Leisure and rules

Are sports, travel, hobbies … compatible with the moods of our uterus?
And yes Ladies we answer your questions about the practice of your hobbies during your period !

Playing sports during your period: good or bad idea?

Doing sports during your period ? We say yes! Discover our tips for practicing sports with peace of mind during your period.

Did you know that?

Until 1972, women were not allowed to run a marathon, because the organizers imagined that their uterus could unhook (yes yes). Luckily they have since received a few courses in anatomy and gender equality! But even today, many preconceived ideas persist, including the idea that women perform less well in sports during their periods.

It is moreover a taboo that the Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui broke at the Rio Olympics in 2016: arrived at the foot of the podium, she confessed that she was not at the top of her form because she had her period.

Poor sports performance during menstruation: myth or reality?

There are as many answers to this question as there are women: it depends!

Technically speaking, menstruating women do not lose muscle strength. But other parameters can affect athletic performance, including pre-menstrual syndromes that cause migraines, bloating, stomach or back pain. It is normal in this case to have difficulty pushing one’s limits. But the opposite effect can also occur: the aggressiveness that some women feel during their period can be a driving force, especially in combat sports.

What sports are recommended or discouraged during menstruation?

The main criterion to remember is: pleasure. We are not all equal in front of the symptoms before and during menstruation: at best we feel heavy and bloated, at worst we are bedridden with pain for 3 days. It is therefore quite normal to adapt one’s sport practice according to one’s sensations.

Maybe you’re not going to win an Olympic medal this week, but if you feel you can run, swim, do yoga or play soccer, there’s no reason not to.

If you have menstrual pain, it is also recognized that sport has a beneficial effect: not only does it clear your mind, but doing sport triggers the production of a cocktail of hormones (endorphin, serotonin, dopamine …) that reduces pain and stress 1.

It is however necessary to take a few precautions to do sport in all serenity.

What precautions should I take to play sports during my period?

When exercising, the body’s movements increase blood loss during the session: you will notice that your menstrual protection fills up faster. But don’t worry: it’s punctual and only lasts for the duration of the session, it doesn’t mean that your period will suddenly become heavier in general. It is therefore recommended to change your menstrual protection just before starting your session in order to avoid leaks. Think of the menstrual cup! Thanks to its larger capacity than that of tampons, it prevents you from overflowing. Also think about your comfort: if you’re running or cycling, it’s best to avoid towels to prevent friction.
Finally think about your outfit: with black leggings, a small leak will go unnoticed! And if you’re feeling bloated, remember to put on an outfit that doesn’t make your stomach feel too tight.

1R. Da Silve Santos and G. Galdino « Endogenous systems involved in exercise-induced analgesia », Journal of physiology and pharmacology, 2018, 69, 1, 3-13.

Travel and rules

That’s it! Finally, you’ve booked your dream trip and you’re ready to go, but have you really thought of everything?
Travelling, whether short or long, leads to changes in your habits but can also lead to changes in your menstruation.

Why can my cycle be disrupted when I travel?

In reality, it is not your cycle that is actually disturbed, but your brain!

And it’s a fact, your ovaries are intimately linked to your brain and are very attentive to it.

So travelling often, changing time zones and being jet-lagged will lead to changes in habits such as eating at totally different times, and probably sleeping less (Yes, we guessed that you often party on holiday, but we won’t say anything about that).

All this will upset your brain and therefore your ovaries!

It goes without saying that travelling is just as stressful! Whether you leave by car or by plane, you’ve probably already experienced the stress of traffic jams, passports not ready in time, flight delays, and so on…

Stress does not only affect our mind but also our body. If our brain is instructed to manifest stress, it is primarily a physical reaction that occurs. Our body will then conduct a hormone release and disrupt everything.
As a reminder, ovulation is mainly related to hormones. It is the LH that peaks and causes ovulation. This LH spike causes the dominant follicle to rupture and the ovary to release the egg; the egg then enters the fallopian tubes. This process is called “ovulation”.

So if these hormones are deregulated, you may observe a delay or absence of menstruation, or on the contrary, you may observe unexpected bleeding in the middle of the cycle or an advance and it’s the drama, the menstruation not initially planned has invited itself to your trip!

So what to do?

In order to avoid disturbing your hormones and thus avoid the arrival of your period at the wrong time, it is necessary to prepare yourself as well as possible.

  • Sleep:

Despite the time difference, try to get enough sleep. Ideally, you should sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. Sleep maintains a non-negligible balance.

  • Don’t panic:

No stress, relax. Do not hesitate to do breathing exercises or meditation. A good glass of wine and a massage will do the trick.

  • Eat properly :

Despite a change in time zone, try not to skip meals or eat at very different times as this can disrupt your body and therefore your cycle.

Don’t forget to hydrate yourself too!

And above all, when you leave, remember to anticipate with your stock of hygienic protections because, as explained above, they can arrive at any time and depending on where you are going, it will not always be easy to find your usual hygienic protections. The best option is to leave with your menstrual cup, we tell you more here.

For women on the pill who want to be sure to go on a trip without menstruating, this is possible if you take your pill continuously. Taking the pill continuously allows you to miss your period. Be careful because this solution is not highly recommended, but if you talk to your specialist doctor and explain the exceptional situation, he or she can give you a prescription adapted to your needs.

Going on holiday with your menstrual cup

Summer is fast approaching and the aim is to make the most of the beach, holidays, sun and warmth. But saturated or non-existent public toilets, inadequate periodic protection… Summer often brings its share of inconveniences, forcing women to adapt in spite of themselves, or even to deprive themselves of certain leisure activities such as the beach. But that was before the menstrual cup! So for those who haven’t yet taken the plunge, here’s one more reason to switch to the menstrual cup. The menstrual cycle does not take a holiday, and menstruation can sometimes occur without warning, especially when you go on a trip. In this case, the cup remains your best ally.

Advantages of the menstrual cup

More space in the suitcases

Taking your menstrual cup with you on holiday saves space in your luggage. No more need to plan for the stock of tampons and pads that takes up all the space! All you have to do is slip your cup and its transport and disinfection box into your bag.

Perfect for swimming

Once your Claricupmenstrual cup is well positioned, it won’t move! The suction cup effect is assured, so there is no risk of leaks. You can bathe without thinking about your rules. And what’s more, you don’t feel it once you’ve inserted it. We would even forget it.

Lucie’s testimony :

“When travelling, a cup still takes up less space than 2 packs of tampons in the suitcase…and no more anxiety at the pool to have the string sticking out.

I love the cup and I’ve been getting all my girlfriends drunk for 3 years to get them into it too! »

Less waste

Maybe you didn’t know it, but Team Claripharm is based in Brittany, close to the beach. And if you knew, waste from sanitary protection on the beach, you can see some … Because yes, the toilets on the beaches are not the cleanest, or are very far away, or sometimes even non-existent, it is then on the beaches that the waste is found …
With the cup it’s over! You can keep your menstrual cup for up to 6 hours at a time. After 6 hours, it should be emptied to prevent bacteria from developing in your vagina.

The best option is to have 2 menstrual cups with you. Each Claricup is supplied with its own transport and disinfection box. So you leave for your day with one cup in you and the other clean in its box. You can change your cup in the middle of the forest, behind a bush at the beach, or in the toilets you will find. All you have to do is exchange your cups thanks to your Claricup box. It’s done!

Don’t forget to disinfect your cups once the situation allows it. As a reminder, we advise you to disinfect your menstrual cup before each use.

That’s it, you’re ready for your next holiday! For more information on how to use the menstrual cup, please read our valuable advice here.

Do you have further questions about the daily use of your menstrual cup? Write on social networks or by email to: contact@claripharm.fr

Toxic Shock, what is it?

Find out more about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? What precautions can be taken to avoid it? Can I still wear a menstrual cup? Claripharm answers you.🔎

Le syndrome du choc toxique, nous faisons le point sur la situation

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare but serious disease that can be fatal“.
We all read it at least once on the instructions of our hygienic protections, and we (maybe) panicked a little. What exactly is it? Who is at risk of developing this disease? Quelles précautions peuvent être prises pour l’éviter ? We take stock with you of the scientific knowledge to date.

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic Shock Syndrome (or TSS)is a disease that can be caused by two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus (mostly Staphylococcus aureus) and Group A Streptococcus. These bacteria are naturally present on the skin and mucous membranes of about 30 to 40% of the population, and do not cause problems in the vast majority of cases. However, sometimes these bacteria find a particularly good place to grow and can trigger TSS.

These hotbeds of development? A wound, a scar from a surgical operation or… the blood from menstruation. Approximately 50% of TSS cases occur in women who are menstruating or have just started menstruating; this is known as menstrual TSS. The other 50% develop in men, women, children, regardless of age or sex (usually from an infected wound).

After a certain time to develop in a wound or in the menstrual blood, Staphylococcus aureus will release a toxin that will spread in the blood and then in the whole body. This is the TSST-1 toxin. If the body does not know how to defend itself properly against this toxin, it will trigger an immune chain reaction because it is called a superantigen: the TSST-1 toxin will trigger a disproportionate immune response and the body will overreact, making the blood vessels porous, causing hypotension and multiple organ failure that can lead to death. As soon as the first symptoms appear, it is therefore necessary to act very quickly by removing the intra-vaginal device and urgently consult a doctor.

Good. That was the worst-case scenario! But there are many ways to recognize a TSS, and most importantly, to avoid it as much as possible.

What are the symptoms of Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Symptoms may appear during menstruation or a few days after the end of menstruation.

Symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, aches and pains. It is also possible to have symptoms of shock, such as dizziness or discomfort due to low blood pressure and a rash similar to a sunburn. We repeat ourselves, but it is very important: as soon as the first symptoms appear, you must act very quickly by removing your tampon or cup and go see a doctor urgently.

Statistically, what are the risks of developing Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome?

The figures are clear: out of 14 million women of menstrual age in France, 20 suffer from menstrual TSS per year (all with tampons), i.e. 0.0001%.

The risks of developing a TBS are therefore very limited, which would mean :

  • Be part of the 30% of the population that is a natural carrier of Staphylococcus aureus.
  • And again, to be part of the 4% of the population that is carrying a strain of Staphylococcus aureuscapable of producing TSST-1 (yes, not all of them are capable!).
  • In addition, to be part of the 10% of the population that is not able to defend itself against the TSST-1 toxin.

Statistically speaking, therefore, there is really, really little risk of developing Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome. However:

  1. To date, there is no test available in pharmacies to determine if you are a carrier of Staphylococcus aureus,
  2. Even if this were the case, just because you are not a carrier at a given moment T does not mean that you will not become one later. It is considered that 50% of the population is intermittent carrier of Staphylococcus aureus.
  3. There is no test available in pharmacies to find out if you are immune to the TSST-1 toxin.

It is therefore impossible at this time to know if you are at risk of having TSS one day, so it is best to take all the precautions we will see below. You should find these recommendations on the package inserts for tampons, menstrual cups and any device intended for prolonged insertion into the vagina (diaphragm, sponge).

What can facilitate the onset of Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome began to be heard about in the 1980s in the USA, when a brand of tampon, the Rely brand, caused an epidemic of 772 cases of menstrual TSS and 38 deaths. This brand of tampons was excessively absorbent, and menstrual TSS was not known, so some women kept the same tampon throughout their period (which of course is totally discouraged). Rely tampons were super-absorbent thanks to a synthetic material: carboxymethylcellulose, and it has been proven that it is this material that promotes the growth of Staphylococcus aureus.

Today, this material is no longer used in tampons, and precautions of use have been added: it has been since this Rely scandalthat tampon manufacturers indicate their absorption by means of small drops (to avoid wearing unnecessarily absorbent tampons, which promote menstrual TSS) and that the recommended wearing time is 4 to 8 hours. As a result of these measures, the number of menstrual TSS decreased significantly.

A recent scientific studyshows moreover that the composition of the tampons or cups currently on sale does not influence the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (phew!), we talk about it in more detail hereand there.

But at the risk of disappointing some of you, the cup does not protect against Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome…

It is the retention of menstrual blood in the vagina that causes Staphylococcus aureus to sometimes develop. After years of neglect, the subject of menstrual TSS is finally beginning to be seriously studied, and recent scientific publications on the subjectallow us to recommend these important precautions to take if you want to use a tampon or menstrual cup safely:

Menstrual TSS Risk Factors What can be done to reduce the risk?
  • Choose a tampon that is too absorbent or a menstrual cup that is too large.

 

  • (Re)Introduce Staphylococcus aureus into the vagina during menstruation.

 

  • Allow sufficient development time for Staphylococcus aureus to produce the TSST-1 toxin.

 

An immune system that doesn’t know how to defend itself
against TSST-1 toxin

  • Wash hands before handling intravaginal protection.
    In the case of reusable devices: disinfect them before each insertion. See Claricup cleaning routine.

Do not use an intravaginal device if you have ever had TSS (menstrual or not) or if you are severely immunocompromised.

It’s finally not so complicated! In addition, Claripharm makes your life easier by offering you, for each size, a Duopack allowing you to change your cup during the day if you don’t have the possibility to disinfect it: you keep a clean cup in its box, which you take with you for the day, and after 6am, you can exchange it with the one you were wearing!

Pourquoi une étude sur la coupe menstruelle ? (TCS)

You may have heard about it, a scientific study has recently been published and picked up in a lot of media with sometimes alarmist headlines about Toxic Shock Syndrome. Some have understood that the menstrual cupis more dangerous than tampons, others that the menstrual cup is not more dangerous, but just needs to be cleaned more often. And what do we do in all this? Today, we untangle the true from the false and the misunderstanding with you.

Who conducted this study?

The study was conducted by a team of French researchers based in Lyon. These researchers are part of the National Reference Center for Staphylococcus, an institution in charge of studying these small bacteria that cause us a lot of problems. In this study, they investigated whether tampons or menstrual cups promote the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium responsible for Toxic Shock Syndrome.

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Vous avez peut être entendu l’histoire de la mannequin Lauren Wasser, qui a perdu ses deux jambes suite à un Syndrome du Choc Toxique. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is caused by a bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus) that produces a toxin, TSST-1, which is able to pass through the vaginal wall and spread throughout the body. The TSST-1 toxin can cause gangrene of the extremities and even shutdown of vital organs. Men, women or children can develop TSS, but 50% of TSS cases occur in women during or shortly after their period, and are referred to as Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Why ? Because Staphylococcus develops particularly well in the menstrual blood. It should be remembered that SCT is very rare: out of 15 million women who menstruate in France, 15 cases of menstrual SCT are recorded each year, i.e. 0.0001%.

What is the aim of this study?

Menstrual TSS was discovered in the 1980s, when a super (hyper-giga-mega) absorbent tampon was introduced: the Rely tampon. Unfortunately, it caused approximately 772 cases of TSS and 38 deaths because its composition favoured the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Since then, the Rely buffer has been withdrawn from the market, and its main component, carboxymethylcellulose, has been banned in buffers. It is also since this scandal that tampon manufacturers advise to change it every 4 to 8 hours, because the Rely tampon was so absorbent that women sometimes kept it during … all their periods!

Since the 1980s, new components have arrived in buffers, notably viscose. The team of scientists therefore investigated whether this new composition could play a role in the development of Staphylococcus and SCT. Many manufacturers of menstrual cups (not including Claripharm) and organic cotton tampons claim that their products protect against Toxic Shock Syndrome. So they wanted to find out if this was really the case.

How were tampons and menstrual cups evaluated?

It was not possible to ask women to wear tampons for as long as possible and put their lives at risk. Researchers have therefore reproduced the conditions in which tampons or cups are found once in the vagina, during menstruation. To do this, they used plastic bags (to reproduce the vagina), 15 mL of a liquid reproducing menstrual blood, a strain of staphylococcus aureus taken from a woman who suffered from TSS, and of course, a conventional tampon, an organic tampon or a cup.

Aha, the Cliff Hanger! What were their results? Does it change anything for me?
Read more about it here.

Menstrual Cup and Toxic Shock Syndrome

What are the results of the study?

After placing the pads or cups in individual plastic bags in a culture medium and in the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, they placed them at 37°C for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, the researchers measured the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and the production of the toxin TSST-1.

Already, good news:

No device accelerates the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, so we are not at risk of having an epidemic of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

But also precautions to be taken:

  • No tampon, bio buffer or cup protects against Toxic Shock Syndrome. And most importantly: no tampon, bio tampon or cup should be worn for more than 8 hours. For the researchers observed a production of the TSST-1 toxin in all cases. Unfortunately, they did not measure the growth of Staphylococcus aureus before these 8 hours, so it is difficult to make recommendations for all products.

On the other hand, before the publication of this study, the Claripharm Laboratory commissioned a study on the wearing time of the Claricup, which allows us to ensure maximum safety for 6 hours with the Claricup. Details of the Claricup menstrual cup study are available here. Our study is very similar to the one we are talking about today, with the difference that we measured the growth of Staphylococcus aureus every hour for 12 hours.

  • You have to choose your cup according to its flow. Because the size of menstrual cups seems to play a role in the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and the production of TSST-1. The composition of the cups is not decisive, it is the oxygen supply that is important. The larger a menstrual cup is, the more oxygen it provides. It is important to remember that the cup must still be able to contain the flow, and that the faster the menstrual cup fills up, the less oxygen there is.
  • The cup must be disinfected before each insertion. Because Staphylococcus aureus remains fixed on the menstrual cups and a simple washing with water is not enough to remove it. Researchers indicate that it is therefore important to disinfect the cups before each insertion, otherwise there is a risk of re-contamination with Staphylococcus aureus. They therefore suggest that users have 2 cups to be able to change them more easily during the day.

How to use your menstrual cup safely?

Unlike other devices, menstrual cups need to be cleaned regularly. Other manufacturers claim 12 hours without leaks, but you can’t keep up such a marketing argument if it puts lives at risk. For this reason, the Claripharm Laboratory recommends a wearing time of 6 hours, as well as systematic cleaning and disinfection between each insertion. It’s for you, for your health ladies. Because we are the first ones, we don’t want to lose a leg just because we got our period.

It should also be remembered that this study only concerns Toxic Shock Syndrome. For the moment, unfortunately, no study has been carried out on the endocrine disruptors found in certain hygienic protections (endometriosis is classified by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire as potentially related to endocrine disruptors), nor on the impact of tampons (which absorb everything) or cups (which only collect menstrual periods) on the vaginal flora, essential to the health of our intimacy. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

How does Claripharm Laboratory take care of me?

Each Claricup is systematically provided with its disinfection box, to make your life easier: it is sometimes more practical to disinfect it in a microwave oven than in a pot of boiling water!

We also offer Duopacks of 2 Claricup and 2 boxes at a reduced price, so that you always have a clean cup available during the day: you insert one cup in the morning, the other clean cup is in its box, in your bag and after 6 hours, you just have to exchange it in the bathroom. That’s what the box is also for! Thanks to it, you don’t risk to stain your stuff with a used cup while waiting to clean everything quietly at home.

We also advise you to choose your Claricup according to your flow. Other parameters can play a role in the choice of your size, such as the musculature of your perineum or the size of your vagina, but unless you are a midwife or gynaecologist, this is something few of us can evaluate. On the other hand the flow, that we know!

Claripharm Laboratory’s commitment is simple: to provide you with the healthiest products possible, for ever greater safety. That’s why we all lead the way. these studies, which we obtain the certifications that guarantee you the safety of Medical Devices, that we have done 22 tests on raw materials and Claricup, and that every day we work to provide you with all the right information and the right products.

This study is an opportunity to learn more about alternatives to traditional periodic protection. Above all, it is an opportunity for you, the user, to be fully informed of good usage practices in order to protect your health.

We’re all concerned about the rules, so it’s time to talk about it!

Do you have further questions about the daily use of your menstrual cup? Write on social networks or by email to: contact@claripharm.fr

Gynecology and female hygiene

Vaginal discharge: what is normal?

Vaginal discharge, also known as white discharge or leucorrhoea, is a completely normal phenomenon in women of child-bearing age. But a change can be a sign of a vaginal infection. However, to know if there is a problem, it is important to know what “normal” vaginal discharge looks like and what is not.

Vaginal losses, what is it?

Vaginal discharge is a mixture of cervical mucus produced by the cells of the cervix, vaginal secretions, dead cells from the vaginal wall, and bacteria from the vaginal flora 1. Moreover, as their production is very much linked to that of sex hormones, only women of childbearing age (i.e. from puberty to menopause), experience this phenomenon.

  • Cervical mucusis a more or less viscous liquid secreted by the cells of the cervix. These secretions are influenced by the menstrual cycle and therefore vary in abundance and consistency during the cycle. At the moment of ovulation, they facilitate the passage of spermatozoa into the uterus, becoming more liquid and abundant. On the contrary, outside of ovulation, they thicken to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. This is in fact the principle of the symptothermal method: by monitoring several parameters of one’s cycle such as temperature, abundance and consistency of cervical mucus, it is possible to detect one’s own ovulation period, the so-called “fertility window”, and to act accordingly to prevent or facilitate a pregnancy.

 

  • Vaginal secretions are produced naturally by the cells of the vaginal wall: these secretions serve to moisten the vagina to prevent pain during penetration. But this is not necessarily a sign of more or less arousal: the amount of vaginal lubrication varies greatly from one woman to another.

 

  • The cells of the vaginal wall renew themselves naturally, just like skin cells. The higher the concentration of estrogens in the body, the more they will renew themselves and feed the growth of the bacteria of the vaginal flora, those nice bacteria that will prevent other micro-organisms from causing infections.

What does a normal vaginal discharge look and smell like?

Well , guess what? Even scientists cannot agree!

A few rare clinical studies have attempted to define a “normal” amount, color or odour of vaginal discharge 2.

But as mentioned above, the amount of vaginal discharge varies enormously from one woman to another, and for a woman during her cycle and her life (pregnancy, menopause…). Therefore, there is no “normal” amount of loss. Some will feel the need to wear a panty liner to avoid feeling wet, but it’s all a matter of preference.

The color of the discharge also varies during the menstrual cycle: from transparent to slightly white. The main idea to remember is that if it is a color other than transparent, white, sometimes slightly yellow, there is a risk of infection.

Finally, there is the thorny question of odor: what is normal is that vaginal discharge has a slight odor. If it bothers you, then it may be a vaginal infection.

The sure sign is if you have traces of blood, intense itching, redness, or a burning sensation (at the time of sexual intercourse or urination): this is a sure sign that you have an infection.

Vaginal discharge is the result of the natural process of cleansing the vagina.

Despite what many advertisements want women to believe, it is quite normal to have losses and therefore a slight feeling of dampness. It is not necessary to perfume the vulva, douching or self-medicate at the first alert, as this could instead cause infections. Remember: the vagina cleans itself and defends itself very well on its own!

1 AM. Powell and P. Nyirjesy, « New perspectives on the normal vagina and noninfectious causes of discharge », Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sept. 2015, 58(3), 453-463.

² M. Anderson, A. Karasz and S. Friedland, « Are vaginal symptoms ever normal ? A review of the literature », MedGenMed, Nov 2004, 6(4), 49.

Intimate itching, what causes it and what solutions to relieve it?

Do you have a sly vagina? The burning vulva? The apricot color poppy ? Intimate parts that get damaged ? The gynecological area that stings? In short, your private parts itch and you don’t know where it’s coming from, but your vulva is not doing well. Enough poetry, all the answers to your questions in this article!

Itching of the private parts, also called vulvar pruritus, is very common. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 women will experience intimate irritation1 for more than 3 months in their lifetime. The intimate area is characterized by a variety of different skins: some with hairs, others without, the entrance of the vagina does not even have the upper protective layer found on the skin, so it is a mucous membrane that is even more sensitive. The intimate area can therefore be irritated quite easily…

Stress, periods of change in one’s life, poor hygienic protection, everywhere explore these embarrassing ailments!

Contact allergy or irritation

Have you changed brands of panty liners or laundry recently? This may be the cause of the redness and itching you have. It can take a few days of contact for irritation to develop, so if you’ve changed your habits in the last few days, change your product to make sure it’s not your new underwear that’s causing the irritation.

In general, prefer cotton panties that are not too tight, which allows for better evacuation of perspiration and avoids irritation, and avoid scented products (wipes, soap, towels, laundry…), as perfumes are often a source of allergies. Think about it if you use scented sanitary pads and you systematically have irritations during your period!

Poor quality hygienic protections

Because there are no regulations in Europe regarding the components of intimate protection, many manufacturers of tampons (among others) and cups (also!) make life difficult for your vagina.

Silicone from China, injection of phthalate, glyphosate or chlorine to make the tampons more absorbent; nothing beats a Made in France/Europe product whose origin of the products will initially be reassuring, then take a look at the regulatory certifications of the brand (ISO, FDA, MDSAP standards…).

We will soon come back to the subject of regulations, a battle that is fought on a daily basis in the company. Claripharm. Anyway, if you are holders of the Claricup, know that at Claripharm, not only our menstrual cup is Made in France, but in addition, we are one of the only brands to be 100% standardized.

Pubic lice

Also known as crabs! We reassure you right away, to have some is not a sign of bad hygiene, because the pubic louse clings very well to the skin with its claws (this small microscopic insect looks like a crab). It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, but also through sheets, towels or used clothing (be careful when trying on bathing suits!). Always keep your underwear on).

Symptoms are itching (even worse at night) caused by the bites, which appear red and then grey-blue.

It is very simple to get rid of it: one or even two applications of a shampoo prescribed by your doctor are enough. To avoid any recurrence, it is important to inform your recent sexual partners and to clean your bedding and underwear at 90°C.

Vaginal mycosis

A vaginal mycosis is very often caused by a fungus: Candida albicans. Ce champignon microscopique fait naturellement partie de la flore vaginale, ce petit monde de bactéries et de levures qui colonise le vagin et lui permet d’être en bonne santé.This microscopic fungus is a natural part of the vaginal flora, the small world of bacteria and yeast that colonizes the vagina and keeps it healthy. But sometimes, an antibiotic treatment or too aggressive intimate hygiene can disturb the vaginal flora and then Candida albicans proliferates too much, causing itching and odourless white vaginal discharge.

To relieve these symptoms, local antifungals are available without a prescription from a pharmacy, which can be helpful if you know you are prone to recurring fungal infections. Nevertheless, only a doctor will be able to confirm with certainty that you are suffering from a fungus and possibly take a sample to identify the precise germ and the most suitable treatment.

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness, a source of irritation and discomfort rather than itching, is common in postmenopausal women, but menopause is not the only cause of vaginal dryness. An overly aggressive intimate hygiene, the consequences of pregnancy or because of taking certain medications (antidepressants, antihistamines…), vaginal dryness may occur. In fact, nearly 55% of women suffer from it during their lifetime²!

If this is the only symptom you have, you can settle for a local solution: lubricants (which have an immediate but short action) and moisturizing gels (which have a longer action) will be your best friends! You can buy them in pharmacies, with or without a prescription. On the other hand, if vaginal dryness is accompanied by hot flashes, or anarchic periods, you may be entering pre-menopause… it is then important to talk about it and be accompanied by a health professional who will be able to guide you through this new stage of your intimate life.

As we know, these itches and irritations are sometimes difficult to manage… even though solutions exist! The most important thing is to talk about it with a healthcare professional, who will be able to point you in the right direction.

1 C.K. Stockdale, L. Boardman, « Diagnosis And Treatment Of Vulvar Dermatoses », Clinical Expert Series, 2018 Feb, 131(2) : 371-386.

² SOGC Clinical Practice Guidelines, « The Detection And Management Of Vaginal Atrophy », International Journal of GYnecology and Obstetrics, 2005, 88, 222-228.

Vaginal infections, how to recognize and treat them

In the catalog of the joys of owning a female genitalia, there are so many things:

Because if at the base the uterus is intended to do a rather incredible thing (to make a baby grow inside it, anyway), all the machinery around it sometimes brings *something* inconveniences. Oh, you probably know them: Itching, Premenstrual Syndrome, Menstruation… In short, life with a vagina isn’t always easy.

And among those things that people with a penis don’t know about are vaginal infections: AH, itching! Loss-who-has-a-color-weird! Maritime smells. (?!) It is a story that every woman will know at least once in her life. Here’s how to make sure it ends well, and more importantly, that it doesn’t repeat itself too often.

Recognizing a vaginal infection

Itching or even pain are the first signs of a vaginal infection. If you’ve eliminated the different causes of an itch and your vaginal discharge has changed in appearance at the same time: BINGO, you’ve hit the jackpot.

You are far from being the only one: 75% of women will develop a vaginal mycosis during their lifetime1, while bacterial vaginosis affects 1 in 3 women each year in the world2. Because yes, there are several kinds of vaginal infections:

  • Vaginal mycosis, also called candidiasis, because it is caused in 90% of cases by a yeast called Candida albicans,
  • Bacterial vaginosis, so called because it is caused by another type of microorganism: bacteria such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, or Prevotella spp.
  • Trichomoniasis, an infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

It is relatively easy to tell the difference between the three by observing your vaginal discharge:

A vaginal yeast infection will cause itching and redness in the vulva, and an abundant but odourless white discharge that looks a bit like curdled milk (if you are disgusted now, don’t continue reading).

Bacterial vaginosiswill also cause itching, but the difference is that you will have a gray/green discharge, with a “rotten fish” smell.

A Trichomonas infection will cause tingling and redness in the vulva, but the discharge at the bottom of your panties will be smelly, beige and “foamy”, like soapy water.

These symptoms may also be accompanied by burning sensations or difficulty urinating.

The other difference between the three? Since they are not caused by the same microorganisms, the treatments will also be different.

How to treat a vaginal infection

It is very frequent that by the time you go to the pharmacy or make an appointment with the doctor, the infection disappears by itself: lucky! But if it’s been going on for too long or if it’s the 4th time in a year, it’s time to act.

To relieve a vaginal yeast infection, there are anti-fungal treatments available without a prescription in pharmacies: in the form of a cream for external use or an egg to be inserted into the vagina, they will be of great help if you know how to recognize the symptoms.

To relieve bacterial vaginitis, however, it is necessary to see a doctor for antibiotic treatment. If you are pregnant, don’t delay: a vaginal bacterial infection can trigger premature delivery.

To treat a Trichomonas infection, it is also necessary to go to the doctor because an antibiotic must be prescribed. Since it is a sexually transmitted infection (which is not the case with fungus or bacterial vaginosis), it is necessary that the sexual partner also be treated. The use of male or female condoms is also recommended to prevent recurrence.

If you know there is a problem but cannot identify the cause, a health care professional (gynecologist, general practitioner or midwife) will be able to take a swab that will precisely identify the microorganism that has settled a little too well in your vagina.

But despite these treatments, be aware that between 5 and 30% of women will have a recurrence.

Understand what triggers an infection to prevent recurrence.

Normally, the vagina is lined with what is called vaginal flora. In the vaginal flora, one finds in majority Lactobacilli which one also calls “probiotics” (literally “for life”): they are the nice bacteria, those which play the role of shield and which make that the pH of the vagina is acidic (between 3,8 and 6). Pathogenic yeasts and bacteria are also found in the flora, but the acid pH produced by the Lactobacilli limits their development, which prevents infections.

But in the vagina as in life, everything is a question of balance.

This balance is fragile, and tilting the scale to one side or the other causes infections: On the side of pH too acidic (below 3.8), it is the yeasts that take over and cause mycosis. If the pH is too basic (higher than 6), pathogenic bacteria settle.

Remember to check if your intimate cleansing products or lubricants have a pH between 3.8 and 6 so as not to disturb this balance. A high concentration of estrogen in the body (such as during pregnancy or with the birth control pill) can acidify the vagina, while menstruation or semen tends to make the pH basic. Finally, there are situations where, without knowing it, one has unknowingly thrown the scale out the window: a tampon that absorbs everything (even good bacteria), an intimate toilet that is too aggressive, or a broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment are the equivalent for the vagina of weeding with a flamethrower: by wanting to remove everything, one also removes the protection provided by the Lactobacilli, and one doesn’t know what will take over… Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

In any case, it is necessary to stick to a maximum of one intimate toilet per day, and perhaps change one’s habits if the recurrences are too frequent. It is also interesting to bring back probiotics, either through food (fermented cabbage, yoghurts, dietary supplements) or through eggs that are inserted into the vagina, available without a prescription in pharmacies. In this way, you provide your body with additional defenses.

That’s it, you are now equipped to take care of your intimate flora and help it fight vaginal infections!

1 Vanessa Cardinale, « Les candidoses vaginales recidivantes à Candida Albicans », Thèse de Diplôme d’Etat de Docteur en Pharmacie, sous la direction de Françoise Hinzelin, Nancy, Université Henri Poincare – Nancy 1, 2001, 131 p.

² JE Allsworth, JF Peipert ; « Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis : 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data », Obstet. Gynecol., 2007 Jan, 109(1), p. 114-120.

Intimate hygiene: how about reviewing the basics?

To avoid vaginal infections and irritations, daily intimate cleansing is often recommended. But with what? How? Exactly how often? Paradoxically, an overly aggressive intimate toilet can causeinfections. These are important issues because they are crucial to our intimate health.

Why is it necessary to wash *down*?

Unlike the vagina, which cleans itself, the external sexual organs do not clean themselves. If the vaginal discharge accumulates too much at the vulva, it can promote the development of microorganisms that will cause vaginal or urinary tract infections. Good intimate hygiene is therefore essential to regularly eliminate vaginal discharge accumulated on the vulva, and to avoid bringing bad germs back where they could develop and cause discomfort.

For example, after going to the bathroom, how do you wipe?
The female genital orifices are very close to a source of bad bacteria: the anus. So always remember to wipe from front to back. Thus you will avoid bringing back to your vagina bacteria from the anus that have nothing to do with it.

Also think about avoid anything that will retain perspiration: synthetic underwear, panty-liners, slim pants, and towels cause a “barrier effect”: by preventing perspiration from evacuating properly, they will increase humidity and temperature, which promotes the development of bacteria or fungi.1.

Another activity brings bacteria to the wrong place: sex! If you are particularly prone to urinary or vaginal infections, urinate immediately after sex to get rid of any bacteria. And most importantly: use a condomuntil you are sure that neither you nor your partner is carrying a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).

When it comes to how often and what to clean with: choose SOFTNESS and SIMPLICITY.

Choose your intimate hygiene product with care

For daily cleansing, use the simplest possible intimate cleanser.

The vulva is a sensitive area: it must be cleaned without irritating it. In order to avoid irritations and disturb the vulval flora, some ingredients should be avoided :

  • Endocrine disruptors: phthalates.
  • Useful useless ingredients: perfumes and dyes.
  • Ingredients too aggressive for this area: Chlorhexidine, Sodium Laureth Sulphate and alcohol.
  • A pH that would disturb the flora: no soap with a basic or neutral pH, you need an acidic pH, between 4 and 6.

It is not necessary to do an intimate cleansing more than once a day: beyond that, there is a risk of over-stripping the skin, which causes micro-lesions and removes the natural barrier that protects us.

In summary we forget: deodorants, wipes after each visit to the toilet, and scented toilet paper, or rather: everything that is scented. Because the more products you use, the more likely you are to develop cystitis, vaginal infections, candidiasis or other joyfulness2.

The false good idea

Unfortunately, women often think that a feeling of dampness and a slight odor are bad signs. But not at all: on the contrary, it is a sign that your vagina cleans itself very well.

It is therefore totally useless to cleanse inside the vagina: the risk is to unbalance the vaginal flora and cause infections. Vaginal showers are thus to be proscribed.

1 S. Guaschino, C. Benvenuti, SOPHY Study Group, « SOPHY Project : an observational study of vaginal pH and lifestyle in women of different ages and in different physiopathological conditions », Minerva Ginecologica, 2008 Apr;60(2):105-14.

² S.E. Crann, S. Cunningham, A. Albert, D.M. Money and K.C. O’Doherty, « Vaginal health and hygiene practices and product use in Canada : a national cross-sectional survey », BMC Women’s Health,

Do you have further questions about the daily use of your menstrual cup? Write on social networks or by email to: contact@claripharm.fr

Our post-partum advice

Come back of menstruation after childbirth (or return of diapers), what should I expect?

Here you are mom, your baby has arrived and that means a lot of changes in your life. One thinks of the long nights that you spend by your baby’s side, the unexpected milk rushes, (thanks to the little stained top) but also of your period. The return of the rules, also called “return of diapers”, will happen little by little. We are all different, so the arrival of menstruation does not happen at the same time or in the same way for all women; expect some changes.

And when is the come back ?

Well, we know that one of the benefits during pregnancy is not menstruating. Unfortunately, these will come back, but when?
First question, were you breastfeeding? The answer to this question will help you determine when your period will be returned.

If you are not breastfeeding, you can expect your period to return between 8 and 10 weeks after giving birth.

If you are breastfeeding, (this is the case for 60% of women in France), the return of menstruation may take longer. This is generally referred to as 6 months. Once again, we are all different, the return of menstruation can then be longer, up to 1 year. Don’t worry if your period hasn’t arrived yet and you are in this period of breastfeeding.

Link between breastfeeding and return of menstruation

Prolactin is a hormone made in the brain that causes and maintains the production of breast milk after childbirth. We all have this hormone in us, prolactin is also involved in reproduction, growth and immunity, but its level is greatly increased during pregnancy and in the post-delivery period, especially during breastfeeding.

After giving birth, prolactin levels return to normal in less than two weeks if you are not breastfeeding.

If you have chosen to breastfeed, feedings play an important role because they immediately stimulate prolactin levels. Prolactin secretion remains high as long as you continue to breastfeed. Many women return from diapers at the same time as the baby reduces the number of feedings: either because the baby is starting to eat solids or because the baby is taking bottles.

This hormone prevents ovulation, and therefore menstruation. But in 10% of women, this is not the case. In addition, the return of the diaper is preceded by a period of ovulation which took place 15 days before. What does it mean? That you are likely to ovulate at any time without realizing it. Ovulation also means a possible new pregnancy. Breastfeeding is therefore not a reliable means of contraception. If you do not wish to become pregnant again immediately, you must use contraception.

What can we expect?

The first thing that happens after childbirth is the lochies. It is a mixture of blood and debris from the lining of the uterus. It sounds a lot like the rules, but it isn’t! We tell you more about it in the article available here.

The first period after baby is not the same as what you’re used to. Your period may be heavier. If you are new to Niagara Falls, welcome!

For users of menstrual cups, a size change may be necessary because if you experience an increase in menstrual flow, the capacity of your menstrual cup may no longer be sufficient. Besides, the body changes after childbirth, and so does the vagina ! If you notice leakage but the cup is not full, the menstrual cup is too small and no longer adheres well to the walls of the vagina, which may have distended. For more information on menstrual cup sizes, please consult our size guide.

Cramps may also intensify during this period. We invite you to discover our natural tips that will help you relieve your pain by clicking here.

Beware, however, of the warning signs :

If your periods are really heavy, that is to say, if your sanitary napkin is full in 1 hour, or if you have to change your menstrual cup every hour, it means that the abundance of periods is abnormal. Consult your health care professional to avoid any complications.

Lochies ou saignements post-partum : une coupe menstruelle peut-elle être utilisée après l’accouchement ?

That’s it, after 9 months of more or less patient waiting, your baby is here with his procession of little joys and insomnia. As your body slowly recovers from pregnancy and childbirth, the post-natal (or post-partum) process usually takes several weeks and this is completely normal. Symptoms of this process include lochia, the blood loss that occurs just after birth. What exactly is it? How long do lochies last? What hygiene measures need to be taken or avoided in order to manage them on a daily basis? When can I use my menstrual cup?

Is it normal to bleed after childbirth?

YES ! This is completely normal, whether you had a vaginal delivery or a Caesarean section. During pregnancy, the uterus grows and thickens as the fetus grows. To schematize, it goes from the size of a pear to that of a big BIG watermelon. In addition to growing, the uterus develops a new organ: the placenta, which will bring nutrients to the fetus, rid it of the waste it produces and secrete hormones. Once the baby is born, about 30 minutes after birth, the uterus contracts to expel the placenta, leaving a sore on the uterine wall. The uterus also begins to shed its inner lining, which is no longer useful after birth. It’s the lochies. They are part of the natural process of post-natal care, during which the uterus will return to its original size in 6 to 8 weeks. So don’t worry!

Postpartum bleeding: what should I expect ?

Postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is a mixture of blood and debris from the lining of the uterus. In fact, at the beginning it looks a lot like rules, even if technically it’s not the same thing :

  • The first 2 to 4 days after birth: the lochies are VERY VERY abundant (think “Niagara Falls”) and bright red in color. There may also be blood clots, but if they are as big as a golf ball, you should seek medical advice.
  • From the 4th day and for one to two weeks : the loss of blood decreases, the lochies become pink, sometimes brown.
  • Around the 12th day postpartum and for 3-4 days: Bleeding regains its intensity, which is due to the drop in pregnancy hormones. However, this has nothing to do with menstruation, because the menstrual cycle has not yet resumed.
  • Up to 6 weeks after delivery : The lochies are light yellow or white. They should smell similar to menstruation.

The lochies can therefore last up to 6 weeks after delivery. If you are breastfeeding, breastfeeding causes the production of oxytocin, a hormone that will cause contractions of the uterus and shorten the time of the lochia. If you have carried twins or triplets, it is possible that your lochies are more abundant and last longer.

Lochies: how to manage them?

Because they look a lot like rules, one may be tempted to use the same things to absorb or collect them : Tampons, pads or menstrual cups. But beware, menstruation and lochies are two very different phenomena, so the precautions to take are not the same!

The cervix and cervical mucus act as a barrier to bacteria in the vagina to prevent them from entering the uterus, which must remain free of bacteria. During childbirth, the cervix dilates to let the baby through, and this reflex is triggered even if the delivery is by caesarean section. It takes several weeks for the cervix to close and during this time it no longer plays its role as a barrier to bacteria as well.

During the time of the lochies, it is therefore important not to insert anything into the vagina, because it is necessary to avoid introducing bacteria that could go up in the uterus.

This unfortunately means that you must avoid bathing, swimming, and penetrative cuddling, and that you cannot use tampons or menstrual cups. So you still have the towels, but not just any towels: the super-absorbent ones-with (sexy!) pantyhose: And yes! They have the advantage of being very absorbent and thick, which will allow you to sit without too much difficulty. The maternity ward will surely provide you with some, but plan a small stock at home.

As far as intimate hygiene is concerned, you don’t need to do a complete intimate wash every time you go to the little corner. Just make do with an intimate cleansing once a day, simply with water or a cleansing gel with the appropriate pH.

Lochies: when to worry?

If your lochies have an unpleasant rotten fish-like odour or if you bleed at an unexpected time, seek medical advice: it may be a sign of an infection of the uterus due to debris from the placenta or a poorly evacuated blood clot. If the bleeding is so heavy that you fill a towel in 1 hour, it’s the same thing: quickly inform your health professional (midwife, gynecologist…) because you risk losing too much blood.

Don’t forget the most important thing: take care of yourself.

You and your body have just gone through the long and (often) trying stages of pregnancy and birth. You have carried a child for 9 months, and now that it is born, the uterus “cleans up” and is slowly recovering from this upheaval. The inevitable stage of lochies is a reminder that it’s important to take this time (and more!) to recover and take care of you and your baby.

Avez-vous d’autres questions concernant l’utilisation quotidienne de votre coupe menstruelle ? Write on social networks or by email to: contact@claripharm.fr