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What is the cup made of?

Biocompatible medical-grade silicone – which means it’s compatible with living tissue, like sensitive vaginal tissue!

Is the cup vegan?

The material used in our cup is free of animal by-product, but the FDA requires the silicone to be tested on them.

Why do you recommend 6 hours of wear time?

Based on a recent lab study, following the same protocol as the last studies on TSS, it has been recommended that cups (and tampons) be changed every 6 hours as a precautionary principle. So it’s not a fundamental difference between our cup and other cups – we just want to make sure we’re following best practices!

How long will my cup last?

Your reusable cup will be good for up to 3 years. Please be sure to follow all proper use and care instructions to keep it in great shape.

Can I wear the cup when I don't have my period?

Let it breathe! 🙂 Nope, you shouldn’t ever feel the need to wear your cup when you don’t have your period.

Do I risk getting Toxic Shock Syndrome if I use the cup?

Today, there are only 2 reported cases of TSS caused by period cups in the world – which is significantly lower than the number of TSS cases related to the use of tampons! But, the most recent studies conducted by medical professionals state that you should not use any period cup or tampon for more than 6 hours. We recommend changing your cup every 6 hours as a precautionary measure.

Why do I need to clean and disinfect the cup?

To minimize the opportunity for infection!  Also, be sure to always wash your hands before handling.

I bleed heavily but I haven’t had children, which size should I choose?

We typically recommend the size 2 if you have given birth vaginally, because the vaginal canal is wider, and the size 2 is significantly wider than the size 1. Even if you have a heavy flow, if you haven’t given birth we recommend trying the size 1 first to see how that works. If you’ve used a cup in the past or know about your vaginal canal width, feel free to check out our size chart to compare! As always, you can reach out to our customer service team with any questions 🙂

What’s the recommended age to start wearing a cup?

You can use the cup at any age but we recommend trying tampons first to see whether you find them comfortable! If you’re unsure about the sizing, check out our size guide.

I purchased the wrong size. What are my options?

Don’t be shy! Reach out to our v-team and they will work with you to get you the size you need. 🙂  Email

Does it hurt to insert the cup?

Inserting the cup should be painless! If you suffer from vaginal dryness we recommend you moisten your cup with a little water or Sustain’s personal lubricant.

NOTE: You should not use silicone or oil-based lubricants as that will degrade the silicone of your cup.

What’s the stem all about?

The stem is designed for first-time cup users to guide insertion and removal.  Once comfortable with your cup, feel free to trim the stem with scissors to a length that feels most comfortable (the stem shouldn’t protrude from your vagina).

I'm having difficulty inserting it, what should I do?

There are three different folds use to insert your cup.  The most commonly used method is the U fold.

For first time users we also recommend inserting and removing your cup in the shower – it’s easier to crouch down or find the position that suits you. Practice makes perfect!

Of course we’re here for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we can walk you through the process. We know it can be overwhelming but we got this!

I'm having difficulty removing my cup. What can I do?

Take a deep breath and relax. No, seriously! Usually, the reason you’re having difficulty removing the cup is because your vaginal muscles are too tense. Sit down comfortably on the toilet, use the stem as a guide to find the base, and pinch the base between two fingers. Alternatively you can insert one finger between the vaginal wall and the cup to release the seal.

How can I prevent spillage when removing the cup?

When you remove your cup, while sitting on the toilet, your body is positioned in a way that keeps the cup upright. This should minimize the chance of spillage.

How do I know when the cup is full?

As it fills, the cup tends to slide down the vagina, drawn by the weight of the period blood. As it moves downwards it will begin to feel a little uncomfortable. This is an indication that it’s a good time to empty the cup.

Does the cup move?

Depending on your daily activities and vaginal muscles, the cup may move throughout the day but it shouldn’t get stuck or fall out!

Can I have sex while wearing my cup?

Nope! Make sure to remove your cup before having fun!

Can I wear both a cup and an IUD?

Yes, however we recommend you speak to your gynecologist or healthcare professional before using a period cup with an IUD. It’s important that the coil’s strings are clipped short to avoid pulling on them accidentally when removing your cup.

I fainted while wearing the cup, what happened?

Very rarely a period cup will pinch the vagus nerve, which may cause fainting. If this happens to you while wearing the cup then we advise against using it again. It’s best to speak to your gynecologist or healthcare professional.

I’m experiencing pain while wearing my cup - is that normal?

Wearing the cup should be painless. If pain persists, please speak to your gynecologist or healthcare professional.

My cup is leaking! What can I do?


Don’t stress! Typically this means it’s folded or positioned incorrectly in your vagina.  If that’s the case, then you should try rotating it to get it unfolded. We also have a helpful blog on the 7 reasons why your period cup might be leaking – check it out here! If you think the cup is positioned correctly and you’re still experiencing leakage, then you may want to try a different size cup.  Reach out to our v-team and they will work with you to get you the size you need. Email


How do they work?

Sustain Organic Cotton Period Underwear are a great reusable leak-resistant alternative to disposable backup products like pads and liners. Made with breathable organic cotton, our undies move and feel just like your favorite pair, but have a hidden layer that prevents leaks.

On their own, Sustain Period Underwear can absorb the equivalent of 1 disposable pad or regular tampon. On heavier days, you can use the undies as a back-up to your tampon or menstrual cup. Every flow is different, so we recommend trying them out as a backup before using ’em completely solo!

Wait, does that mean I have to change my undies part way through the day?!

Our underwear can absorb up to 1 disposable pad or regular tampon’s worth of blood, so if you usually get through the day using one pad or tampon you should be fine. If your flow is heavier, we recommend using Sustain Period Underwear as a backup.

How do I wash and care for my Sustain Period Underwear?

To ensure the longevity of your undies, we recommend that you rinse in cool water after use, machine wash cold, and hang dry. When possible, we also recommend using a laundry bag. Avoid detergents that may contain bleach or fabric softeners.

What fabrics are used to make Sustain Period Underwear?

Sustain Period Underwear are made from 95% organic cotton and 5% spandex, with a hidden leak proof polyurethane laminate lining. The lining is topped with absorbent, 100% organic cotton fleece.

All our organic cotton fabrics are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. For more information on GOTS, visit

Do I still need to wear a tampon with my Sustain Period Underwear?

Sustain Period Underwear typically don’t completely replace tampons (although this depends on each user’s flow). Most of our customers use them as back-up to tampons or a period cup because they like having the added sense of security if their tampon or cup leaks. But don’t wear disposable pads or liners with Sustain Period Underwear, as the pad will cover the absorbent part of the underwear, which will make them ineffective!

Where are they made?

Sustain Period Underwear are made in Canada.

Will they leak?

Our underwear are designed to be leak-resistant. Be sure you’re using the underwear appropriately for your flow, and that you’re caring for them and cleaning them properly. If you have any questions you can always reach out to our v-team!

Can I wear Sustain Period Underwear for incontinence or light bladder leaks?

Definitely! Sustain Period Underwear are suitable for light bladder leaks (i.e. a small dribble).

What’s with the polyurethane lining?

Polyurethane creates the barrier that makes Sustain Period Underwear leak resistant. The material is breathable and safe for your vagina. It’s also worth noting: Polyurethane is the same material used to make most vegan leather!


What absorbency levels do Sustain tampons offer?

Sustain tampons follow the standard absorbency rules set by the FDA: Regular absorbs 6-9g and Super absorbs 9-12g.

What absorbency levels do Sustain pads offer?

If you have a heavier flow or are looking for overnight protection, we suggest using our Night pads. For your medium flow days, go with the Day pads.

What are the ingredients in Sustain tampons?

Sustain tampons are made of 100% Global Organic Textile Standard Certified cotton. Our applicators are made from bio-plastic.

What makes Sustain tampons different?

Our tampons are made without: rayon, polyester, fragrances, deodorants, glues & adhesives, phthalates, pesticide-treated cotton, chlorine or chlorine dioxide processing, polypropylene, polyethylene, myreth-3-myristate, synthetic zeolites, alcohol ethoxylates, glycerol, glycerol esters, polysorbate-20, or antibacterial agents.

What are the ingredients in Sustain pads and liners?

Sustain pads and liners are made of 100% organic cotton. The adhesive is made from hotmelt synthetic rubber.

How do I use a pad?

First, unwrap the pad from the packaging. Then, remove the backing to expose the adhesive and place the pad in your underwear with the sticky side down. Remove the smaller backing from the sides of the pad to expose the adhesives of the wings.  Unfold the wings and wrap them around the underside of your underwear so that they stick.

How do I use a liner?

First, unwrap the liner from the packaging. Then, remove the backing to expose the adhesive and place the liner in your underwear with the sticky side down.

How often should I change my tampon?

The FDA recommends that you change your tampon every 4-6 hours. You should never leave a tampon in for more than 6 hours and always make sure to use the lightest level of absorbency possible.

How often should I change my pad?

We recommend changing your pad or liner every 4-6 hours, though really you can change it as often as you need to.

Can I flush Sustain tampons?

While Sustain tampons are biodegradable, we do not recommend flushing them because tampons can cause blockages in your plumbing or septic systems.

Why do your tampons have plastic applicators?

Most women in the U.S. prefer to use plastic applicators, but plastic is not very environmentally friendly – to account for this, our applicator is made from bio-plastic (sourced from renewable resources), which neutralizes its environmental impact.

What is the difference between a day pad and a night pad?

Nights pads are longer and a bit wider than day pads for additional protection while you sleep. Both are made using the same ingredients.

Do Sustain products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

No, Sustain products do  not contain GMOs.

Why organic cotton?

Conventional cotton is one of the dirtiest crops in the world. Non-organic cotton is heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These chemicals stay in the cotton in residual amounts, which are then exposed to the delicate and absorbent vaginal tissue. Organic cotton is grown without chemical pesticides.


What does it mean for a condom to be vegan certified?

There are plenty of people out there who don’t want any animal byproducts in their condoms and we don’t think they should have to compromise. So, we made them without the animal byproduct that is used in almost all condoms, a dairy byproduct called casein. Then we had a third party test our product. We’re happy to say we got the all clear and are certified by the Vegan Awareness Foundation. We have other certifications, too. Check ’em out.

How are Sustain condoms different from other condoms? What exactly is a “sustainable” condom anyway?

All of our condoms are free of chemicals of concern that can be used in things like fragrance and spermicide. They’re made of latex that is sourced from one of the most sustainable rubber plantations on the planet, and manufactured in an award-winning environmental factory. We’ve reduced the latex protein level because it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Sustain condoms are also third party certified Fair Trade and vegan.

Sustainable means the way the rubber is grown and manufactured is gentler on the earth. Sustainable also means the people who grow and manufacture our latex are paid a living wage and work reasonable hours—and no child labor, ever.

Can I use body oil, gels, or other non-water based lubricants with Sustain condoms?

No! Please do not use these. Back away from the body oil—and be careful if massage is part of your warm up routine. Latex condoms can potentially be destroyed by these substances. Go for water- or silicone-based.

Are Sustain condoms reusable?

No, Sustain condoms are not reusable! Do. Not. Reuse. After each use, you or your partner should dispose of the condom carefully in the garbage. Don’t flush it down the toilet.

Can I use Sustain condoms for anal sex?

Sure. Why not? That said, once that condom goes on, you’re going to need some extra lube on the outside of it. It will reduce the risk of slipping or breaking. In order not to compromise the latex, the lube should be water- or silicone-based.

Can I use your condoms underwater or in the shower?

Use a little common sense and you should be good to go. As in: salt in seawater = ok. Chlorine or ozone in a swimming pool = could compromise the latex. Bubble bath, oils, and other shower/bath goop = can also compromise the latex. Watch out for slippage. Otherwise, splash on.

Does Sustain make non-latex condoms?

Nope. Currently all of our products are made from sustainable fair-trade latex — but we hope to offer a latex-free option in the future.

Are thinner condoms more likely to break than other styles?

All condoms, thick or thin, must meet the same reliability and safety standards. So, if you like it thin, go for it.

How do I know if I’m allergic to latex condoms?

If you have to ask, you’re most likely not allergic. We’ve reduced the latex protein levels in our condoms because it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you’re concerned that you’re having a reaction, please see your doctor. And don’t waste time; not all rashes are allergies.

How do I know which condom style to buy? What’s the difference between the products?

Whatever condom type you prefer, we’ve got you covered. Our tailored fit is the smallest size and snuggest fit, the ultra thin is our most popular condom and is average size, large comfort fit is a bit bigger towards the top (think baseball bat), and XL is bigger all around (our largest size available)! The most common complaint women report is that condoms fall off during sex. Why? People upsize, buying condoms that are too big for them or their partners. It turns out only 10 to 15 percent of the population actually requires a roomier fit. For more information on sizing feel free to reach out to!

What do the numbers on the back of the foil mean?

These are lot numbers and expiration dates. A Sustain Condom has a shelf life of at least 3 years, but we encourage you to use it before then.

I heard latex condoms smell funny and some are low odor. Are Sustain condoms low odor?

Some condoms manufacturers, in order to ensure that there is absolutely no risk of odor, use an odor masking chemical. This may present health risks for the workers producing them. We’re all about limiting the use of chemicals of concern wherever we can. We did an unscientific survey of condoms with and without the odor masker (tough job, but someone had to…) and no one could tell the difference. The short answer is Sustain condoms don’t smell any better or worse than other condoms. But who’s sniffing?

Is it safe for me to use lube with Sustain condoms?

Yes! Lube is a good thing. But don’t go getting creative in the kitchen; water- and silicone-based lube is one thing, but certain oils can mess with the latex. And that’s a bad thing.

How does Sustain test its condoms for quality?

We’re serious about quality control. We do our own testing. Condoms are actually controlled by the FDA as a Class II medical device, which is meant to ensure that all condoms sold in the U.S. perform to particular performance standards. All of our condoms are electronically tested to seek out holes or areas of thinning and to ensure quality and performance. Selected condoms are tested through two additional means.

My boyfriend doesn’t want to use condoms. What should I do?

Dump him.

You’re big on sustainability. So why isn’t the lube used on your condoms organic?

Good question! We would prefer to use an organic lube and suggest you use one on the outside of our condoms if you’d like a little extra slip. Our manufacturer currently only produces condoms with silicone—a petroleum product, inside the foil wrapper. We’re looking into what would be involved in making this improvement but it’s not a quick task.

Why should I use a latex condom?

So many reasons! You should use a condom to protect your health and the health of your partner. Latex condoms, if used properly, are the only form of contraception that will reduce your risk of transmitting STIs, including HIV. They are also 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. So, wrap it up!

Where and how are Sustain condoms manufactured?

Our condoms are manufactured in Southern India at our amazing award winning environmentally friendly manufacturing plant.

What’s a nitrosamine?

We have eliminated the addition of any chemicals of concern and we have redesigned the manufacturing process to prevent the formation of nitrosamines. These form when liquid latex is heated up to the point at which it becomes solid and an accelerator is added to the mix to speed up the process. There are no detectable levels of nitrosamines in Sustain condoms.

What’s the best way to dispose of condoms?

The best way to dispose of a condom is to carefully toss it in the garbage. It’s not good to flush used condoms down the toilet. And P.S., if you’re a houseguest, try not to leave it where your host, or, say, your mother has to deal with it.

Do Sustain condoms contain parabens or glycerin?

No, Sustain condoms do not contain parabens or glycerin.

Lots of people are concerned about parabens, common personal care product preservatives that may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues, with good reason. They’re also concerned about glycerin, a common base for personal lubricants, which can damage or irritate vaginal and rectal epithelial cells, potentially increasing the transmission of STIs such as herpes and human immunodeficiency virus. Many condom brands claim to be paraben and glycerin free. But guess what? To the best of our knowledge, no condoms are ever made with parabens or glycerin, meaning all condoms are parabens and glycerin free. We don’t think it’s helpful to claim that our condoms don’t contain a chemical that no other condoms do either. Parabens can be present in spermicidal agents, but our condoms don’t contain spermicide.

What ingredients are used to manufacture Sustain condoms?

Sustain condoms are made by mixing various chemicals with our natural Fair-Trade rubber latex. The chemicals initiate a process called vulcanization that is essential to develop the required mechanical properties of the final product. A few of the chemicals listed below will be left in the condom at very low levels but most will be eliminated during the manufacturing process. None of these ingredients pose any health risk or concern. The chemicals include: Fair Trade Latex, Ammonia, Potassium Oleate, Potassium Hydroxide, Emulgin B2 / Vulcastab LW, Vultamol, Sulphur, Zinc Oxide, Irganox 1330 Bentonite Clay, Zinc dibutyl dithiocarbamate, Silicone lubricant, Calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate powders.

What chemicals of concern are commonly found in other condom lubricants?

Some of the chemicals used in spermicidal lubricants that are considered potentially harmful to your health include nonoxynol-9, benzocaine, and propylene glycol. Benzocaine has been banned for use in cosmetics in Canada. Propylene glycol is suspected of causing immunotoxicity. Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide, when used frequently or in high dosages may cause cell damage to vaginal skin cells or cause inflammation of the vagina and/or cervix. There is no spermicide in Sustain’s lubricant.

Will a condom guarantee that I won’t get a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

No. Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. However, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STDs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.

In other words, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex. The body of research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing sexual transmission of HIV is both comprehensive and conclusive. The ability of latex condoms to prevent transmission of HIV has been scientifically established in “real-life” studies of sexually active couples as well as in laboratory studies.

Is Sustain lubricant safe to use during pregnancy?

Yes, our lubricant is safe for all phases of pregnancy. Although we don’t artificially bump up our lubricant’s pH for sperm to have a longer life, our product also does not kill sperm on contact. However, if trying to conceive we do not recommend using lubricant during ovulation because it affects sperm mobility.

Is the lubricant organic?

Our lubricant is made with 96% organic ingredients, including organic aloe vera. Natural, organic lubricants require a preservative to ensure that bacteria won’t begin to grow once the tube is opened. We use Potassium Sorbate and Phenoxyethanol, the most natural food grade preservatives approved by leading natural product retailers for use in body care products. These preservatives, which are used in trace amounts, are not available in an organic formulation.

Is it safe to use Sustain lubricant with condoms?

Our lubricant is safe for use with latex condoms and polyisoprene condoms. It is also safe to use with latex, plastic, and silicone toys. It is not compatible with polyurethane condoms.

Is the lubricant safe for vaginal, anal, and oral use?

Yes, it is entirely safe – however, the anal pH is more alkaline, and our lubricant is more acidic for compatibility with the vagina’s pH.

What are the ingredients in Sustain lubricant?

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (reconstituted Aloe vera) is a miraculous topical healing agent with a smooth and silky texture, perfect to complement intimate pleasures.

Xanthan Gum is a commonly used food grade ingredient that thickens organic Aloe vera into a delightful sensual gel.

Potassium Sorbate and Phenoxyethanol are natural, food grade preservatives approved by leading natural product retailers for use in body care products and are used in trace amounts.

Citric acid is an organic acid, and used as a pH buffer to ensure our lube stays within the desired range.

Linum usitatissimum (Flax seed extract), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), and Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum) are used to create the optimal viscosity for our lube.

Sodium chloride is used to ensure the product remains within the recommended range for osmolality.

What’s NOT in Sustain lubricant?

Most lubes contain these four ingredients, none of which are found in Sustain’s lubricant:

Propylene Glycol– Used as a humectant. Found in automatic and hydraulic brake fluid. Used to make industrial anti-freeze and de-icing solution for cars, airplanes, and boats. Used as a solvent in paint and plastic industries. Also used to make polyester compounds. May be harmful by ingestion, inhalation, or through skin contact. Irritating to the eyes and skin.

Methylparabens and Propylparabens– Used as preservatives. Parabens are currently under scrutiny as they have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone functions; many studies are linking them with breast cancer tumors.

Polyethylene Glycol/PEG– Used as a thickener. Strips the skin’s natural moisture. A potentially harmful chemical, it can produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion.

Glycerin– glycerin is a sugar alcohol compound. We don’t use it in our formulation because of concerns that it’s typically petrochemical based and additionally could increase the chances of getting yeast infections.

How much lubricant should I use at a time?

Wetter is better! Lubricants add both more time and glide when you’re having sex, so use it generously. Most often one application is sufficient, but don’t hesitate to apply a second time.

Is the lubricant sticky?

Nope. Our water-based lubricant is made with aloe. It goes on smooth and moist and dries without any sticky residue. All of our ingredients are good for your skin and feel good both during and after sex. Try it for yourself 😉

What ingredients in the lube might someone have a reaction to?

Most people do not react to any ingredients in our lubricant, although we have heard of some allergic reactions to aloe. Our preservative system is one of the most gentle on the market and is included in our formulations at the smallest percentages possible to provide solid protection without overuse of chemicals. Usually, when someone experiences an uncomfortable (warming or burning) reaction, it is the body reacting to the lower pH of the product. This may cause irritation if  the vaginal pH is higher than normal. If you experience any discomfort or irritation, please reach out to

What is the correct storage/temperature range for the lubricant?

Our lube is safe at all temperatures, but may become less viscous if exposed to extreme temperatures. We recommend storing between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the pH of the lubricant and why does it matter?

Our lubricant’s pH is between 3.8 and 4.5 , which is compatible with a healthy vaginal pH of 4.0. When your pH is above 5 or 6, this creates ideal conditions for bad bacteria to grow and overtake the healthy lactobacilli that need a much lower pH to thrive. In this situation, the lower pH of the lubricant might create a warming or even burning sensation — if this happens, please reach out to

What makes Sustain lubricant a better choice than others?

Our lubricant is made without any harmful petrochemicals or parabens and contains no glycerin. It is also isomolar, which means that it is bio-matched to the natural salt balance of the body and doesn’t disrupt the healthy ecosystem that provides a natural defense against bacteria.


Your site is redirecting me to Grove Collaborative. Why is that?

We’re very excited to announce that Sustain products have a new home at Grove Collaborative! As Certified B Corporations, Grove and Sustain share a commitment to increased transparency and long-term sustainability. We’re excited to amplify our impact through Grove.

Can I still order through

Sustain’s site is no longer processing orders, so Grove is the best place to purchase Sustain products. You can shop all Sustain products here!

I had a subscription through Sustain. What is going to happen to it?

Your subscription will no longer renew through Sustain – this is automatic, so no need to make any changes on your end! If you would like to continue receiving your Sustain products, you can do so through Grove. For any questions about ordering with Grove and setting up your subscription, just reach out to

There is an issue with my order or subscription. Who should I contact?

The best contact is – just shoot us an email, and we’ll get you taken care of!

Do you ship internationally?

At this time, we only ship within the continental U.S. We’re hoping to expand shipping options in the future!

Where can I buy Sustain products?

You can shop all Sustain products online. Our condoms, lubricant, tampons, and period cup are available on Amazon, and our sexual wellness and period products can also be found in select Whole Foods locations.

What’s your exchange/return policy?

Due to the nature of the products, we can rarely accept returns or exchanges – but we’ll try to help find another solution. Let us know at if you have an exchange or return request.

What is 1%4Women?

We’re appalled by the lack of reproductive health care and family planning services in the United States, so we donate 1% of all sales to support women’s healthcare organizations in the U.S.