Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Period Cups And Underwear

Scarlet Period Care

In preparation for Flo-To Week, we asked you, our dear inquisitive audience, what period product questions were baffling you the most. You responded with a host of questions we put to Ashleigh Hipwood, co-founder of Scarlet, the “no fear period gear” brand that aims to offer those who menstruate “smart, sustainable [period] products” with a sprinkling of “straight-up, honest conversations” to help you feel in control of this very natural process and all the necessary accessories.

Thanks to Hipwood’s incoming advice and Scarlet’s range—period cups, underwear and tampon subscriptions—we hope you find answers to your puzzling, very common questions here. 

How do you wash period pants?

  1. Rinse them under running water (or a hot shower) until they run clear. They hold a lot of blood.
  2. Throw them in the washing machine on ‘gentle’ with your other delicates. Don’t use fabric softener.
  3. Hang dry and let the sun do the work!

Do period undies feel damp and icky?

No icky damp feels. Our period undies feature a highly functional, lightning-fast absorbing gusset that keeps you feeling fresh and dry (day and night). 

How do you choose a period cup size when you can’t try them out?

Check out our size guide for the best recommendation or shop the Cup Duo. It’s also possible to measure the length of your cervix, but as internal shapes change and shift month-to-month, it’s good to just start somewhere. We also have a three-cycle guarantee to help you find your cup size. As a guide:

Size 1 (regular): 
Ideal for people who have not given birth, are under 30. Suitable for lighter to medium flows. Holds up to approximately 2.5 regular tampons

Size 2 (large):
Ideal for people who have given birth, are over 30. Suitable for heavier flows. Holds up to approximately two super tampons.

If you’re still unsure, DM us @wearscarlet and we’ll help you find the right fit.

How do you clean and look after your menstrual cup?

If your cup is brand spanking new, sterilise it on the stove in a pot just as you would a boiled egg. Boil for five minutes and allow the cup to cool down before inserting (v important!).

During your cycle:

  1. Use a pH-balanced cup cleanserA few drops with warm water is all you need. 
  1. Antibacterial cup wipesFor cleaning on the go (these pocket-sized wipes will be your bestie for travel, road trips, festival porta-potties and public bathrooms).

Do you need to replace period cups after a certain amount of time?

The Scarlet cup is made from 100% medical grade silicone and with proper care it will last years (just think of all that money you can save to spend on Go-To Transformazing Sheet Masks). We think you should trust your judgement on this one; if you notice rips, punctures or any stickiness then you should change it for a newbie.

What period products do you advise for girls who have just started their period?

First, know there’s no shame in periods or whichever method you choose. Celebrate it. Chat to your friends about it. We recommend period underwear for first-timers purely because they’re effortless, comfy and light on the environment.

Read up on the menstrual cycle too, so you can be clued up on your hormones and the changes to expect in this awesome stage of your life.

How can I trust period undies not to leak?

Scarlet undies are designed to fit like normal underwear, and feature a multi-layered, leak-proof technology that wicks away moisture, absorbs and locks-in fluid to keep you dry and protected. The built in leak-proof technology is harder working than disposable pads which means it can safely hold more liquid for longer and be reused, lasting years not hours.

Do period cups leak?

If your period cup is inserted correctly, and is the right sizeit won’t leak. The reason being is the cup is held in place by a suction-like seal that’s made on inserting. So running, jumping, headstands, and interpretive dance are all on the cards.

However if there is no seal, it is possible for the cup to leak. The most common reasons being:

1) It hasn’t opened up fully (i.e still letting fluid down the sides)

2) It is positioned incorrectly (i.e angled the wrong way and not making a ‘seal’).

To check your cup is fully open, run your finger around the base of the cup. It should feel even right around. If you feel an indent, try twisting your cup around a couple of times. If you’re still experiencing leakage, there may be a chance you aren’t using the right size for you. The size recommendations are very generalised, and many people use the larger cup if they’re under 30 and not given birth, and that works for them.

I’m scared of my period cup getting stuck inside me

We get this question a lot. Your vaginal canal is not an endless vortex, it’s actually pretty narrow with a comforting dead end at your cervix. Sometimes the cup can travel higher up in your vagina, but don’t panic. Try using your pelvic muscles to push down on the cup to lower it. The force of gravity will bring it down. Gotta love science.

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