XO Flo: the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

Here’s a half-truth: the internet is a great place to get CONSISTENTLY ACCURATE information about menstrual cups. Okay, now here’s the whole truth: the internet is a place where you can find a lot of information about menstrual cups, but it’s also a place where you’ll find myths, exaggerations, horror stories, and false or partly false statements. In other words, you can often unwittingly stumble upon the half-truth when what would be much more useful to you is the whole truth! Here at GladRags, we’re big fans of whole truths, even when they’re more complicated. If someone is hesitating to get XO Flo based on things they’ve heard, we want them to be equipped with all the information they need to make a decision. So we’ve taken seven statements about XO Flo (and menstrual cups in general) and provided the whole truth — complex context included.


1. HALF TRUTH: It might cause infection.

WHOLE TRUTH: Anything you put in your vagina could contribute to an infection, including tampons, menstrual cups, or another person’s body parts. While it’s important to be mindful of your own safety, there is no additional inherent risk in using XO Flo over a tampon. Of course, you should always wash your hands before inserting or removing your menstrual cup, and keep your cup clean (including washing it thoroughly at the beginning and end of your cycle).

2. HALF TRUTH: It can be uncomfortable.

WHOLE TRUTH: XO Flo may be uncomfortable. It may also be supremely jump-for-joy comfortable! All bodies are different, and you won’t know if you find XO Flo more or less comfortable than a tampon until you try it. (And even then, different brands or sizes of menstrual cups may be more comfortable than another.)

3. HALF TRUTH: It will be hard to use in a public restroom.

WHOLE TRUTH: There is a HUGE misconception about how to use a menstrual cup in a public restroom. You don’t need to take your cup out of the stall. Let me repeat: YOU DON’T NEED TO TAKE YOUR MENSTRUAL CUP OUT OF THE STALL. We even wrote a whole blog post about using reusables in a public bathroom! All you need to do is empty XO Flo into the toilet and reinsert.

4. HALF TRUTH: It might leak.

WHOLE TRUTH: All menstrual products might leak. For some bodies, XO Flo doesn’t leak when inserted properly. For some bodies, it might. Again, you’ll never know until you try.

5. HALF TRUTH: There is a still a risk of TSS with XO Flo.

WHOLE TRUTH: Any menstrual product worn internally has a risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. The FDA recommends not leaving your menstrual cup inside your body for more than 12 hours. In comparison, the FDA recommends changing your tampon every 4 to 8 hours.

6. HALF TRUTH: It’s not for the squeamish.

WHOLE TRUTH: XO Flo is made of firm-but-pliable medical-grade silicone. You should be prepared for a small amount of blood on your fingertips, NOT a scene from Carrie. And personally? I think it’s time we get over the outdated, patriarchal idea that our own vaginas and menstrual flow are icky.

7. HALF TRUTH: Your first few tries with XO Flo may be hit or miss.

WHOLE TRUTH: Actually, this one is pretty true. Just like the time you first used a tampon, you’ll probably need some practice. And that’s okay.

BOTTOM LINE: Your body, your period, your choice. But don’t let old-fashioned fears about menstruating bodies get in the way of trying something new!

  • gen

    I definitely needed a more than a few times…it took me a few years. I thought tampons at the time were just more convenient, but really I was just used to them, I’ve been using my cup for over a year now and love it completely. I’m so so glad I made the switch to reusables!