Enter code 10FIRST for 10% OFF your 1st order! Click here for details.

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!

How to recycle a menstrual cup

How to recycle a menstrual cup

You’ve already made the switch from single-use tampons and pads to reusable menstrual cups and that’s big! Congratulations! A couple of things: you’ve made the world a greener place and you’ve changed a woman’s life too. Kind of crazy, right? We all ditch the disposable menstrual products for different reasons. Some gals switch because menstrual cups are more convenient or more cost-effective. Others choose a period cup because they are better for your body and the earth.

No matter what made you switch, we’re so glad you did! There are a few reasons you could be looking up how to recycle a menstrual cup such as: using period-stopping birth control, pregnancy, medications, menopause or it’s been well-loved and needs replacing! Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone, which can be safely disposed of in a few different ways. Continue reading for a couple of suggestions on how to recycle a menstrual cup.

menstrual cup

What is medical-grade silicone? 

More technically referred to as medical-healthcare grade, class VI silicone tested for biocompatibility, this type is typically the material of choice for a wide range of products, including menstrual cups, baby bottle nipples, scuba mouthpieces, and food and skin contact products. Silicone creates watertight seals, it has antimicrobial properties, is hardwearing and withstands UV light sterilization. 

When should I recycle my menstrual cup? 

A menstrual cup is safe to use for up to 10 years… technically. That being said, the care and keeping of your cup plays a heavy role. Depending on the soap (and if it contained drying agents like alcohol) that was used on it regularly can cause damage. If you notice any sort of cracking in your cup or the outside has become tacky to the touch, recycle immediately. At this point, the silicone has been damaged and shouldn’t be used any longer.

What do you do with menstrual cups that don’t fit?

Menstrual cups come in the same general shape but some are wider or thinner to get the perfect fit. Our bodies change especially after pregnancy or childbirth and what menstrual cup fit you before, could very well not be the right fit after. What do you do with old menstrual cups? If the cup is in good shape, it can actually be passed on. If there is light staining or slight odor, there are a few ways to get rid of those! Once your cup is sterilized, it’s germ-free and ready to be used… by you or someone else!

menstrual cup potted plants

How do you recycle a menstrual cup?

Chop it up. Medical-grade silicone is safe. Safe to be inside your body as a menstrual cup, safe to eat off of, doesn’t give off any sort of toxins and is free from hazardous ingredients. You can chop up (or grind down) your menstrual cup and add to the soil of a potted plant or scatter in your garden!

Check with your local hospital. Hospitals use instruments all the time that are made of medical-grade silicone and eventually, they will need to be disposed of. Asking them if there is a procedure or method in place could be really helpful!

Burn it. If you don’t have time to contact facilities for local recycling advice, a super simple solution would be to burn your menstrual cup! Sounds crazy, we know, but it burns to simple ash and doesn’t give off toxic fumes. Keep in mind that silicone is heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit so it does take some time to break down. Placing it in a wood stove or in the embers of a bonfire is perfect! 

How was your menstrual cup journey? Which way will you choose to recycle your menstrual cup? Did you wear it out and you need to replace it now? Check out our store for different sizes and styles or read this post to determine what size is right for you!

shop menstrual cups
Scared to try a menstrual cup? This will help!

Scared to try a menstrual cup? This will help!

Have you considered using a menstrual cup, but you’re hesitant to try it? Maybe you’re afraid it will hurt or you’ve heard other’s fears about it getting stuck. Trying anything new can be slightly unnerving, but we wholeheartedly believe that your life will be better after switching to a menstrual cup. But don’t take our word for it! In this post, we’ll openly chat about any fears or hesitancies every woman has before ditching the disposable products for the last time! Let’s do this!

girl holding menstrual cup

FEAR: What if my menstrual cup is stuck?

FACT: A super important thing to remember when using a menstrual cup: 

It’s all about the seal 

When inserting, you want to make sure to hear the seal so you know the seal is made. When you go to remove the cup, the same applies, only backward. Break the seal. By pinching the base of the cup, you’re able to let enough air in to break the seal. Pull the cup down and keep upright so you don’t dump the menses that have been collected until you want to! We interviewed a doctor about this same topic

FEAR: What if I can’t reach my menstrual cup? 

FACT: If you go to remove your menstrual cup and you can’t feel it, DON’T PANIC. Sometimes when women insert their menstrual cup, they could be sitting in a certain way that makes it easy for the cup to seal to the cervix. Though this does happen, it’s not the goal of wearing a menstrual cup. You want the cup sitting in your vaginal canal so you can easily reach the stem to remove. There are several tips on relaxing your body and moving certain ways to make it easier to reach your cup!

FEAR: What if my menstrual cup leaks? 

FACT: This is a big one when switching to a menstrual cup! For any menstrual product, right? Getting caught in less-than-desirable circumstances with leaks! Eek! The big point with stopping leaks is making sure the seal is set in place. If you have a low cervix, (check out this guide to measuring your cervix height) it can be easy to catch your cervix and not get the proper seal. Secondly, once you feel your cup is in place, either gently turn your cup via the base OR run your finger around the lip of the cup to make sure the cup has popped open. 

 

FEAR: What if inserting the menstrual cup hurts? 

FACT: It may be slightly uncomfortable inserting the cup until you get used to it, but most people do not experience any pain. We have a specially formulated Pixie Cup Lube that’s safe for you and safe for your menstrual cup. A little on the rim of the cup prior to inserting takes the worry away! Or you may be looking at the size of the cup and wondering how that is fitting there. We hear you! Finding the right fold when switching to a menstrual cup is key! There are three popular folds; figure out which is best for you! Once the cup is in place, you shouldn’t be able to feel it at all. If for some reason you do feel it, experiment with the placement in the vaginal canal. Or you could need a smaller sized cup.

FEAR: What if wearing a menstrual cup affects my IUD?

FACT: Good news, girl! You can have your cake and eat it too. It’s totally possible to wear a menstrual cup and have an IUD. You’re not alone; this is a super popular question when women are switching to a menstrual cup. There are a couple things to consider when using a period cup with your IUD… like making sure the strings of the IUD are short enough that they don’t get caught in the rim of the period cup. Or making sure you break the seal of your cup prior to removing. This will be sure to not place any undo tension on the IUD. We made a whole blog post about this exact topic, with cool illustrations too!

menstrual cup and IUD

FEAR: Can I poop with a menstrual cup? 

FACT: Yes! You have a lot of muscles that are packed into the pelvic floor area in your pelvis, so everything touches and everything moves, to some degree, together. It’s really important to make sure your cup is properly placed (and not too low) in the vaginal canal. If it’s too low in the first place (and stem + base fully sticking out) you risk “birthing” or pushing the menstrual cup out during a bowel movement. If you’re questioning it, just quickly feel the placement. Some women do prefer to remove it prior to having a bowel movement, but it is not required.

FEAR: Can I pee while wearing a menstrual cup? 

FACT: Totally! One of the many wonders of female anatomy is that we have a lot going on in a pretty small area. The urethra and bladder sit close to the vagina, which means it is possible for a menstrual cup to put pressure on them when being worn. This can result in two things: the sensation of feeling like you have to pee + a slower urine stream. Both of these things can be remedied by finding that “sweet spot” either lower or higher in the vaginal canal where neither are affected. Another tip from our friends at Put A Cup In It is to opt for a softer cup! Our Pixie Cup Luxe is our softest, most pliable cup yet. 

girl holding menstrual cup

FEAR: Can wearing a menstrual cup cause uterine prolapse?

FACT: We recently chatted about a prolapsed uterus and how to prevent it. There isn’t enough study to show that wearing a menstrual cup can lead to a prolapse. Two things to do that would stop that in its tracks is to 1) exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly and 2) make sure to break the seal of your period cup before pulling it out of the vagina. 

FEAR: Can wearing a menstrual cup cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?

FACT: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) happens when a substance is in the body for too long. A menstrual cup holds menses in the silicone cup as opposed to having it continually touch the vaginal walls. With tampons, you have the risk of particles of cotton being left behind and holding onto aging blood, which can lead to TSS. Menstrual cups leave no trace! They are approved to hold menses in the vagina for up to 12 hours. It’s not recommended for longer than that because of the fact it’s just not good for you and can lead to infection

 

You’ve got this!

Switching a menstrual cup is a big decision! You’re daring to be different, and daring to make a difference for not only the planet but also for another woman somewhere around the world. With our Buy One, Give One program, every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we donate one to a woman in need. So not only are you changing your life, you’re actually changing someone else’s too. Menstrual cup support sites and communities are popping up as the trend for eco-friendly menstruation grows.

What hesitation is holding you back? Comment below and let us know! We’d love to answer you and provide support and maybe even add your fear to our blog post! Don’t forget we have our 100% Happiness Guarantee. If you don’t like your Pixie Cup, we’ll work with you to fit your needs or refund your money!

Check out the different menstrual cups and products we have to offer in our store

shop menstrual cups
What is UV Sterilization?

What is UV Sterilization?

UV sunglasses

There are several different ways you can sterilize your menstrual cup. You may have seen new UV menstrual cup sterilizers on the market and maybe you’re wondering what they’re all about; whether they work and actually eliminate bacteria! What is UV sterilization? Is it effective for bacteria and viruses?  If you found this post, chances are you are doing your research. Let’s dig in!

What is UV Sterilization?

UV light has been used for sterilization and disinfection as early as the mid-20th century, actually! Technology has advanced since then, and specifically in the UV bulbs themselves. Their reliable, long lifespan (thousands of hours) and smaller size has broadened the use! You can find it being used to disinfect water, air, fruits, vegetables, surgical utensils, tablet computers, toys, even fish tanks!

Check out this UV robot that is used to sterilize an entire hospital room!

UV Sterilizing

How effective is UV Sterilization?

Scientists have known for decades that broad-spectrum UVC light, which has a wavelength of between 200 to 400 nanometers (nm), is highly effective at killing bacteria and viruses by destroying the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together. This conventional UV light is commonly used to decontaminate surgical equipment.

Within the last handful of years, researchers at CUIMC figured out that a narrow spectrum of ultraviolet light (technically) called far-UVC could kill microbes without damaging healthy tissue. Crazy right? We hear UV and we automatically think of having a gel manicure or spending time at the pool with a lot of sunscreens!

Moreover, the researchers demonstrated that UVC light was effective at killing MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria, a common cause of wound infections!

UV Spectrum

What is the difference between the UV rays?

Light is a crazy thing! On one end of the spectrum, you find infrared and on the other end, you find x-ray. The sweet spot in the middle is the visible light; this is what’s able to be seen by the naked eye. Between visible light and x-ray, you find all the UVs. 

UVA: UVA rays, which account for 95 percent of the radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, cause wrinkles, “sunspots,” and other types of premature aging. They are also strongly linked to skin cancer. 

UVB: UVB rays, which affect the skin’s top layer, cause skin cancer, and most sunburns.

UVC: These rays are considered the bad boys of the UV family. They physically actually never reach the earth’s surface from the sun because it’s blocked by the ozone layer. However, it’s been recreated here on earth with things like mercury lamps, bulbs, and welding torches. UVC light is able to cause the physical destruction of viral, bacterial, and fungal cells in a matter of seconds.

How long does it take for UV light to sterilize?

A matter of minutes! UV-C is the killer of the UV family. Tests of UVC on surfaces have demonstrated that it kills C. diff spores in seconds versus hours for chemical cleaning. In fact, Here at Pixie Cup, we are super excited about the launch of our new UV Sterilizer! By placing your Pixie Cup in the sterilizer and closing the lid, you hit the button and 99.9% of bacteria are killed in minutes. (2 minutes to be exact!) The UV lights remove odor-causing bacteria along with gross things like Staph, Salmonella, E. coli, flu & other common germs. Your cup is clean + safe to be used immediately or stored away for next month! 

UV Sterilizer

To use our sterilizer, be sure to wash your Pixie Cup and dry it completely. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash, which is specifically formulated to gently wash your silicone menstrual cup. On top of that, the Pixie Cup Wash is pH balanced so that it doesn’t interrupt the vaginal flora! Sterilizing your menstrual cup regularly is key to keeping germs + bacteria away and infection at bay.

Do you have questions about UV sterilization? Comment below! We’d love to chat! Meanwhile, be sure to check out our store!

shop menstrual cups
Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup

Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup

girl holding menstrual cup

Many women are switching to menstrual cups because not only are they better for the environment, but also for health + wellbeing! Continue reading to learn more about the revolutionary period care and the benefits of using a menstrual cup.

What is a menstrual cup?

Aren’t sure what a menstrual cup is? It’s a flexible cup designed for use inside the vagina during your period to collect menstrual blood. The cup actually collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it as tampons or pads do. Menstrual cups are commonly made of 100% medical grade silicone. They’re flexible and easy to care for.

How do I use a menstrual cup?

If you’ve used tampons for years, you’ll likely be able to adjust to a menstrual cup with ease. For the pad-only users, it may take a little getting used to but you’ll get the hang of it! Here are some simple instructions:

  1. First off, wash your hands well.
  2. We suggest applying a water-based lubricant (like our Pixie Cup Lube) to help make insertion easy and comfortable. Apply the lubricant to the rim of the cup. 
  3. Tightly fold the menstrual cup in half, holding it in one hand with the rim facing up. (Here are some folding techniques)
  4. Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would a tampon but without the applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
  5. Once the cup is in your vagina, grab the stem and rotate it. This will help it spring open to create an airtight seal that stops your cup from leaking

What are the health benefits of using a menstrual cup?

We’ve recently discussed how tampons can contribute to vaginal dryness. When your vagina is dryer than usual, it can become a breeding ground for bacterial overgrowth, which may disturb the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina. Ultimately this could lead to an infection. Your menstrual cup doesn’t disturb your natural fluids and flora in the vagina and does not soak up anything. 

Tampons are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which happens when a substance is in the body for too long. A menstrual cup holds menses in the silicone cup as opposed to having it continually touch the vaginal walls. Our friend, Meg, gives a great explanation of TSS in her YouTube video.

Menstrual cups are eco-friendly!

This is a pretty hot topic regarding the benefits of a menstrual cup these days! The average woman uses 5 tampons a day during her period. That combined with the number of days in your period, multiplied by the number of years the typical woman menstruates equals thousands of tampons or pads in the landfill. Ack! 

5 tampons x 5 days x 35 years (average menopause starting at age 50) = 10,500

Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years if properly taken care of! That means that 1 single menstrual cup can save up to 3,500 tampons/pads being sent to landfills. That number really puts it into perspective, huh? And when the menstrual cup’s life has come to an end, all you have to do is throw it into your wood stove or have a ceremonial burning at the next bonfire. It burns to simple ash that is completely biodegradable. 

tell me more giph

How convenient are menstrual cups?

Girl, pull up a chair! A tampon holds 5ml of fluid when it’s completely maxed out. Our Pixie Cups come in three sizes. Here is a great visual: 

menstrual cup capacity

Small – holds 25ml | Large – holds 30ml | XL – holds 35ml

That means you can literally go hours between changes. It depends on your flow, but technically you can safely go 12 hours before you empty your menstrual cup. 

Hot yoga class? Go sweat it out.

Are you training for a marathon? This period protection has your back.  

Spending the day at the beach? Pack the sunscreen, but don’t pay any attention to Aunt Flo!

On a budget? Another benefit of a menstrual cup is it’s a purchase you make once a decade. No more last-minute runs to the gas station convenience store or sending your boyfriend to buy your pads. It’s one less thing you have to scramble cash for every month. 

One of the things most women hate during their periods is how “dirty” or “gross” they feel. Not only are your hormones raging and you’re potentially bloated, but you smell. Even if no one else can pick up an odor, you can. And that’s honestly what matters most: YOU BEING CONFIDENT. Because a menstrual cup holds your menses completely airtight in the vagina, there is no odor that comes sneaking out. If you have an issue with your menstrual cup leaking, we have some tips and tricks to help with that. 

No more surprises!

If you are tracking your period regularly, via an app on your phone or by bullet journaling, you probably have a really good idea of when your period is going to arrive. Gone are the days of hyper-packing your purse or backpack just in case your period surprises you. If you use a period cup, you can place it in the morning and go about your day — if Aunt Flo visits, you’re already prepared for her!

How has using a period cup changed your life? Gals are switching all the time. Share with us your ideas on living free and uninhibited. Don’t take out word for it; here are 10 women who share how making the switch has made their lives better.

If you don’t have a menstrual cup yet, head over to our store. If you’re looking for some direction on which cup is best for you, we’ll help you there too. ❤️

shop menstrual cups