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What if I have a low cervix?

What if I have a low cervix?

If you’ve Googled any sort of feminine health issues, concerns or questions, chances are you’ve heard something about a low cervix or at least the mention of it. Fact of the matter, nearly all women have a low cervix at some point during their menstrual cycle because that’s just the way the body is designed… and it’s amazing! YOU are amazing. We’re chatting about what a low cervix actually is and how it plays a role in your everyday life.

low cervix menstrual cup

What is a cervix?

It is a muscle that divides the vagina from the uterus. This muscle moves, it opens and shuts, becomes soft and firmer. All depending on the time of the month! During pregnancy, the cervix is what dilates, allowing the baby to deliver during vaginal delivery. There are some really amazing pictures put together by Women’s Health Magazine of the cervix during different stages or events in life. [GRAPHIC PHOTOS WARNING]

How can I find it?

You can locate your cervix by inserting a finger into the vagina (wash your hands first!). If you feel squeamish about checking your cervical position, this is perfectly normal! It’s not something most of us are used to doing, but it will get easier in time. Breathe slowly and try to relax. It may help to squat or put one foot up on the edge of the bathtub. Slowly slide your finger in until you feel the firmer tissue at the top of your vaginal canal. That’s it! You can tell the difference between your vagina and the cervix because, while vaginal tissue is soft and gives way to pressure, it is more firm. It may feel like the tip of your nose.

How do I know if my cervix is low?

Measuring your cervical position is a must! This will help determine what menstrual cup to purchase, it will tell you a lot about the stage of your cycle if you’re tracking it throughout the month, and help determine the health and strength of your pelvic floor. Here is the easiest way to measure your cervix. 

Depending on where you are in your cycle, the position and feel of the cervix can change. If you are ovulating, it may be softer, higher, and more difficult to reach. Someone who is trying to determine and watch fertility will find this very helpful. During your period, your cervix is likely low and firmer to the touch, and the opening is a bit larger to allow the menstrual flow to escape.

Can I use a menstrual cup with a low cervix?

Yes! Depending on how low your cervix actually sits during your period varies from woman to woman. Here at Pixie Cup we have a menstrual cup specifically designed for a low cervical position, tilted, or tipped uterus! Our Pixie Cup Luxe is especially soft, making it super comfortable. It’s also narrow to prevent discomfort in the opening of the vaginal canal. 

Does a low cervix mean a prolapsed uterus?

Having a low cervix does not make you odd, it doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle or your feminine health. It’s just the way your body is designed. However, we did touch briefly on prolapse and that can happen with any of the organs in the pelvic region. If at any point you feel your cervix is alarmingly low or protruding out of the vaginal opening, we urge you to see a physician as soon as possible. A prolapsed uterus is not the end of the world and there are several ways that it can be fixed! Depending on the severity, you could implement some pelvic floor exercises to help firm and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

We mentioned our Pixie Cup Luxe and we think you’ll love it. Head over to our store to get 10% off your first order!

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Self-care during your period and why you really need it

Self-care during your period and why you really need it

As women, our bodies endure a lot. You should probably start every single day with patting yourself on the back. You do hard things! Half the time you don’t even know it. Through our whole menstrual cycle (25-40 days) a lot is happening. There are peaks and valleys all leading up to our actual menstruation. I like to think of menstruation as the time that our bodies let go of that which doesn’t serve us anymore. There is pain, it’s uncomfortable some of the time, but on the other side, you’re at your best and ready to take on the world. During your period, it’s super important to be easy on yourself. Your emotions are run by your hormones during this time and if you’re like me, I can make a mountain out of a molehill! We’ve put together some of our favorite things for self-care during our period.

Self-care ideas for during our period

Get outside. I probably can’t stress this one enough. The world feels like it’s crumbling when I’m on my period, and if nothing else, I force myself to at least go for a walk.  It’s proven that when you exercise, your brain releases the feel-good hormones called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain or anxiety or stress. You’ve probably heard the term “runner’s high” or something of that nature. That’s exactly what they are referring to!

Eat better. I know everything in you is craving a pint of ice cream and a good movie. Those desires may actually be a bi-product of a deficiency! Ever want to eat a pan full of brownies?! Your body could be craving magnesium. Magnesium helps ease cramps and overall has a calming effect on the body. Check out this cool article about periods and magnesium. Another big one is iron. Your body is discharging up to 16 teaspoons of blood during your period. That’s a crazy amount. (Remember what I said about you doing hard things?) I take a food-derived liquid iron supplement during my menstrual phase and I physically feel the difference. If you are low on iron your energy will fall through the floor.

holding menstrual cup

Reusable menstrual products. This was a total game changer for me! When I discovered menstrual cups, my mind was blown. I was no longer a slave to tampons and carrying them with me, remembering them on the grocery list or making mad dashes to the corner store. I was free to swim on my period, to not have to jog with a pad in my spandex pants or pack my glove box with a “just in case” stash. I literally forget that I’m on my period and it’s the best thing ever. Have you ever thought about making the switch to a menstrual cup? We know it’s definitely a change and we’ve got your fears covered

Slow down. We live such a fast paced life that having quiet time or downtime can actually make some of us uncomfortable. (I’m over here raising my hand) This can come from a number of things. An internal programming of guilt that we aren’t “being productive” or that our lives take a lot of work to make ends meet and juggling all the demands equals zero free time. Most of us know when our periods are coming. Maybe schedule that week to be a little lighter? Ask someone to share responsibilities with you? If your planner is your BFF, physically write down and block off time for yourself. It’s so much easier said than done, I get it, but I think you will find the return will be richer. You’ll have the creative juices and the energy to tackle what you need to.

Have a journal. This is perfect for a couple of reasons. First, on a very physical level, you will be able to spot trends in your mood, in your body, and differences in your cycle. We highly recommend keeping a journal of your period anyways, and we even have this handy downloadable period tracker! Also, if you’re anxiety-prone, taking thoughts out of your head and putting them on paper is super helpful too. This is a great mental self-care tactic during your period.

Sleep. We probably can’t stress this factor enough. You need sleep and a good amount of it, especially on your period. We recently talked about how sleep and fatigue affect us and 7 tips on getting better sleep during our periods. While we are tired and especially exhausted during our period, sometimes it’s hard to sleep due to the hormone fluctuations going on in our bodies. Oh, the irony…

Grounding. This topic deserves a blog post all on its own. Grounding is the act of connecting to the earth and to your body. It’s doing something that brings you back to the moment (back to center), it heightens bodily awareness and overall calms you. My body tells me to ground myself when I know I have a busy day ahead of me, I’m stressed out or if anxiety starts getting the best of me. In some sense, I’ve allowed outside influencers to disconnect me. Grounding can happen in a number of ways. Taking a few minutes to unplug and go into your yard barefoot. This enables you to soak up electrical energy from the earth. For me, gardening or pruning/watering my plants, getting my hands in the dirt does the trick.

How do you define self-care?

Up until a couple of years ago, self-care was a foreign concept to me. I quite literally furrowed my brow when someone mentioned “self-care” one day. If you’re like me, the idea of taking care of yourself was unknown because you constantly self-sacrifice to make sure others are taken care of or your life does not lend itself to time off, let alone sitting and watching a movie and giving yourself a pedicure or curling up with a book and a cup of tea. The definition of self-care isn’t the same for everyone. It’s whatever calms you, whatever serves you, whatever makes you feel like you are important too. Here are some myths that can certainly be applied for self-care during your period also. 

self-care myths

How do you self care during your period? We’d love to hear your ideas on how you are kind to yourself. Tell us what brings you joy! If you’ve thought about switching to a reusable menstrual product like a menstrual cup, we’ve got you covered! Head over to our store and see the different sizes and styles. If you need help knowing which is best for you, we’ve got you covered there too. Let’s bust those menstrual cup fears and the self-care myths. 

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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.

8 menstrual cups tricks for newbies

8 menstrual cups tricks for newbies

Haven’t you heard? Menstrual cups are awesome. [I know we’re sorta biased, but it’s true!] If you’re thinking about making the switch, you’re in the right spot. We’re about living that free life! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned user, we have 8 menstrual cup tricks that may help when you’re stumped! 

holding menstrual cup

What is a menstrual cup?

For the uninitiated, menstrual cups (also known as period cups) are flexible bell-shaped devices that you insert into your vagina to catch your menstrual fluid. Typically made from medical grade silicone, you can actually safely wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours then you can empty out however often it is necessary based on the heaviness of your flow. 

What are some menstrual cup tricks?

If you’re new to menstrual cups, these are tips and tricks we would tell our BFFs if they were about to try a period cup for the first time. You’ve got this!

  1. Read the instructions! You may be looking at this egg-shaped cup wondering how hard it could actually be. Good news: it’s not hard, you’ll just feel more confident once you pull out the instruction packet and have a good read. 
  2. Relax! This is incredibly important. If you’re tense, your muscles throughout your body will be tense too. Your pelvic muscles respond to stress very easily. Inserting a menstrual cup if you’re freaked out or worried will be no fun! Try inserting on a day that you don’t have your period. Don’t leave it in long-term, but insert, stand up and walk around so you can see if you got the knack of it. You should never feel your menstrual cup if it’s in place correctly!
  3. Use lube! Whether you’re on your period or not, if you’re dry down there, it’s going to make inserting a menstrual cup uncomfortable. Everything is just easier when it glides smoothly, right? We have our Pixie Cup Lube that is designed specifically for your menstrual cup and for your vagina. 
  4. Figure out the folds! There are three popular (and easy) folds. Figure out which one works with you the very best. You should hear or feel the menstrual cup pop open once you release it in your vagina. 
  5. Wait for the pop! Depending on what fold you choose, you should feel the pop of your menstrual cup springing open! This is absolutely crucial. This magical pop is the only thing standing in the way of a carefree period day or one of horror films. Just kidding… but close. Making sure your period cup pops open is vital to creating a seal and keeping your day leak-free.
  6. Empty your menstrual cup in the shower! Whether you shower at night or in the morning, this is a great period hack. You don’t have to worry about a crazy mess because everything washes down the drain. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash because it’s gentle on your period cup and on you! 
  7. Pinch don’t pull! So, if your menstrual cup is working and kicking period woes like it should be, then it’s going to have created a really tight seal keeping it leak-free. If you try to pull your period out at this point, you’ll basically get nowhere and place unneeded pressure on your cervix and pelvic muscles. Be sure to break the seal! Do this by pinching the base of your menstrual cup or by sliding a finger up the side. You should feel the release or hear the sound of air escaping. 
  8. Size does matters! We’re all shaped differently and one menstrual cup doesn’t fit all. Thankfully there are several sizes and styles. Here at Pixie Cup we have our small, large and extra large menstrual cups depending on your flow or if you’ve had babies via vaginal birth. Our Pixie Cup Luxe is specifically designed for women with a low cervix. If you are questioning what size menstrual cup is best for you or how to measure your cervix, check out the linked blog posts!
menstrual cup for beginners

You’ve got this!

Being nervous switching from something you know well like a pad or tampon to something entirely new can be nerve-wracking! We totally get that. Everyone has those beginning fears. Check out our store for all the menstrual cup styles and sizes. Let us know how we can help. We’d love to chat with you!

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Talking about menstrual cups: a how-to

Talking about menstrual cups: a how-to

Periods aren’t fun to talk about. Why is that? (Definitely another post for another time) For a woman, it’s a normal bodily function just like breathing, eating, sneezing or snoring. All these things happen every single day and we don’t feel awkward (OK, maybe the snoring). You may feel doubly uncomfortable talking about a product that may not be as well known or is “out of the norm” for periods and menstruation. We get it! (We get weird looks when we are asked what we do for work, ha!) Here are some helpful tips for when you’re talking about menstrual cups. 

holding menstrual cup

What are menstrual cups?

If you’re going to explain it to someone, you’ll feel most comfortable if you know exactly what it is you’re talking about, right? Here’s a quick refresh. Menstrual cups are egg-shaped cups typically made from medical-grade silicone that are inserted into the vagina. They collect menses and can be worn for up to 12 hours, safely. If you’re casually talking about it, all the detail may not be necessary…

“A menstrual cup is an alternative to tampons and pads. They are better for your body and eco-friendly.”

If they push for more detail or “Wait, how do they work?” you can quickly say, “It’s inserted in the vagina and collects your period mess!”

Menstrual cups aren’t just a fad

Even though menstrual cups have recently gained popularity, they have actually been around for nearly 100 years! Tampons and pads took the spotlight in the 1970s because they were a disposable product. Up until that point, most women still used rags and other reusable cloths to soak up menses. If I had only known washcloths and wads of fabric in my underwear, I would leap at a throw-away product too! Women working outside the home became increasingly popular in the 1970s as well which would make reaching for a tampon even more appealing. 

menstrual cup

What should I say when I’m talking about menstrual cups? 

Whenever we’re excited about something new, we always talk about what we love first, right? So here are some super easy and quick perks when talking about menstrual cups.

Period cups are eco-friendly. Menstrual cups save nearly 250 tampons (and plastic applicators) from entering the landfills, per woman, per year!

They are healthier. Tampons are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is no mystery. Recently, however, tampons have been the discussion of vaginal flora and disturbing the pH balance in the vagina. We talked about that recently. Menstrual cups do not soak up anything, they just collect. So this doesn’t mess up your vaginal balance. 

Menstrual cups save you money. A typical box of tampons is $7, and that’s not even the really nice, organic ones. In two months time your Pixie Cup will have nearly paid for itself. 

They are convenient. Menstrual cups can be safely left in the vagina for up to 12 hours. This was a mind-blowing fact for me! I was used to getting maybe 3 or 4 hours out of a tampon and I felt like I was a slave to toting them around during my period. 

We’re here for you

Here at Pixie Cup, we believe in period freedom for all women. Our company was founded on that very fact. This is the breath and backbone of everything we do here and with our Buy One, Give One program we do just that. Every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we donate one to a woman in need. So really, you not only changed your life, but you changed someone else’s too. How’s that for a fact?  

How did you break the ice with your boyfriend, girlfriend, BFF or coworker? We would love to hear the story. If you’re still on the fence regarding switching to a menstrual cup, hopefully, we’ve made the idea of “the conversation” easier! Head over to our store to see the different styles + sizes. If you’re questioning which one is best for you, we have that covered too

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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!

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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!