What Is a Menstrual Disc and How Do I Use It?
Menstrual discs, once a little-known hippy product, have become something of a trend. Their advertisements are popping up all over the place, and now several brands are offering the discs. So what’s the deal, and are they really better than a cup?
What menstrual discs look like and what they look like
The menstrual disc is shaped like a flexible ring about three inches wide with thin material stretched over it. It is a kind of cup-shaped cup, but wider and shallower than a typical menstrual cup. If you are familiar with the contraceptive diaphragm , the size and shape of the menstrual disc will seem familiar to you.
Some discs are disposable, and the main body of the cup is thin plastic, which appears to be a stiffer version of what the Ziploc pouch is made of. There are also reusable discs made from materials such as silicone.
How menstrual discs fit
If the menstrual cups are in the vagina vertically, with the open end up, the discs should fit snugly against the cervix. ( The cervix is where the uterus meets the vagina.)
Since the cervix is at the front of the vagina, closer to the top, you insert the disc, holding it vertically with the opening facing forward. This means that instead of sitting in the middle of the vagina, it covers the cervix as a covering.
The biggest advantage of discs over cups – and one of the main advantages that companies love to advertise – is that you can have penetrative sex with a disc. This is because the annular part does not get in the way and the cup part is soft and flexible. (The vagina also tends to expand and lengthen when you are aroused, which helps to free up more space.)
Disc makers say that most people either do not feel it during sex, or feel it, but do not find discomfort in it. However, the anatomy is different for everyone. And keep in mind that while the disc fits like a diaphragm, it is not considered a birth control device.
What is it like to wear a menstrual disc
Discs, like cups, require some training when it comes to fitting them comfortably and preventing leaks. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to insert and when to empty the disc. (For example, instructions for FLEX drives .)
Many people say that you can wait 12 hours before replacing or emptying a disc. In the past, when disposables were the only type on the market, people would sometimes go on washing and reusing the same thing. There are brands out there now that make reusable discs, so just pick one if you want something that doesn’t have to be thrown away.
One feature that can be both for and against: by pressing down, you can force the disc to open and displace some of its contents. Do this over the toilet and you can empty it partially without removing the disc. Just watch for leaks in other situations, such as if you have a coughing fit during a high-intensity day.
As with cups, your choice should guide your choice. For example, if you have a low cervix, the disc may be uncomfortable. You may have to try different brands to see what works for you. The same applies to any benefits of one product over another. Some people say they have fewer disc spasms than a cup, for example, but the only way to know for sure is to try it.