Menstrual cups are rising in popularity and with something new comes questions and checking reviews and feedback, right? Menstrual cups offer so many benefits to you physically and to your busy schedule. Your period shouldn’t slow you down. We’re summing up some of the reasons why making the switch to a menstrual cup will totally improve your life.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is an egg-shaped cup made of medical-grade silicone that is designed to sit in the vaginal canal and collect menstrual blood. While they have been around for nearly 80 years, they are just recently having their time in the spotlight. (and for good reason!) Menstrual cups are super eco-friendly and kind to the earth in big ways. Today we’re talking about you and how they can make the whole month fantastic. Keep reading for 5 really practical, every day (and awesome) reasons to switch to a menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are approved to be worn for up to 12 hours
12 hours?! I know when I made the switch to a menstrual cup this fact totally blew my mind. Hello freedom! I was used to wearing a pad which definitely couldn’t be worn for 12 hours. Or with my short relationship with tampons, I quickly realized that I needed to change it every couple of hours. I was doomed if I forgot to pack some in my purse or if my emergency car stash ran out. Which leads me to my next point…
You don’t have to pack extra “just in case” if you switch to a menstrual cup
Going on a trip? Taking a hike? Running errands for the day? If you are wearing a tampon or pad, you would absolutely need to pack extra for any of these scenarios. Depending on your flow the tampon should only be worn for 8 hours max. On days when my flow is heavy, I was lucky to get 2 hours out of a tampon! Menstrual cups safely collect menses for up to 12 hours.
They don’t contribute to vaginal dryness
Tampons are made of cotton. Cotton absorbs absolutely everything it touches because that’s it’s purpose. The problem is if you wear a tampon that isn’t appropriate for your flow level (example: wearing a super tampon on a light flow day) you’re not only soaking up your menstrual blood but also any vaginal fluid. This fluid is gold. It keeps your vagina working smoothly! We talked about the vaginal pH balance recently and the types of bacteria that naturally live there. If you get a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, then somehow that delicate balance was thrown off. Your vagina is naturally a little dry the first couple of days after your period as your body is adjusting to the hormone shift and re-establishing that pH balance. If you are sensitive to your pH level or if you feel you’re doing the dance between infections and handling your period, you may want to switch to a menstrual cup. Because they are made of medical-grade silicone, they do not soak up anything. They just collect your menstrual blood until you empty it!
Switch to a menstrual cup and you can sleep in peace
Because they can hold menses for up to 12 hours safely, you can change your menstrual cup before bed and sleep without worrying if you’re going to leak onto the sheets. Or the age-old hack of using a tampon anda pad while you sleep. (ew!) Once you get the knack of using a menstrual cup, you’ll master wearing it with no leaks! Say hello to a blissful night’s rest while on your period.
When you see the numbers, you’ll switch to a menstrual cup
They save you money! And quite a lot of it, actually. Here are the dirty details. In 2015 a research project found that the average American woman will spend nearly $1800 on tampons alone. That’s not counting the panty liners, new underwear because of staining and menstrual products that help with easing discomfort. A Pixie Cup costs the price of about 2.5 boxes of tampons. This means that in about 2 months your menstrual cup will have paid for itself! Keep in mind that a menstrual cup (if taken care of properly) can last and function for up to a decade!
If you’ve tossed the idea around of trying a menstrual cup, now is the time to do it! With our 100% Happiness Guarantee, you can try a Pixie Cup risk-free! Life is complicated and we like to keep things simple. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your Pixie Cup product, we will refund your money. Please comment if you have questions and check out our store here.
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 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 Luxe. It’s designed to sit low in the vaginal canal and is a favorite among gals with a low cervix or tipped uterus!
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!
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.
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!
Have you considered using a menstrual cup, but you’re hesitant to try it? Maybe you’re afraid it will hurt or you’ve heard other’s fears about it getting stuck. Trying anything new can be slightly unnerving, but we wholeheartedly believe that your life will be better after switching to a menstrual cup. But don’t take our word for it! In this post, we’ll openly chat about any fears or hesitancies every woman has before ditching the disposable products for the last time! Let’s do this!
FEAR:What if my menstrual cup is stuck?
FACT: A super important thing to remember when using a menstrual cup:
It’s all about the seal
When inserting, you want to make sure to hear the seal so you know the seal is made. When you go to remove the cup, the same applies, only backward. Break the seal. By pinching the base of the cup, you’re able to let enough air in to break the seal. Pull the cup down and keep upright so you don’t dump the menses that have been collected until you want to! We interviewed a doctor about this same topic.
FEAR:What if I can’t reach my menstrual cup?
FACT: If you go to remove your menstrual cup and you can’t feel it, DON’T PANIC. Sometimes when women insert their menstrual cup, they could be sitting in a certain way that makes it easy for the cup to seal to the cervix. Though this does happen, it’s not the goal of wearing a menstrual cup. You want the cup sitting in your vaginal canal so you can easily reach the stem to remove. There are several tips on relaxing your body and moving certain ways to make it easier to reach your cup!
FEAR:What if my menstrual cup leaks?
FACT: This is a big one when switching to a menstrual cup! For any menstrual product, right? Getting caught in less-than-desirable circumstances with leaks! Eek! The big point with stopping leaks is making sure the seal is set in place. If you have a low cervix, (check out this guide to measuring your cervix height) it can be easy to catch your cervix and not get the proper seal. Secondly, once you feel your cup is in place, either gently turn your cup via the base OR run your finger around the lip of the cup to make sure the cup has popped open.
FEAR:What if inserting the menstrual cup hurts?
FACT: It may be slightly uncomfortable inserting the cup until you get used to it, but most people do not experience any pain. We have a specially formulated Pixie Cup Lube that’s safe for you and safe for your menstrual cup. A little on the rim of the cup prior to inserting takes the worry away! Or you may be looking at the size of the cup and wondering how that is fitting there. We hear you! Finding the right fold when switching to a menstrual cup is key! There are three popular folds; figure out which is best for you! Once the cup is in place, you shouldn’t be able to feel it at all. If for some reason you do feel it, experiment with the placement in the vaginal canal. Or you could need a smaller sized cup.
FEAR:What if wearing a menstrual cup affects my IUD?
FACT: Good news, girl! You can have your cake and eat it too. It’s totally possible to wear a menstrual cup and have an IUD. You’re not alone; this is a super popular question when women are switching to a menstrual cup. There are a couple things to consider when using a period cup with your IUD… like making sure the strings of the IUD are short enough that they don’t get caught in the rim of the period cup. Or making sure you break the seal of your cup prior to removing. This will be sure to not place any undo tension on the IUD. We made a whole blog post about this exact topic, with cool illustrations too!
FEAR:Can I poop with a menstrual cup?
FACT: Yes! You have a lot of muscles that are packed into the pelvic floor area in your pelvis, so everything touches and everything moves, to some degree, together. It’s really important to make sure your cup is properly placed (and not too low) in the vaginal canal. If it’s too low in the first place (and stem + base fully sticking out) you risk “birthing” or pushing the menstrual cup out during a bowel movement. If you’re questioning it, just quickly feel the placement. Some women do prefer to remove it prior to having a bowel movement, but it is not required.
FEAR:Can I pee while wearing a menstrual cup?
FACT: Totally! One of the many wonders of female anatomy is that we have a lot going on in a pretty small area. The urethra and bladder sit close to the vagina, which means it is possible for a menstrual cup to put pressure on them when being worn. This can result in two things: the sensation of feeling like you have to pee + a slower urine stream. Both of these things can be remedied by finding that “sweet spot” either lower or higher in the vaginal canal where neither are affected. 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.
FEAR:Can wearing a menstrual cup cause uterine prolapse?
FEAR:Can wearing a menstrual cup cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
FACT: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) 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. With tampons, you have the risk of particles of cotton being left behind and holding onto aging blood, which can lead to TSS. Menstrual cups leave no trace! They are approved to hold menses in the vagina for up to 12 hours. It’s not recommended for longer than that because of the fact it’s just not good for you and can lead to infection.
You’ve got this!
Switching a menstrual cup is a big decision! You’re daring to be different, and daring to make a difference for not only the planet but also for another woman somewhere around the world. With our Buy One, Give One program, every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we donate one to a woman in need. So not only are you changing your life, you’re actually changing someone else’s too. Menstrual cup support sites and communities are popping up as the trend for eco-friendly menstruation grows.
What hesitation is holding you back? Comment below and let us know! We’d love to answer you and provide support and maybe even add your fear to our blog post! Don’t forget we have our 100% Happiness Guarantee. If you don’t like your Pixie Cup, we’ll work with you to fit your needs or refund your money!
Check out the different menstrual cups and products we have to offer in our store.
Customers often ask us if Pixie Cup is FDA Approved. In this post, we’ll chat about the ins and outs including what FDA Approval actually means.
The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for telling us which foods, drugs, and medical devices are safe for us to use. And while we assume that anything that’s been cleared or approved by the FDA has been rigorously tested, that’s not always true. We value transparency and want to debunk myths by outlining everything between the FDA and menstrual cups!
What is FDA Approval?
FDA Approval happens (or doesn’t happen) when a company registers their product with the FDA. A mountain of paperwork is submitted, and the FDA conducts rigorous inspections of concept, manufacturing, ingredients, and materials.
“FDA approved” means that the agency has determined that the “benefits of the product outweigh the known risks for the intended use.” Manufacturers must submit a premarket approval (PMA) application and the results of clinical testing in order to get approval.
What does the FDA regulate?
For the most part, the Food and Drug Administration evaluates the safety of:
Dietary supplements (not all are subject to FDA regulation)
Medical devices (everything from menstrual cups to pacemakers)
Products that give off radiation (e.g. X-rays, microwave ovens)
What about menstrual cups?
The FDA allows companies to piggyback off other concepts if they can prove their product does the same job as a competitor and that the manufacturing, packaging, and ingredients are FDA Approved; this is called FDA Cleared. [or 501(k)] Menstrual cups are considered a Class II medical device, meaning it is inserted into the body but doesn’t aid or perform surgery or sustain life.
FACT: No menstrual cup on the market has been officially FDA Approved.
Most of them are officially FDA Cleared, however. Let’s take a quick look at how the Food & Drug Administration regulates tampons, pads, and menstrual products in general.
As the rise for health and wellness continues in recent years, women are seeking out more information about what exactly goes into our bodies. (yay for us!) And with that, we’ve started to question what’s in tampons and pads. An article in the New York Times hits the topic hard. Because up to this point, the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to put ingredients on the packaging of disposable menstrual products. There is currently a bill in legislation about transparency in tampons + pad ingredients.
If you’re curious as to what’s actually been found in mainstream tampons and pads, our friends at MadeSafe have put together all the specifics.
Is Pixie Cup FDA Approved?
We have gone above and beyond to make sure our manufacturers maintain a level of safety and excellence. They undergo annual unannounced inspection and audit to ensure quality and safety standards are still in place. We, at Pixie Cup, are the specification developers and have to complete the application process to be FDA Cleared for sale in the USA. Our manufactures and packagers also have to be FDA Approved. The approval process for them is more rigorous as their facilities have to maintain FDA standards.
Here at Pixie Cup, we only use medical-grade silicone. Medical grade silicone is approved by the FDA for its biocompatibility, which means it’s safe to be inserted inside the body without any risks. So while the cup itself may not be FDA Approved, the material we use is. The medical-grade silicone that we use for our Pixie Cups is hypoallergenic and latex-free, so it’s safe for people with latex allergies. Silicone is also non-porous, which means that it’s resistant to bacterial growth. That being said, it’s still extremely important to make sure that you keep your cup as clean as possible and wash it every time you use it.
When using your menstrual cup regularly, be sure to maintain cleanliness and sterilize your cup appropriately and regularly so it’s the best condition possible! If you’re new to using a menstrual cup, you will soon realize all the benefits and freedom that comes along with them!
We’re in this together.
Here at Pixie Cup, everything we do is geared towards making an impact for the better. Every time someone purchases a Pixie Cup, we donate one to a woman in need through our Buy One, Give One program.
On top of that, we care about YOU too! We care about your satisfaction and that’s why we have our 100% Happiness Guarantee. If for any reason you aren’t totally thrilled with your PIxie Cup purchase, we will refund you. Along with that is our transparency — please feel free to contact us regarding any questions you may have. We’re here to help!
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!