Shoppers are made up of a few different types. When it comes to shopping for something out of the ordinary (like a menstrual cup) we find our audience is either the impulse buyer or the researcher. One says “sure, why not?” and the other is cautious, weighs out the options and purchases when they’re certain it will be just what they need! Are you the gal who is sold by the packaging or the one who carefully does the research? Regardless, we think you’re awesome and we’re here to make the transition from tampon to a menstrual cup as easy as possible.
What’s in the transition?
Like most of us, we basically knew of two feminine hygiene solutions: pads and tampons. Due to their popularity, we rarely stray. They are both relatively fool proof (but not leak proof!) and are super simple to use. They require you to know little about your anatomy to succeed (sorta) in maintaining and surviving your period. Until I tried a menstrual cup, I truly thought a period was something to be tolerated and “survived.” Simply put, it was the most annoying week of the month. I know I’m getting a lot of head nods with that one!
With something new comes a transition and learning curve! We’re here to help!
We are all in different places when it comes to our bodies and our acquaintance with them. Take space, take time, take whatever it is that makes you comfortable. Depending on your upbringing, culture, or general level of comfort with your own body, getting to know your reproductive anatomy can be a little daunting. But we can promise that the journey will leave you feeling confident and empowered.
“First things first, get over “putting your fingers up there”. Periods are natural. So are vaginas. My 21-year-old self didn’t understand this but now I do…and so should you. It’s just blood and it will be gone with a little hand washing. Deep breaths. You got this.“
Don’t worry! We’ve got you! Here are some helpful hints on making your switch from a tampon to a menstrual cup a little less intimidating.
Community. Plugging in to a community of women who are where you are, who have made the switch and who are tenured menstrual cup users. Join our Pixie Squad Facebook group to hear tips, tricks and stories from fellow Pixie Cup users!
Watch. Head over to our YouTube channel to see advice come to life. Members of our team share advice that will make using your cup so much easier.
Follow. Our Instagram is full of fun. Frequent giveaways, engaging posts, pretty pictures, and powerful testimonials! You don’t want to miss it. Our blog is updated bi-weekly with new posts consisting of topics that women are asking about and seeking answers for.
Talk to us. Lastly, email us! We absolutely love hearing from you. We will answer your questions to the best of our abilities… and we’ve had some crazy ones! So don’t hold back. We have a100% Happiness Guaranteeand we stick by it. If you purchase anything and aren’t completely satisfied with it, we will give you a refund.
For some, things just click right away, and for others, it’s a journey. Just remember this, at Pixie Cup we’ve built our company around providing community and support for all menstruators and cup users alike because we’ve been there! And life has taught us anything, it’s that taking the jump is easier when someone’s linking arms with you.
It’s Monday morning, you pull your chair up to your desk ready to tackle a pile of emails that have accumulated over the weekend and boom: Aunt Flo visits a day early! You search your desk drawers, dig through your purse or Slack a few gal colleagues asking if they have a tampon. Getting our period is difficult for us no matter what. Physically it puts a toll on our bodies with fatigue, hormone fluctuation, and things like anxiety and depression. It makes it a difficult time of the month. We’re digging in and talking about managing your period at work!
What happens to your body during your period?
The menstrual phase is the first stage of the menstrual cycle. It’s also when you get your period. This phase starts when an egg isn’t fertilized. Because pregnancy hasn’t taken place, levels of the hormone progesterone drop.
The thickened lining of your uterus, which would support a pregnancy, is no longer needed, so it sheds through your vagina. During your period, you release a combination of blood, mucus, and tissue from your uterus.
Due to the fluctuation of hormones, many women say they experience these symptoms:
lower back pain
On average, women are in the menstrual phase of their cycle for 3 to 7 days. If you have questions regarding your period or are trying to regulate it, we recommend Period Repair Manual! Lara Briden breaks down every little (and big) thing that affects us, our periods, and our hormones.
Why do I get emotional during my period?
Thank PMS! With the rollercoaster hormones come hard-to-handle moods, and it’s completely normal. They can be difficult during working hours, especially when all you want to do is curl up at home and binge Netflix! Tracking your period and logging symptoms can really help you know what to expect during the days of menstruation so you can plan accordingly and help you manage your period at work. Using some easy remedies to balance you out can help too!
Normal PMS symptoms are:
Have you been sitting at your desk feeling overwhelmed or about to burst into tears? None of this means you’re inadequate or a poor fit for your job! You’re feeling everything that’s happening in your body and it’s important to give yourself grace during this time.
How do I handle my period at work?
Plan ahead. Getting caught short in the office is never fun (unless your employer provides free period care in the restrooms)! If you’re without a tampon or pad, it can really disrupt your day and make you lose focus from your work. Have you thought about using a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a small flexible cup made of medical-grade silicone. It fits in the vaginal canal and collects menstrual blood (leak free!) for up to 12 hours!
Be comfortable. Nothing is worse than being stuck in a desk chair wearing something snug or uncomfortable. Especially if you are prone to bloating on your cycle, wearing loose fitting clothing can help get your mind off of that and on to your work. Your midsection isn’t the only place that bloats! Are you constantly on your feet at work? Think about comfortable shoes too.
Cope with the cramping. Dehydration can make cramping even worse, so making sure you’re drinking plenty of water and electrolyte drinks is key. Maybe slow up on the caffeine-laden things like coffee or sodas. Another idea would be to keep a heating pad handy. If you’re sitting at a desk most of your shift, you could easily have one around your back or abdomen!
Additional supplements. On top of your daily multi-vitamin, taking vitamin B can help with energy when you’re feeling fatigued. Also, magnesium helps tremendously with cramping if you suffer the first few days of your period. Nuts are high in magnesium as well as dark chocolate. Who would argue with chocolate during their period!? #nobrainer
Notice what you’re eating. What did you pack for lunch? While our cravings will most likely have us reaching for something salty, sweet or greasy (comfort food, right?) the best things to have during our period are the exact opposite. Think light! Fruits, leafy greens and anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger. For proteins, think chicken, fish and tofu.
Exercise. Keep a pair of sneakers under your desk and take a walk around the block on your lunch break! The fresh air and exercise are suggested to be helpful during our periods and can decrease PMS symptoms. If you struggle with your mental health during your period, exercising causes your body to release chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy. Not only is your brain dumping out feel-good chemicals, but exercise also helps your brain get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious!
Can you take time off of work during your period?
This is a tricky one. The U.S. currently doesn’t acknowledge menstruating women in the workplace. If you have sick days or personal days accumulated, taking one during the worst part of your period wouldn’t be considered poor work performance or cause attendance issues. There is a long history of women (and employers) coping with their periods while still being professional. If you have really hard periods, our advice to you is to talk to your doctor, use your best judgment, and listen to your body. Again, tracking your period can be extremely helpful in making you feel equipped when that time of the month rolls around including managing your period at work.
Many women around the world run into period problems. Some greater than others. A woman who is facing cultural shame would likely miss work during her cycle. A schoolgirl in Kenya will miss up to six weeks of school due to menstruation and the lack of period care available to her.
Here at Pixie Cup, we believe in period freedom for all women. It is our mission! We do this through our Buy One, Give One program. Every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we give one to a woman in need. You’re saying ‘YES’ to period freedom for yourself, and at the same time, you’re saying ‘YES’ to changing someone else’s life too.
Haven’t you heard? Menstrual cups are awesome. [I know we’re sorta biased, but it’s true!] If you’re thinking about making the switch, you’re in the right spot. We’re about living that free life! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned user, we have 8 menstrual cup tricks that may help when you’re stumped!
What is a menstrual cup?
For the uninitiated, menstrual cups (also known as period cups) are flexible bell-shaped devices that you insert into your vagina to catch your menstrual fluid. Typically made from medical grade silicone, you can actually safely wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours then you can empty out however often it is necessary based on the heaviness of your flow.
What are some menstrual cup tricks?
If you’re new to menstrual cups, these are tips and tricks we would tell our BFFs if they were about to try a period cup for the first time. You’ve got this!
Read the instructions! You may be looking at this egg-shaped cup wondering how hard it could actually be. Good news: it’s not hard, you’ll just feel more confident once you pull out the instruction packet and have a good read.
Relax! This is incredibly important. If you’re tense, your muscles throughout your body will be tense too. Your pelvic muscles respond to stress very easily. Inserting a menstrual cup if you’re freaked out or worried will be no fun! Try inserting on a day that you don’t have your period. Don’t leave it in long-term, but insert, stand up and walk around so you can see if you got the knack of it. You should never feel your menstrual cup if it’s in place correctly!
Use lube! Whether you’re on your period or not, if you’re dry down there, it’s going to make inserting a menstrual cup uncomfortable. Everything is just easier when it glides smoothly, right? We have our Pixie Cup Lube that is designed specifically for your menstrual cup and for your vagina.
Figure out the folds! There are three popular (and easy) folds. Figure out which one works with you the very best. You should hear or feel the menstrual cup pop open once you release it in your vagina.
Wait for the pop! Depending on what fold you choose, you should feel the pop of your menstrual cup springing open! This is absolutely crucial. This magical pop is the only thing standing in the way of a carefree period day or one of horror films. Just kidding… but close. Making sure your period cup pops open is vital to creating a seal and keeping your day leak-free.
Empty your menstrual cup in the shower! Whether you shower at night or in the morning, this is a great period hack. You don’t have to worry about a crazy mess because everything washes down the drain. We recommend our Pixie Cup Wash because it’s gentle on your period cup and on you!
Pinch don’t pull! So, if your menstrual cup is working and kicking period woes like it should be, then it’s going to have created a really tight seal keeping it leak-free. If you try to pull your period out at this point, you’ll basically get nowhere and place unneeded pressure on your cervix and pelvic muscles. Be sure to break the seal! Do this by pinching the base of your menstrual cup or by sliding a finger up the side. You should feel the release or hear the sound of air escaping.
Size does matters! We’re all shaped differently and one menstrual cup doesn’t fit all. Thankfully there are several sizes and styles. Here at Pixie Cup we have our small, large and extra large menstrual cups depending on your flow or if you’ve had babies via vaginal birth. Our Pixie Cup Luxe is specifically designed for women with a low cervix. If you are questioning what size menstrual cup is best for you or how to measure your cervix, check out the linked blog posts!
You’ve got this!
Being nervous switching from something you know well like a pad or tampon to something entirely new can be nerve-wracking! We totally get that. Everyone has those beginning fears. Check out our store for all the menstrual cup styles and sizes. Let us know how we can help. We’d love to chat with you!
Periods aren’t fun to talk about. Why is that? (Definitely another post for another time) For a woman, it’s a normal bodily function just like breathing, eating, sneezing or snoring. All these things happen every single day and we don’t feel awkward (OK, maybe the snoring). You may feel doubly uncomfortable talking about a product that may not be as well known or is “out of the norm” for periods and menstruation. We get it! (We get weird looks when we are asked what we do for work, ha!) Here are some helpful tips for when you’re talking about menstrual cups.
What are menstrual cups?
If you’re going to explain it to someone, you’ll feel most comfortable if you know exactly what it is you’re talking about, right? Here’s a quick refresh. Menstrual cups are egg-shaped cups typically made from medical-grade silicone that are inserted into the vagina. They collect menses and can be worn for up to 12 hours, safely. If you’re casually talking about it, all the detail may not be necessary…
“A menstrual cup is an alternative to tampons and pads. They are better for your body and eco-friendly.”
If they push for more detail or “Wait, how do they work?” you can quickly say, “It’s inserted in the vagina and collects your period mess!”
Menstrual cups aren’t just a fad
Even though menstrual cups have recently gained popularity, they have actually been around for nearly 100 years! Tampons and pads took the spotlight in the 1970s because they were a disposable product. Up until that point, most women still used rags and other reusable cloths to soak up menses. If I had only known washcloths and wads of fabric in my underwear, I would leap at a throw-away product too! Women working outside the home became increasingly popular in the 1970s as well which would make reaching for a tampon even more appealing.
What should I say when I’m talking about menstrual cups?
Whenever we’re excited about something new, we always talk about what we love first, right? So here are some super easy and quick perks when talking about menstrual cups.
Period cups are eco-friendly. Menstrual cups save nearly 250 tampons (and plastic applicators) from entering the landfills, per woman, per year!
They are healthier. Tampons are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is no mystery. Recently, however, tampons have been the discussion of vaginal flora and disturbing the pH balance in the vagina. We talked about that recently. Menstrual cups do not soak up anything, they just collect. So this doesn’t mess up your vaginal balance.
Menstrual cups save you money. A typical box of tampons is $7, and that’s not even the really nice, organic ones. In two months time your Pixie Cup will have nearly paid for itself.
They are convenient. Menstrual cups can be safely left in the vagina for up to 12 hours. This was a mind-blowing fact for me! I was used to getting maybe 3 or 4 hours out of a tampon and I felt like I was a slave to toting them around during my period.
We’re here for you
Here at Pixie Cup, we believe in period freedom for all women. Our company was founded on that very fact. This is the breath and backbone of everything we do here and with our Buy One, Give One program we do just that. Every time a Pixie Cup is purchased, we donate one to a woman in need. So really, you not only changed your life, but you changed someone else’s too. How’s that for a fact?
Customers often ask us if Pixie Cup is FDA Approved. In this post, we’ll chat about the ins and outs including what FDA Approval actually means.
The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for telling us which foods, drugs, and medical devices are safe for us to use. And while we assume that anything that’s been cleared or approved by the FDA has been rigorously tested, that’s not always true. We value transparency and want to debunk myths by outlining everything between the FDA and menstrual cups!
What is FDA Approval?
FDA Approval happens (or doesn’t happen) when a company registers their product with the FDA. A mountain of paperwork is submitted, and the FDA conducts rigorous inspections of concept, manufacturing, ingredients, and materials.
“FDA approved” means that the agency has determined that the “benefits of the product outweigh the known risks for the intended use.” Manufacturers must submit a premarket approval (PMA) application and the results of clinical testing in order to get approval.
What does the FDA regulate?
For the most part, the Food and Drug Administration evaluates the safety of:
Dietary supplements (not all are subject to FDA regulation)
Medical devices (everything from menstrual cups to pacemakers)
Products that give off radiation (e.g. X-rays, microwave ovens)
What about menstrual cups?
The FDA allows companies to piggyback off other concepts if they can prove their product does the same job as a competitor and that the manufacturing, packaging, and ingredients are FDA Approved; this is called FDA Cleared. [or 501(k)] Menstrual cups are considered a Class II medical device, meaning it is inserted into the body but doesn’t aid or perform surgery or sustain life.
FACT: No menstrual cup on the market has been officially FDA Approved.
Most of them are officially FDA Cleared, however. Let’s take a quick look at how the Food & Drug Administration regulates tampons, pads, and menstrual products in general.
As the rise for health and wellness continues in recent years, women are seeking out more information about what exactly goes into our bodies. (yay for us!) And with that, we’ve started to question what’s in tampons and pads. An article in the New York Times hits the topic hard. Because up to this point, the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to put ingredients on the packaging of disposable menstrual products. There is currently a bill in legislation about transparency in tampons + pad ingredients.
If you’re curious as to what’s actually been found in mainstream tampons and pads, our friends at MadeSafe have put together all the specifics.
Is Pixie Cup FDA Approved?
We have gone above and beyond to make sure our manufacturers maintain a level of safety and excellence. They undergo annual unannounced inspection and audit to ensure quality and safety standards are still in place. We, at Pixie Cup, are the specification developers and have to complete the application process to be FDA Cleared for sale in the USA. Our manufactures and packagers also have to be FDA Approved. The approval process for them is more rigorous as their facilities have to maintain FDA standards.
Here at Pixie Cup, we only use medical-grade silicone. Medical grade silicone is approved by the FDA for its biocompatibility, which means it’s safe to be inserted inside the body without any risks. So while the cup itself may not be FDA Approved, the material we use is. The medical-grade silicone that we use for our Pixie Cups is hypoallergenic and latex-free, so it’s safe for people with latex allergies. Silicone is also non-porous, which means that it’s resistant to bacterial growth. That being said, it’s still extremely important to make sure that you keep your cup as clean as possible and wash it every time you use it.
When using your menstrual cup regularly, be sure to maintain cleanliness and sterilize your cup appropriately and regularly so it’s the best condition possible! If you’re new to using a menstrual cup, you will soon realize all the benefits and freedom that comes along with them!
We’re in this together.
Here at Pixie Cup, everything we do is geared towards making an impact for the better. Every time someone purchases a Pixie Cup, we donate one to a woman in need through our Buy One, Give One program.
On top of that, we care about YOU too! We care about your satisfaction and that’s why we have our 100% Happiness Guarantee. If for any reason you aren’t totally thrilled with your PIxie Cup purchase, we will refund you. Along with that is our transparency — please feel free to contact us regarding any questions you may have. We’re here to help!