I’ve got no idea what heaven feels like, but it’s got to be something like when you walk out the door on the last day of a working week, get into your car and onto the road or board that plane.
Letting anything get in the way of enjoying your weekend or vacation is not an option. That’s why, when you feel that tell-tale trickle, there is no way, and I mean NO WAY it’s going to ruin whatever you’ve got planned.
Luckily, we’re living in modern times with amazing new products that can essentially make you forget you’re on your period and enjoy all those fun things you want to do without the fear. Leakage fear, tampon string fear, sanitary pad nappy butt fear…
While we all bleed every month, having a menstrual cup that takes the fear out of natural bodily functions is the kind of innovation we’ve been waiting for. This guide will help you to master your menstrual cup, so all those cool activities that you’ve planned don’t have to be postponed. Do them, minus the fear.
All the Fun, None of the Period Stress
In the past, when you got your period it was down to a choice between pads or tampons, neither of which are ideal, especially if you want to do fun, active things. Sure, they work. Most of the time. But pads and tampons need to be changed every 2-3 hours for our health (and the happiness of our vaginas), and can get between you and your activity which is totally inconvenient.
On the other hand, menstrual cups, such as nixit, do not need to be changed for up to 12 hours, which means you can get on with your life with minimal interruption.
Essential Tools For Your Cup
Fact: menstrual cups are 100% more convenient than traditional options, according to anyone who has ever used them. But there are a few nifty tools that will help you to make sure everything is maintained to be as fresh, clean and hygienic as possible. Some of the most useful items and what you need them for include:
This will help you to keep your cup separate from what is lurking at the bottom of most of our bags. It’s also a discreet way to keep your cup with you on the go. The menstrual cup storage bag that comes with nixit is made of organic breathable cotton, so oxygen can flow to the cup.
There are a number of options for cleaning your cup, but good old fashioned soap and water are the best option. Choose a soap that is as simple as possible: fragrance-free and importantly, oil-free, to avoid degrading the silicone of your nixit. Extra tip: when cleaning your cup, rinse with cold water first to stop staining, then move to hot water cleaning to sterilize your cup. If you have space, a toothbrush can also help with cleaning. Obviously, make it a different one than that which you use for your teeth...
When you’re out and about, cleaning can get a little more complex, which is why we recommend two (or more!) cups in order to be able to rotate them. This will give you more coverage and flexibility.
While we don’t necessarily recommend these due to their waste factor, they can sometimes be a good emergency option to keep up hygiene in extremely remote areas. Look for biodegradable, oil-free, fragrance free types, with minimal irritating ingredients.
Wearing a Menstrual Cup On a Night Out
One of the most convenient things about using a menstrual cup is the option to head out for a night of fun with zero period drama. Due to the long wear time of a cup, you can stay out for up to 12 hours with no stress, simply cleaning or changing your cup when you return home. If you’re a true party animal, just follow our double up tip above, making sure you’re prepared with two cups and a storage bag for 24 hours of freedom. Cups are also great for attending multi-day festivals using this method!
Traveling with a Menstrual Cup
Okay, we’re gonna call this one as the most amazing travel invention to date. Traveling with a period is generally no barrel of laughs. I mean, have you ever tried to buy tampons, in another language? Ugh. Reusable menstrual cups put an end to period-travel-anxiety (yeah, it’s a thing). Cups are also great news for the environment while traveling, as among many other advantages, they do not contribute to waste issues in other countries. Travel may raise some issues that bring an element of uncertainty with a cup, but with a few hygiene precautions you’ll be ready.
Ensure that you have soap and use this frequently to wash your cup, especially if you are staying in accommodation with no access to boiling water. If you do have access, bring a ‘soaking’ cup for your nixit and submerge for 10 minutes in boiling water to sanitize once every month. Remember if you’re washing your cup in a ‘questionable’ water source, try to do a final rinse with bottled water. Ensure you give your cup a good boiling when you get back to reality post-travels. And enjoy that 10 hour plane trip with exactly zero fear of how you’re going to change your tampon in the tiny bathrooms!
Swimming with a Menstrual Cup
This is the cups time to shine. For people who like to use pads, swimming is typically off limits when they have their periods. Tampons are a better option than pads, but there is always the residual fear that a string might be hanging out, and that feeling of having to change your tampon as soon as you get out of the water. A day at the beach with multiple tampon changing bathroom trips is just…. annoying.
A cup is a great alternative when swimming - however many times you are in and out of the water, you don’t need to change it and can leave it in all day.
Hiking and Camping with a Menstrual Cup
Another powerful advantage that cups have for us active ladies is that outdoor activities, such as hiking or camping, are no longer off limits, or just straight up unpleasant. In fact, outdoor activities are the perfect situation to use a cup, as they can look after you and the environment. Here’s how you do it.
In the wilderness, and on long distance hikes, packing out trash is non-negotiable. And you know what’s not cute? Lugging around used tampons and pads. Added to that is the fact that wildlife could be attracted to them if stored incorrectly - nightmare material. Using a bendy silicone menstrual cup on the trail or when sleeping under the stars is a far superior, safer option.
When doing either of these outdoor activities, you should pack two cups so that you can keep them as clean as possible. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you even think of inserting or removing your cup, as it can be easy to pick up germs on your hands while in the great outdoors. If you don’t have access to water for any reason, hand sanitizer is your friend. When you are on the trail or at a campsite with no bathroom facilities, ensure you empty your cup into a hole in the ground and cover it thoroughly, to keep those Grizzlys at bay. Joking...but better safe than sorry, right?
Another great bonus of using a cup while enjoying the great outdoors is that it takes up far less space than traditional options, plus, it leaves no trace of waste in the gorgeous natural environment that you’re spending your time enjoying.
Cups are a huge thing for active women, making our body’s natural functions just that little bit less of a drag to deal with. We wouldn’t trade being a woman with a period for anything, but nixit has just totally upped our period game.
Common Questions About Travelling with a Cup
Can I use hand sanitizer on my cup?
Nope, we wouldn’t recommend it, as it can degrade the medical grade silicone and reduce the life of your nixit.
Can I wash my cup with non-drinkable water?
Yes...and no. If the water is appropriate for bathing in or washing dishes in, it should be fine to wash your cup with. However, if the water is unclean try and avoid washing your cup in it, or do a thorough rinse with bottled or boiled water afterwards.
What’s the best way to clean my cup when I don’t have access to water?
If you don’t have access to water, it’s best to wipe off your cup as thoroughly as you can with toilet paper until you can access water. Alternatively, you can use biodegradable, non-fragranced wipes if it’s quite dirty and you’ll need to use it again before you have access to water.
Can I scuba dive while wearing a cup?
Many cup wearers have reported success in scuba diving while wearing a cup, so yes you can. If you are doing any type of extreme diving (descending to very deep depths) it’s definitely a good idea to chat with an expert before undertaking the dive with a cup in place.
How do I know when my cup is full?
When you first receive your nixit, do some trial and error with your flow in terms of how often you’ll need to change it. Try changing it more frequently at first, until you get a sense of the maximum time you can leave it without an overflow situation. Remember 12 hours is the maximum period your nixit should be left in for.
[If you are a beginner, you can also read How Does a Period Cup Work? and 7 Things To Know As A New nixit User]