Menstrual Cups Didn't Work for Me, But Menstrual Discs Have Been a Total Period Game-Changer

They’re easier to insert, more comfortable, and my new go-to.

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Health / Daisy Rodriguez

Warning: we’re about to get up close and personal, just like you if you decide to try this life-changing menstrual disc. As a little back story, I have had five children and since childbearing, I have struggled to find comfortable menstrual care products.  

Tampons aren’t comfortable for me to wear, pads cause skin irritation, and menstrual cups were too much for me to deal with, plus, I could never seem to find the right fit. I had pretty much given up on the idea of finding any sort of comfort during my period again when I discovered menstrual discs.

Close up of the Flex Reusable Menstrual Disc on a white background.


To buy: Flex Reusable Menstrual Disc, $35;

Menstrual discs work differently than menstrual cups because they work by covering the cervical opening and collecting blood and fluids directly at the cervix. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, collect blood lower down in the vagina. 

Cups also rely on suction to stay in place and collect fluid, while discs sit behind the pubic bone and do not require any suction at all. Because a menstrual disc doesn’t require suction, a recent article published in Obstetrics and Gynecology explains that many people find them more comfortable to wear and use.

Menstrual discs also carry the same purported benefits as menstrual cups in that they are more eco-friendly than disposable pads and tampons and supposedly have a potentially lower risk of toxic shock syndrome or irritating ingredients. You can also keep them inserted if you want to have vaginal sex during your period and due to their positioning, the discs can “auto-empty” when you use the bathroom as well, which is a huge advantage over trying to empty a full menstrual cup in a public setting. 

I'd have to say that one of the major selling points of menstrual discs is that they can be worn for a full day or night without changing—and if you’re someone who has ever tried to sleep with a tampon in, you know what a mess that can be. Clearly I was deeply intrigued by the idea of them, but when I saw that you can actually buy disposable menstrual discs on Amazon, I finally decided to take the plunge and try them. 

A disposable menstrual disc, I figured, would be a great first step—it didn’t require me to do any sanitizing or storing, it was less plastic and waste than using pads and tampons, and just one disc could apparently be worn for up to 12 hours. 

close up of the Flex Reusable Menstrual Disc in someone's hand showing it's flexibility.


To buy: Flex Reusable Menstrual Disc, $35;

I won’t lie to you: my first experience with the disc was terrifying. While logically I knew that a menstrual disc could not get stuck inside my body, it was still a slightly scary prospect to face. 

However, once I tried it, insertion was very easy. All you do is fold the disc in half and insert it into the vaginal canal. (Folded in half, the disc is about the same size as a tampon, so it helped to think of it that way.) You push the disc back as far as possible, then double-check that it’s positioned behind the pubic bone. I admit that I had no real idea what my own public bone felt like, so that took some double checking with the instructions.

Once the disc was in, I didn’t feel it at all, which was a sharp contrast to my experience with a menstrual cup. It was comfortable and didn’t leak, even through 90-degree temps and running errands with kids all day. 

One of the major benefits of a menstrual disc is that it “auto empties” when you go to the bathroom, so you never have to remove and wash it in a public restroom. By bearing down slightly (like you have to poop), the rim will open enough behind the pubic bone to allow the contents to spill out. Then, it will adjust automatically when you stand back up. 

If you do want to remove it, you can empty the disc in the toilet, then pop it back in. Or, if you choose a disposable menstrual disc, you can throw it out in the trash just like a normal tampon or pad, which is what I found most helpful about using a disc. 

Taking the disc out was the most challenging part for me because unlike a cup or a tampon that has a string or “tail” on it to pull it out, you have to manually remove the disc by grabbing the rim. The first time, I definitely panicked because it wouldn’t budge at all, but eventually, I discovered the trick is that you have to really bear down and push the disc down so you can pull it out. 

I fully recommend following the instructions and staying calm, because I promise, it will come out. Removal wasn’t messy at all for me, but the company does recommend you do it in the shower for the first time if you’re worried, so any potential spills can wash right down the drain. 

In the end, I found that the disposable menstrual discs were a great first step for me, but I ended up purchasing the full reusable menstrual disc because I found the rim was more comfortable than the disposable. I’ve become such a believer that I will just have to do the work of washing and sanitizing it, but the comfort and convenience I now have with a disc will make it well worth it. 

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1 Source uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Apr; 141(4): 666–673.

    Published online 2023 Feb 15. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005126

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