Introduction to the XO Flo Menstrual Cup
The Xo Flo cup is one of the newcomers to the menstrual cup world, and overall, it looks like a winner. It’s made by GladRags, the distributor of the original modern-day menstrual cup, the Keeper.
We don’t love the Keeper Cup because it’s so firm, made from latex, and not that comfortable to wear. We’re happy that GladRags has a newer, more modern menstrual cup on the market.
Keep on reading for our full review of this new menstrual cup, or head over to Amazon to see all the details and the user reviews on Amazon:
The XO Flo is made in the USA from medical grade silicone. This makes it much softer than the Keeper Cup. However, when compared to other cups made from silicone, the firmness is soft-average. It’s close to the Ruby Cup, or Juju Cup.
We find that softer cups feel more comfortable than firmer cups. They don’t cause cramps like some of the firm cups because they don’t press strongly against the vaginal canal walls. However, the average/firm cups are easier to insert because they pop open more easily than the softer cups.
The XO Flo is in the firmness sweet spot—it’s comfortable, but also reasonably easy to insert with minimal hassle. Nice work Glad Rags!
Only One Size: Large
There are more details below about sizing, and design of the XO Flow in the section below, but to date, there is only one size, large. It’s big, long, and has quite a high capacity. It’s best suited to people who’ve given birth vaginally, have a long vaginal canal, and are not beginners to menstrual cups.
***Note! The company has let me know that they will be releasing a XO Flo “mini” in the spring of 2018. Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to update this review when it comes out.
XO Flo Design: 3 Interesting Things
If you take a look at the picture of the XO Flo, you’ll notice a few interesting things. The first one is the shape of it—it’s more of a bell, than a cone like many other cups (for example, the Diva Cup, or Lunette Cup).
The second unusual thing is the stem—there are three small balls on it. Most stems are smooth, or have very unpronounced ridges. When it gets wet, it’s slippery, so we were happy to see XO Flo come out with this innovation that will potentially work much better. In our experience, it was indeed easier to get a grip on the stem to assist with removal.
Lastly, there is not a prominent rim with the XO Flo. Some people find that these kinds of cups are easier to insert and remove, because there isn’t one final “hurdle” to clear. It can also put less pressure on the bladder or urethra for people who are a bit sensitive down there.
You can check out the XO Flo Menstrual Cup for yourself on Amazon:
XO Flo Menstrual Cup Sizing
There is only one size of XO Flo Cup. In general, it compares to some of the largest, highest capacity cups on the market today, such as the Anigan EvaCup (L), Super Jennie (L), or the Meluna Cup (L).
Diameter: 45 mm
Length: 86 mm
Capacity: 38 ml
XO Flow Diameter
It can work well for you if you’ve given birth vaginally, especially if multiple times. The XO Flo Cup might also work for you if you’re older, perhaps over 30 or so.
XO Flow Length
The length is serious, at 86 mm and it’s the longest menstrual cup you can buy. This can work very well for you if you have a high cervix/long vaginal canal. You can tell if this is the case by reaching into your vagina with your index finger. If you can’t touch your cervix, it’s high.
If you have a high cervix, a long menstrual cup can work very well because it’ll be easier to remove than shorter menstrual cups. You’ll be able to grasp the base more easily to squeeze in the sides and break the suction seal.
If you can’t reach the base, you should be able to reach the stem very easily. Hopefully it’ll be right near your vaginal canal opening. You can just pull down on it gently until you can reach the base.
The company mentions that you can trim the stem as much as you want. Although it’s certainly not the cup for you if you have a short vaginal canal (consider a low cervix cup), don’t worry about the length if you have an average cervix height.
Consider the XO Flow If You…
- Have a high cervix (okay for average heigh cervix as well)
- Found that smaller cups slid around inside of you—the XO Flo has a very large diameter
- Have a very heavy period because the capacity is so high
- Have given birth vaginally multiple times
Heavy Period? Consider the XO Flo
If you have a very heavy period, then the XO Flo should be on the list of menstrual cup you consider. One of the big advantages of menstrual cups is that you have a higher capacity than tampons, so have to deal with it less.
A jumbo tampon has a capacity of around 10 ml. There are some cups with small capacities of only 15-20 ml. It’s hardly worth it to make the switch—you’ll have to empty your cup quite frequently.
However, an average cup has an average capacity of 30 ml (the Diva Cup for example), while some hold up to 42 ml. At 38 ml, the XO Flo is one of the highest capacity menstrual cups available. This really does make a big difference.
4x more capacity than a jumbo tampon = 4x less period hassle.
Sleep Through the Night?
If you have a heavy period, maybe you haven’t slept through the night during your period in years. You have to get up to change your soaked through tampon and pad, in order to prevent blood from staining your pajamas or sheets.
By using a high-capacity menstrual cup like the XO Flo, and combining it with an overnight pad (we love cloth ones), you have a chance! These two things combined give you some serious capacity. It’s life-changing!
Removing Shorter Cups is Difficult? Try the XO Flo Cup
Some people have a very high cervix/long vaginal canal. If you’re not sure of your cervix height, here’s how you test it.
Insert your index finger into your vaginal canal. If you can’t touch your cervix, you have a high cervix. This means that you should certainly not be using one of the shorter cups (less than 60 mm). Even an average length cup of 70 mm might not work that well for you.
You should grasp the base of the cup in order to remove it. The stem is there in case you can’t do this. Pull down gently on the stem until you can get to the base.
If you’re using a cup that is too short, but you have a long vaginal canal, you might not be able to even reach the stem. In this case, you’ll have to push down with your pelvic muscles until you can reach it.
Or, you could just get a longer cup like the Xo Flo. Not only will be the stem be within reach, but the base will be closer too.
Not Sure about Menstrual Cups in General?
XO Flo Menstrual Cup Pros
- We love that GladRags has a new, updated cup on the market
- Beautiful packaging, nice instructions, cloth pouch, etc.
- Balls on the stem to assist with removal
- Can work well if you have a very long vaginal canal because it’s so long. Removal will be easier than with an average length, or short cup.
- One of the highest capacity menstrual cups you can buy
- A nice firmness—comfortable, but not too difficult to insert
- No prominent rim, which some people prefer
Buy the XO Flo Menstrual Cup on Amazon
Does it sound like the XO Flo cup is the one for you? The best place to get it is on Amazon. Check it out here:
XO Flo Menstrual Cup Cons
- Only one size, large (although the mini is coming out in 2018).
- Very long, which makes it unsuitable for anyone with a low cervix. The stem can be trimmed though.
- Can be quite difficult to remove because it has some serious suction power
Care and Cleaning of the XO Flo Period Cup
- During your cycle, wash your cup with mild soap and water (you can also use something like the DivaWash)
- Be sure to store your cup in the cloth bag that came with it between cycles. NEVER store it in an airtight container.
- Before your next period, wash your cup again with soap and water before reinserting.
- You can deep clean/sterilize your cup by boiling it in a pot of water on the stove for 5 minutes.
- Your menstrual cup may experience some discolouration over time. This doesn’t affect the function of the cup however.
Review of the XO Flo Menstrual Cup
Can I Use the XO Flo with an IUD?
The company who makes the XO Flo says that it is indeed possible to use their cup with an IUD. They mention that a recent study out of Canada has shown that menstrual cup usage does not increase the risk of dislodging your IUD.
The company does recommending contacting your doctor for advice specific to your situation. We’ll give you some general tips for using a menstrual cup with an IUD.
- Be sure that your menstrual cup is the correct length. If you have a short vaginal canal, then you’ll need a low cervix menstrual cup. There should be some space between your cervix and menstrual cup.
- Get your doctor to trim the strings on your IUD as short as possible. This will reduce the risk of them getting stuck in, or around the XO Flo.
- Periodically check your IUD Strings throughout your period to make sure they haven’t changed positions. If they have, consult with your doctor.
- The most important thing is to release the suction seal before removing your XO Flo. You do this by squeezing the sides of your cup with two fingers, and then pulling it out gently. If you can’t reach the base of the cup, pull the stem down gently until you can grasp the base.
- Be gentle when inserting and removing your XO Flo. If you are, things should go well with you, a menstrual cup, and an IUD!
Can I Get Toxic Shock Syndrome from the XO Flo?
An excellent question that people have is whether or not they can get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from the XO Flo, or other menstrual cups. Is the risk of TSS higher, or lower with a menstrual cup than with tampons.
Let’s talk facts. To date, there has only been one reported case of Toxic Shock Syndrome due to using a menstrual cup (the Diva Cup). It happened because at the beginning of their period, the person cut themselves when inserting the cup.
There are thousands of reported cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome from using tampons. Of course, there are many, many more tampons users than menstrual cups users, so this should be taken into account.
In reality, the overall risk of getting TSS from either of these products is very, very low. This is especially true if you have basic precautions with tampons such as changing them often enough, and matching the tampon absorbency level to the flow of your period (heavy flow = jumbo tampon, light flow = mini tampon).
What is clear is that the risk of getting TSS from a menstrual cup is extremely low. You may find articles suggesting that this is not the case, however, in reality, they’re not true.
What about Sex with the XO Flo?
A common question that people have is whether or not they can have sex while wearing a menstrual cup such as the XO Flo. The short answer is, it depends on what kind of sex!
For anything up to penetrative sex, menstrual cups work very well, and are better in fact than tampons. This is because there are no strings hanging out, and your partner may not even know that you have your period.
However, menstrual cups, including the XO Flo are totally unsuitable for any kind of penetrative sex. There just isn’t room for all that stuff in there, and even if you were to try, the seal on the cup would become dislodged and it’d leak like crazy. Trust us. Don’t try to have sex while wearing a traditional menstrual cup!
Sex on your Period? Consider the Soft Cup/Flex Disc
If you want to have penetrative sex while on your period, the best option for you is the Instead SoftCup (or the updated version, the Flex Disc). Unlike the XO Flo, it sits right up under your cervix, instead of low down in the vaginal canal.
Instead of being a firm bell-shaped cylinder, it’s a flexible, flat disc. This makes it an excellent choice for period sex.
However, there are some negatives to Soft Cups or Flex Discs, in that they’re disposable. The company recommends them for single use only, so you lose out on the benefits of costs savings and helping the environment as you would have it you used the XO Flo.
Our recommendation is to keep a box of Soft Cups in your bathroom cupboard for those days when you want to have sex while on your period. Otherwise, go with a menstrual cup such as the XO Flo. It’s frugal, eco-friendly, and also easier to insert.
You can check out Soft Cups for yourself on Amazon:
Can I Pee While Wearing a Menstrual Cup?
An excellent question that people have about menstrual cups, including the XO Flo is whether or not they can pee while wearing one. The easy answer is: yes! Let’s quickly talk anatomy.
“Down there,” you have three holes:
- Urethra (pee comes out of)
- Vagina (where you insert a tampon or menstrual cup)
- Anus (where you poop out of)
In theory, use of a menstrual cup (or tampon) won’t interfere with either of these two bodily functions. However, you may have the experience that it takes a really long time to pee while you’re using a cup.
This can happen because menstrual cups are quite large. Because the urethra is very close to the vagina, your cup can push against your vaginal canal walls, which in turn push against the urethra. The result is a slight narrowing of that tube, which is why it takes a long time to pee.
Some people can even find this very uncomfortable. If this is the case for you, you can consider the firmness of your menstrual cup, and you may want to consider a softer cup. The soft menstrual cups won’t push so strongly on your vaginal canal walls, and most people find that they’re more comfortable to wear.
Isn’t the XO Flo Kind of Expensive?
If you search on Amazon for “menstrual cup,” you’ll notice that there are pages and pages of results. And you’ll also notice that this menstrual cup is one of the more expensive ones. Is it worth the extra money?
We always recommend against buying one of the cheap menstrual cups that you can find on Amazon for $5-10. There are a number or problems with them, but the main one is the material used in them. It’s not medical grade silicone, which means that it’s usually very flimsy, and will degrade way too quickly. The result is a menstrual cup which leaks like crazy, and one that you’ll have to replace after only a few cycles.
It’s better to skip over this first step of buying a cheap cup, and go directly to a top-quality menstrual cup like this one.
The Takeaway on the XO Flo Cup
The XO FLO cup is a welcome addition to the menstrual cup world. If someone has a very high cervix/long vaginal canal, we are often at a loss as for which cup to recommend. There just aren’t that many great menstrual cups longer than 70 mm.
However, the XO Flo is a great cup, and comes in at 86 mm; it’s the longest menstrual cup on the market today. This makes a huge difference in terms of ease of removal if you have a long vaginal canal. Finally: A long cup we feel good about recommending!
The other person who might want to consider the XO Flo menstrual cup is someone with a very heavy period. There aren’t many cups with capacities over 35 ml, and we’re happy that there’s another option available.
Overall, it’s a nice menstrual cup, for these specific uses. Otherwise, it’s very long, has a large diameter, and is just kind of intimidating for the average person!
If you are not that specific person mentioned above, then you’ll want to check out our popular menstrual cup quiz. There are 5 simple question that will help you find the perfect menstrual cup for your body type.