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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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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.

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

 

Using your menstrual cup postpartum

Using your menstrual cup postpartum

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 menstrual cup

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

menstrual cup

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!

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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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