sizes to make sure you have options!

5. You aren’t using lubricant

If you’re having trouble with leaks, a little water-based lubricant could go a long way! A smooth insertion will help your cup open easier. We created a Pixie Cup Lubricant that is perfect for your cup! It’s hypoallergenic, made with simple ingredients, and specifically formulated so it won’t cause any damage to your silicone cup.

If lubrication doesn’t help, maybe you have the opposite problem! Some women find that inserting their cup dry creates a more secure seal. Make sure your cup is nice and dry before inserting, and see if that takes care of leaks.

6. You’re not emptying your cup enough

We often hear from women who say their menstrual cup is leaking after only a few hours. You might be thinking, It hasn’t been 12 hours yet, and my cup is overflowing! Is something wrong?

Not at all! Your cup is safe for use for up to 12 hours, but sometimes — on your heavier days or if you have a heavier period — it might be necessary to empty it more often. This is completely normal. Just like tampons, a menstrual cup can last for different periods of time for different people. If you find that you’re having to empty your menstrual cup often, try a larger size, like our Pixie Cup XL.

7. You have strong pelvic floor muscles

menstrual cup with strong pelvic floor muscles

While strong pelvic floor muscles offer many health benefits, they can also squeeze your cup, causing a half-full cup to overflow. If this is you, just change your cup just a little more often on your heavy flow days.

8. The air holes are blocked

The air holes around the rim of your cup are there to create a good seal, so if these are blocked, it’s possible that you could experience some leaks. If your cup is leaking, check and make sure the air holes are clean before inserting your cup. Our post about getting rid of the menstrual cup smell contains some tips for removing the buildup from air holes.

9. You have residual fluid on your vaginal walls

Sometimes you might think your cup is leaking, but it’s really just a bit of residual fluid from your vaginal walls. This is more likely to happen on the heavier days of your period. Just grab a wipe and clean out the extra residue so that it doesn’t leak out after you insert your cup.

10. Your cervix is tilted

Pixie Menstrual Cup LeakingFor most people, the cervix is usually positioned centrally, which allows all fluid to flow directly into the cup. Your cervix does move during menstruation, however, and if your cervix is tilted or positioned against the wall of your vagina, this could cause the fluid to run down the vaginal wall. The same thing can happen if you have a tilted or retroverted uterus.

If you think your cervix isn’t lined up with the cup or it’s touching the rim after inserting, take your cup out and reinsert it. Try positioning the cup so it sits below your cervix, or opening the cup lower in the vagina to catch the extra flow.

Clearly, there are a lot of factors that affect how well your menstrual cup works. This may all seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged! After a few cycles with your menstrual cup, it will all become second nature, and you’ll never want to go back to pads and tampons! We’ve helped many cup users find the perfect fit, so if you’ve tried these suggestions and you’re still experiencing leaks, get in touch!

Remember, our 100% Happiness Guarantee means Pixie Cups are risk-free! If you aren’t completely happy with your Pixie Cup, we’ll help you find one that works for you or give you your money back! Order now and receive free shipping on orders of $25 or more!

Shop now

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

How to go hiking, backpacking, and camping on your period

How to go hiking, backpacking, and camping on your period

Has this ever happened to you? You’re planning an expedition into the wilderness … But as you sketch out the perfect weekend full of adventure, you suddenly panic, realizing that you picked the dreaded period week. Can you really go camping on your period, or should you reschedule your trip?

Don’t worry — it is possible to go hiking, backpacking, or camping on your period. And once you’ve done it, you’ll realize it’s not that big a deal. But first, make sure you read over this blog post because there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with your period in the wilderness.

With a little advanced preparation, you’ll be ready to head out for adventure at any time of the month!

How to prepare for camping on your period

The most important thing for a camping trip while on your period is to be prepared and pack everything you need. When you are planning your trip, take the time to think through what you might need on the trail. After all, this is your one opportunity to grab what you need before you are roughin’ it in the wilderness!

One of the best options for camping on your period is a menstrual cup. If you’ve never used one, now may be the perfect time to switch! Many women find that menstrual cups are ideal for camping, because they’re reusable, create less waste, and don’t need to be changed every few hours like pads and tampons.

Menstrual cups are flexible silicone or rubber cups that are worn inside the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. Depending on your flow and other factors such as the size of the cup, a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours. Then, you simply remove your cup, empty the contents, clean the cup, and re-insert it.

Ready to try a menstrual cup? Shop our online store!

Why use a menstrual cup when camping?

1. Menstrual cups are reusable

You’ll never have to worry about running out of tampons, or forgetting to bring enough pads for your travels! Menstrual cups are durable and accessible. You only need one, and you can reuse it over and over!

2. Menstrual cups are waste-free

If you know anything about camping in the wilderness, you probably are aware of the phrase “Leave No Trace.” The Leave No Trace principles are to keep nature thriving and care for the earth, as well as to be considerate of others who come behind you. One of the principles of Leave No Trace is to dispose of all waste properly. In many cases, this means packing it out with you.

When you camp on your period with a menstrual cup, you avoid the question of “bury it or pack it out?” Nobody wants to lug a ziplock bag of used period waste around. With your menstrual cup, you only have to bury the contents!

3. Menstrual cups give you a lot more time for adventure

A regular tampon holds about 5ml of blood, while the small Pixie Cup Slim holds 20ml, and the large size holds 25ml! You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours, so you don’t have to take time away from your adventures to change your pad or tampon.

camping on your period

Cons of using menstrual cups while camping

1. Menstrual cups require some practice

If you aren’t used to using a menstrual cup, you may not want to use it for the first time on a camping trip. If your cup isn’t properly inserted, you may experience some leaks.

If possible, plan ahead and use your cup for a few cycles before your camping trip so you can get used to it. It’s also important to choose the right cup for your body. Every body is different, which is why we’ve designed the Pixie Cup in several different styles and sizes. Learn more about choosing the right cup for your body.

If you’re worried about leaks, you can bring along some thin reusable pads such as our Pixie Pads, which won’t take up much room in your pack.

2. Menstrual cups require sanitary conditions

You’ll want to make sure your hands are clean and sanitized before removing or inserting your menstrual cup. We make this easier with products such as our Pixie Cup Wash and Pixie Cup Wipes.

How to use a menstrual cup when camping

So, how do you use a menstrual cup while camping? As it turns out, the technique is pretty simple!

Step 1: Make sure you sanitize

This is absolutely essential, girls! You’ll want to make sure your cup is well-sanitized with boiling water before you head out on your adventure, and make sure your hands are clean and sanitized before you remove your cup to empty it. Do not forget this step! You can sanitize your hands with some water from your water bottle and a little soap, or with some Pixie Wash and water.

Step 2: Bury the contents

When you empty your cup, empty the contents in a 6-8 inch cathole that is at least 200 feet from a water source. The easiest way to do this is to bring a small trowel with you. Simply empty the fluid from your cup into the hole, and use water from your bottle to rinse your cup. When you are finished, replace extra dirt in the hole, and disguise the area with leaves or brush. Make sure you wash or sanitize your hands when you’re finished!

Step 3: Boil your cup after your period

If your camping trip lasts longer than your period, make sure you sanitize your cup thoroughly with boiling water (be careful!) before packing it away.

Using pads and tampons when camping

If pads and tampons are what you’re used to, or you haven’t gotten the hang of using a menstrual cup, you can continue to use pads and tampons when camping. But you’ll need to make sure to follow backcountry guidelines and dispose of your waste properly.

How to camp with pads and tampons

  1. Make sure you bring enough supplies to cover your entire period. Just like when you’re at home, you may want to bring supplies in different sizes and absorbencies.
  2. Be prepared to pack out your waste. Tampons and pads should not be buried, as they don’t decompose quickly, and animals could dig them up. If you’re using pads and tampons when camping, bring a designated waste bag to keep them in until you reach an area with a proper trash receptacle.

Additional menstrual supplies for camping

Whether you’re using a menstrual cup or disposable products, we recommend bringing plenty of hand sanitizer and extra water for washing your hands. If you’re using a menstrual cup, bring a small bar of unscented soap or container of Pixie Cup Wash, and moistened paper towels or Pixie Wipes to give your cup a quick cleaning during the trek.

You may also want to bring along a few medical gloves to use when removing and inserting your menstrual cup, especially if your camping conditions will make it hard to wash your hands. These will create extra waste, so only use them if absolutely necessary, and put them in your waste bag to pack out with you.

Bonus Tip: Bring essential oils and pain reliever.

As we all know, periods are more than just a pain in the you-know-where to clean up… they are also literally painful sometimes. Make sure you pack some pain reliever, or a few drops of peppermint essential oil (diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil) in a travel container, to ease bloating and cramping.

We hope this helps you feel equipped to have a fantastic trip! Curious about menstrual cups? Sign up for our newsletter and receive 10% off your first order! Plus, you’ll be the first to know about contests, giveaways, and special promotions!

This content was originally written on April 22, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.