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What is the blood clotting during my period?

What is the blood clotting during my period?

If you’ve had your period for a number of years or even if you’ve given birth, blood clotting during your period is old hat! If you’re just starting your period, you need to know you’re normal, blood clots during your period are normal and you are PERFECT! We’re answering the common questions regarding clotting while menstruating for anyone who’s ever wondered or is curious.

What are blood clots during your period?

As you may know, during your period you shed the lining of your uterus because you had an egg that wasn’t fertilized and your body is ridding itself of that to make everything new and ready for the next ovulation. Crazy, right? During this time, it’s super common to see blood of almost all kinds: bright red, dark red, brown, and even different consistencies like water-like, thick and then clots. This wide variation is most present during your heaviest days (usually day 1-3).

IMPORTANT: You are normal and all the things stated are a normal part of your period!

What causes blood clots in periods?

So, you know when we get a cut and it starts to scab? Our body immediately releases “procoagulants” which starts the clotting process. This is our body’s way of trying to stop the bleeding or stop us from bleeding too much. Well, during our period we shed the lining of our uterus, it’s not a cut, but the clotting is still our body’s mechanism to regulate the blood loss. (Your body is amazing!)

When we see small clotting during our period, “anticoagulants” are also released, forming a balancing act that ensures the blood is thinned out enough. During the heaviest phase of your period, the anticoagulants can be get lost by your flow, so they don’t have time to kick in and break down the clots before they are released from the body.

That is why during the first few days of your period when your flow is at its heaviest, is the highest chance of seeing clots. Some women experience clotting the first few days of their period when it’s the heaviest and others experience it right up until the end of the menstrual phase. Don’t worry either way! Your body is doing what it’s comfortable with.

menstrual cycle

When should I be concerned about blood clots during my period?

As we’ve mentioned, clotting is a perfectly normal part of the menstrual process. If you notice significant changes or any of these following symptoms, it’s best to consult your physician in case there is any sort of medical condition that is lurking. 

  1. If your clotting is grey-ish
  2. You experience periods that are longer than 7 days
  3. The clots are consistently larger than a nickel 
  4. You pass a lot of clotting in a short period of time
  5. Excessive bleeding where you have to change your menstrual cup, tampon or pad every couple of hours.

Is my period blood normal?

Like every menstruating human, we are unique! This means our periods aren’t the same either. There are definite things to watch out for like we mentioned above, but in general, your period is fine. If you notice your period is bright red, it means your body is expelling it quicker. If you notice that your discharge is brown or darker, it just means it’s been ready to come out for a little while. One hint to help this is to keep incredibly hydrated during your period. Your vagina and uterus thrive off of water. Do you know when you’re thirsty? And your mouth is dry? Your uterus and vagina are similar because they too are always creating fluids. They need water to function properly and to continuously create a flushed and happy environment. 

How can I better manage my period?

Take it from us! Periods are messy no matter what, however, if you find that seeing clots on your menstrual pads is disturbing to you or you’d rather not, we highly recommend a menstrual cup. Have you ever tried one? A menstrual cup is a small cup with a stem that is made of medical-grade silicone. It’s inserted in the vagina and collects menses safely for up to 12 hours. Imagine the period freedom, right? Not having to change your pad or tampon only but a couple of times a day? Crazy! Once you master a menstrual cup and how your body works with it, you’ll find immense freedom in it. And if the natural clotting bothers you, you just dump, wash and go!

Here are some tricks for newbies!

Do you have questions regarding a menstrual cup and how it works? Or maybe which cup would be the best for you? We’ve got you covered! Comment below because we’d love to hear from you! Meanwhile, check out our store.

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Do menstrual cups save money?

Do menstrual cups save money?

Most of us are all about saving money in some form or another. We shop sales, we bargain hunt or shop second hand and hats off to any coupon clippers that are still out there holding strong! We are all at different stages of life, but typically saving a penny or two is the motivation to a lot of the decisions we make on a daily basis. If you’re a human who menstruates, you may want to check out these numbers and how menstrual cups can save money. 

picture of money

How much does an average period cost?

On average, a person bleeds from five to seven days and menstruates from age 13 until age 51. That equates to a total of (ready for it?) 456 periods over those 38 years! Kind of amazing, right? I know I feel empowered when I realize I can do anything that anyone else can do and I can do it bleeding. You’re incredible!

Now 456 is a huge number! Let’s talk in more tangible figures. We’re going to calculate the difference in costs over five years (or 60 periods) so you can get a general idea of how much you’ll save in a feasible amount of time!

Of course, there’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ period and If you’re reading this it’s likely you’ve already started menstruating. Depending on how heavy or light your flow is, you’ll probably need to increase or decrease the costs accordingly. Ready for the numbers?

How much money do you save using a menstrual cup?

Tampons. The average box of tampons (talking store brand) is about $4. Now, there is a lot coming out recently about what’s actually in tampons and how we are wise to start reaching for the organic options. So if you’d rather have the top-shelf stuff, we’re looking at potentially $7 for a month’s supply. The average person changes their tampon every four hours. Using one tampon every four hours equals six tampons per day. Multiply 6 tampons by the number of days you bleed (five days on average) and you’re using 30 tampons per period. Multiply that by 60 periods you’ll get in 5 years and boom: 1,800 tampons. At 36 tampons per box, that’s 50 boxes of tampons at approximately $7 each. So, over the course of five years, that’s going to cost you $350.

Pads. Are you still a die-hard pad user? Here are some numbers for you! The common opinion says it’s best to change your pad every 4 hours as it becomes saturated easily and holds bacteria. A pack of 40 pads can cost also around $7 per package for a standard brand or $8 for an organic option

Using one pad every four hours = six pads per day. Multiply six pads by the number of days you bleed (five days on average) and you’re using 30 pads per cycle. If you have 60 periods and you’re using 30 pads per cycle, you’ll be using 1800 pads. With 40 pads per package and an average price ticket of $8, you’re looking at spending $360 in 5 years. 

Menstrual cup. Here at Pixie Cup we offer several menstrual cup options and a couple of them come in combo packs so you can adjust according to your flow. Our combo packs average $25 and if you properly take care of your menstrual cup, it can last you up to 10 years! So your period cost for a decade literally becomes $25. 

menstrual cup and tampon

Do I need anything to go with my menstrual cup?

Nope! Once you have mastered inserting your menstrual cup, you’ll be free of leaks and free of period hassle. We have some great accessories that are designed to make your menstrual cup transition and journey even better and easier. Our Pixie Cup Lube is great for newbies as it helps with any uneasiness that comes with something new! Our steamer makes sterilizing a breeze as well as our Pixie Cup Wash for a quick wash between changes.

Are period cups worth it? 

With the numbers we chatted about today, we definitely think so! But you make that call. Leaving something so familiar to you like a pad or tampon is hard and we fully acknowledge that. We are here to back you up every step of the way during your menstrual cup journey. Our 100% Happiness Guarantee ensures that we like to keep things simple and our friends happy. 

Reach out to us! Let us know your #wins or struggles. We’ll be so glad to help.

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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. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. DO NOT use random items to remove your cup

However tempting it might be to grab tweezers or a spoon or something on your bathroom counter to help you reach your cup, don’t do it! The vaginal canal is a sensitive area, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or causing infection.

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.

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.

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