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“Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup

“Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup

“Help, I think my menstrual cup is stuck!” If you’re experiencing a “stuck” menstrual cup, don’t panic! Take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to help.

It’s important to remember that your menstrual cup can only go so far before it reaches your cervix, and guess what? That’s the end of the tunnel. There’s nowhere else for it to go. Your menstrual cup can’t migrate into your uterus or get “lost” inside you.

That said, sometimes it can be hard to get a grip on your cup or break the seal. This can happen if the cup migrates further up in the vaginal canal, or if it forms a seal right up against your cervix.

If this happens to you, you may be tempted to call your doctor or head to the emergency room. Before you do, try our tips for removing a stuck menstrual cup.

1. Relax and breathe

It can be scary and frustrating when you can’t get your cup out, especially if this has never happened to you before. However, many menstrual cup users have experienced this at one time or another, and have gone on to use their cup happily for many years. 

The best thing you can do right now is relax. That may feel impossible if you’ve been fighting with a stuck cup, but take a moment to just breathe. If you’re too tense, all of your muscles will be contracted, and it will make it harder for your cup to come out. 

If you need to step away for a few minutes and regroup, go ahead. Do some breathing exercises, make a cup of tea, or do whatever else you need to calm down. It’s okay if your cup has already been in for 12 hours. Nothing bad is going to happen if you need to wait a little longer.

2. DO NOT use a spoon or other item to remove your cup

You may have heard of something known as the “menstrual cup stuck spoon trick.” However tempting it might be to use tweezers or a spoon or something else to help you reach your cup, don’t do it! We do not recommend inserting anything into your vagina that isn’t made to go there. The vaginal canal is a sensitive area, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or causing infection. Plus, it simply isn’t necessary. You can break the seal on your cup just as easily with your finger if you do it correctly.

3. Take a squat

When you’re ready to try again, it may be helpful to get into a squatting position. Get as low as you can to the ground. This will allow you to reach further into your vaginal canal. You can also lift one foot up onto the edge of the toilet or bathtub.

Before you get started, make sure your hands are clean and dry. The drier your hands are, the easier it will be to get a grip on the cup. If the base of the cup is close to the vaginal opening, you could even use a little bit of toilet paper to dry it off.

4. Don’t bear down

You may have read some advice to bear down when you’re trying to get your cup out, but we don’t recommend this. Bearing down when under stress is not good for all the organs and muscles in the pelvic region.

When you have a bowel movement or are giving birth, your muscles work together naturally, and are not being forced. Some reports indicate that improper removal of a menstrual cup could be linked to prolapse of the pelvic muscles, although this has not been proven.

5. Gently break the seal

To properly remove your cup, you need to break the seal that it formed when you inserted it. DO NOT yank on your cup and attempt to pull it straight out. Pulling on a sealed cup will strain the pelvic muscles.

There are two ways to break the seal:

  1. Pinch the base of the cup. Grab the cup as far up as possible and pinch it. You may want to squeeze it for a few seconds to allow the seal to release. If you can’t quite get a hold of the cup, grab the stem and wiggle the cup back and forth a bit (don’t pull) until you’re able to grab the base. Listen for the sound of air leaking, which means the seal is broken.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try inserting one finger up along the side of your menstrual cup and feel for the rim of the cup. Gently push in the rim, similar to the process used for the punch-down fold, until you hear the seal break. This can allow some fluid to leak out, so it’s best to do this when sitting on the toilet or squatting in the shower.

Once the seal is broken, tip the cup a little bit to allow more air into the vagina, and try wiggling your cup out or removing it at an angle.

If that doesn’t work, try a different position. Sometimes changing position can make all the difference. If you’ve been squatting, try putting one foot up on the edge of the bathtub instead.

Still can’t get your cup out?

If you’ve tried all these steps — and made sure to relax and breathe — and you still can’t get your cup out, it may be time to call your doctor. Remember that not all gynecologists are familiar with menstrual cups, and you may need to tell your doctor not to attempt to pull it straight out. Also, don’t let your doctor throw your cup away! There’s no reason it can’t be sanitized and reused.

Make sure you have the right size

If you frequently have trouble getting your cup out, it could mean that your cup is the wrong size. If you have a higher cervix but are using a shorter cup, the cup may migrate further up in the vagina and be hard to reach.

Measuring your cervix can help you choose the right cup for you.

At Pixie Cup, we offer several shapes and sizes to help everyone find the perfect fit. All of our bodies are different, so it makes sense that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to menstrual cups. Learn how to find the best menstrual cup for your body.

We also offer a 100% happiness guarantee. If you buy a Pixie Cup and it isn’t the right size or it otherwise doesn’t work for you, we’ll work with you to find one that works or refund your money! We want everyone to experience true period freedom, and your happiness is our priority.

Check out our different menstrual cups and menstrual cup accessories in our store.

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This content was originally written on February 19, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

How to make your menstrual cup pop open

How to make your menstrual cup pop open

Is your menstrual cup leaking or not popping open? Menstrual cups make life 1000% percent easier when you’re on your period, but figuring out how to use them can take a little time. The #1 secret to a leak-free period with a menstrual cup? Making your menstrual cup pop open.

how to make your menstrual cup pop open

Getting your menstrual cup to pop open correctly will allow it to form a tight seal so that you won’t experience any unwanted leaking. Today, we’re going to share some helpful tips to make sure your cup opens up perfectly every time.

While the cup itself is designed to be leak-free, it can take a few tries to get comfortable using and inserting it. We recommend that you practice at home first (rather than in a public restroom) so you can learn the perfect cup technique that works for you. You may even want to practice inserting your cup when you don’t have your period. If you do, don’t leave the cup in — just get familiar with how it feels when it’s inserted properly and forming a seal, and then remove the cup.

Why won’t my menstrual cup pop open?

There are a few different factors that could be preventing your cup from fully opening. It could simply be a matter of finding a fold that works well for you, or you could actually need a different cup.

First, let’s make sure you’re inserting the cup properly. Before inserting your cup, always wash your hands thoroughly. And, try to relax! This process can feel intimidating to new cup users, but if you’re feeling tense, it will make inserting your cup harder. So take a few deep breaths and remember, while learning how to use a menstrual cup can be a little uncomfortable at first, it should never be painful, and the cup can’t get lost inside you. So there’s nothing to worry about!

3 easy steps to make your menstrual cup pop open

  • Use the C-fold for insertion. The C-fold is a simple fold that you can do with one hand, and that allows the cup to pop open easily. You may also want to use a little bit of our Pixie Cup Lube to make insertion easier.
  • After you insert the cup, run a clean finger around the rim of the cup (the top). As you do, you may feel some folds or indentations.
  • If you feel folds, grab the base of the cup and gently twist the cup in a circular motion. Turn the cup one full rotation. This will help it pop open and form a seal.

That’s it! For most people, following these steps will allow their cup to pop open properly and provide leak-free protection!

Why is my cup still leaking?

If you’ve tried these steps and your cup is still leaking, there are a few possible reasons:

  1. Your cup could be the wrong size. If your cup slides up or down a lot during the day (a little movement is totally normal… we’re talking a LOT of movement) you might have the wrong cup size. Pixie Cup is available in two different styles and three sizes, so we have options for just about everyone! Learn how to choose the right menstrual cup for you.
  2. Your might have a tilted cervix. If you have a tilted cervix, and your cup isn’t properly aligned, your menstrual flow might run along the vaginal wall, missing the rim of your cup completely. If this is the case, try wearing your cup lower. You may also want to try our Pixie Cup Luxe, which was specially designed for people with a tilted or low cervix.
  3. Your menstrual flow could be heavier than your cup can handle. We designed the Pixie Cup in a bell shape to capture as much fluid as possible — more than several tampons. But, if you have an especially heavy period, you may need to empty your cup more often. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of emptying your cup every few hours, try our XL Pixie Cup! No matter what size you wear, make sure you empty and clean your cup at least every 12 hours to keep it clean and sanitary.
  4. You may need a cup made with a firmer material. Some people find that it’s easier to get their cup to pop open when they use one that’s slightly more rigid. If you’re using a cup that’s very soft and flexible, try one that’s more firm, such as our original Pixie Cup.

Menstrual cups take a little bit of practice, but don’t let that scare you. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone uses a slightly different technique. Before long, you’ll figure out which folds and tricks work for your body. Once you’re comfortable using a cup, you’ll never go back to pads and tampons!

Did our tips work for you? If so, drop a comment below to let us know!

Are you ready to give the Pixie Cup a try? Click here to see all of our Pixie Cup products!

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This content was originally written on December 16, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Using essential oils during our menstrual cycle

Using essential oils during our menstrual cycle

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.

essential oils and diffuser

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. 

How do essential oils work?

Some of the health claims associated with these oils are controversial but they are incredibly popular if you are seeking alternative medicine or a more holistic approach. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Essential oils can also be absorbed by the skin. They are popular in massage therapy as they are mixed in a lotion or carrier oil before being applied to the skin

How can I use essential oils safely?

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.

girl holding menstrual cup

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.

Can I go to the bathroom with a menstrual cup?

Can I go to the bathroom with a menstrual cup?

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. 

bathroom picture

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.

But first… 

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. 

blue pixie cup

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 more when 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. 

Largely, the issues mentioned above can be remedied with cleanliness and what size and style menstrual cup we choose! Good news, right? See our online store for different cup styles and several methods of sterilizing — which one fits your life best? Let us know!

Can you fertilize your plants with period blood?

Can you fertilize your plants with period blood?

We recently posted on our Instagram about how to fertilize your plants with your period blood. Here at Pixie Cup, we are all about periods and period hacks and this was new to us! In light of the time of year and everyone starting and tending to their gardens, we did some digging. Quickly, we realized how popular this method was as a green-living ritual from feminists and plant lovers alike. 

menstrual cup

Is it ok to use period blood to fertilize your plants?

While studies haven’t been specifically done on it, we can look at the chemical breakdown of menstrual blood and see that some things make sense. Blood contains three primary plant macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So, if you’re a gardener and menstrual cup enthusiast, you may want to try to use your next cycle to help your plants! 

Nitrogen. Put simply, nitrogen promotes plant growth. It’s the star of the show and makes your plant bushy, leafy, and promotes growth! Nitrogen is part of every protein in the plant, so it’s required for virtually every process—from growing new leaves to defending against pests. Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their rich green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. Lack of nitrogen shows up as yellowing (chlorosis) of the plant. 

Phosphorus. Phosphorus is responsible for transferring energy from one point to another in the plant. Energy from the stem can be transferred to the tips of the leaves with the help of phosphorus! It’s also critical in root development and flowering. 

Potassium. Potassium helps regulate plant metabolism and affects water inside and outside of plant cells. It is important for good root development and for these reasons, potassium is critical to plant stress tolerance! When you repot a plant it disturbs the root system and can cause shock. Potassium helps the plant bounce back and re-establish its roots in the new soil and new pot. 

Using a menstrual cup will make fertilizing your plants easier

If you want to give period blood fertilization a shot, using a menstrual cup will help make that easier! A menstrual cup is a cup-shaped device made of medical-grade silicone. It is inserted into the vaginal canal and creates a seal. It collects menstrual blood for up to 12 hours, safely. When you go to empty your menstrual cup, be sure to pinch the base or slide a finger up one of the sides to “break the seal” which makes removal quick and easy

HOW TO:

It’s not recommended to pour period blood directly onto the soil to fertilize your plants. The concentrated fluid could cause an odor as it dries and could attract insects. It’s best to dilute and make a watering solution! Empty your menstrual cup right into a half-gallon container and fill with water. This dilution is fit for daily watering. It’s also not an exact science so more water is fine too if you need to make it stretch to feed your garden! 

PLEASE NOTE: menstrual blood should be used right away and not stored. It is a bodily fluid that contains bacteria and could become a hazard the longer it ages. 

menstrual cup and plants

Maybe watering your plants with blood has a deeper meaning

More than nourishing plants, maybe this practice also nourishes women’s relationship to their periods. This is crucial because traditionally society has taught us that the natural, healthy experience of menstruation is embarrassing and a source of shame. We whisper for a tampon. We log our periods on a locked app on our phones. We apologize to our significant other for the “inconvenience.” Maybe using something from us to feed something else, connects us to ourselves and to the earth. Our periods are a perfect time to focus on self-care and adding gardening and tending to our plants could be a great addition. 

Do you have a routine during your period? Do you think fertilizing your plants with your menstrual cup would be a good addition? Let us know if you have tried this before! If you don’t have a menstrual cup, head over to our store for a variety of styles and sizes.

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Why you need to switch to a menstrual cup (and it has nothing to do with the environment)

Why you need to switch to a menstrual cup (and it has nothing to do with the environment)

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.

holding a menstrual cup

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!

sleeping girl

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 and a 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