I’m sure you’ve heard of the menstrual cup by now, but have you met its reusable sister – the menstrual disc? Menstrual discs and menstrual cups are pretty similar but they work slightly differently. In fact, many users who didn’t quite hit it off with the cup end up finding success with the disc!
There are a few things to consider before deciding between a menstrual cup and a menstrual disc. Let’s break it down to help you figure out which might be more suitable for you.
Did someone say period sex? Mhmm. Listen up because menstrual discs allow for mess-free period sex. These babies sit higher in the vaginal canal, which means there's plenty of room for some good ol' penetration action. So go ahead and get it on, my friend. The menstrual disc has got your back (or front).
It's important to note that while using a menstrual disc for sex comes with its perks, it does not replace birth control and will not protect you from STIs.
Image from Saalt
Your trusty menstrual cup can hold about 25ml of period flow, which should keep you covered for 12 hours if you have a moderate flow. But if you're one of the lucky ones with a heavy flow, you might have to empty your cup more often.
Cue the menstrual disc. With its 50ml capacity (that's twice as much as a cup), discs are the perfect option for those who bleed like a waterfall. And if you think you'll still need to do some mid-day emptying, the menstrual disc's ‘self-emptying’ feature is about to blow your mind.
Leakages or ‘Auto-Dumping’
A super cool thing about menstrual discs is that some users can empty it without having to take it out. Yes, you heard that right! If you have a heavy flow, this ‘auto-dumping’ or ‘self-emptying’ feature is a game-changer.
All you have to do is sit on the toilet bowl and lean a little bit forward. Then, gently pull the tab down and towards the front of your body. The disc will tilt backwards hence allowing the contents to be "dumped" behind you into the toilet bowl. So you can conveniently empty your menstrual disc when you pee or poo. No mess, no fuss!
Here's the deal – some people love the ‘auto-dumping’ feature but if you can't quite control it, you might end up with some unexpected leakages. On the other hand, some people who had leakage problems with cups found that discs were the leak-free solution for them. It's all about finding what works for you!
Image from Healthline
Ease of Insertion
Menstrual cups are great for anyone transitioning from pads or tampons. Folding and inserting a menstrual cup is easier as they are smaller in size, making cups more beginner-friendly than discs.
Menstrual discs are like a ‘level up’ from menstrual cups. Most people find it easier to use a disc after getting familiar with using a cup. You'll have to be familiar with your body anatomy as you’ll need to reach pretty far up into your vaginal canal to tuck the disc behind the pubic bone for it to stay in place.
Ease of Removal
When it comes to removal, menstrual cups are the mess-free option as they have a bell or cup shape to contain the period flow, whereas menstrual discs have a basin shape.
However, there is a learning curve to removing a cup. Menstrual cups stay in place by forming a light suction. So you would have to pinch the cup and break the seal before pulling it out.
Menstrual discs are less finicky to remove because there's no suction. So you can just pull it out and call it a day! However, most menstrual discs don't have stems so you would have to reach deep into the depths of your vaginal canal to retrieve it (Hello Disc being an exception due to its double loop tab).
While it is possible to use both menstrual cups and menstrual discs with an IUD, the suction from a cup can be a bit of a problem if it accidentally pulls on the IUD string.
Menstrual discs are totally suction-free which makes it an IUD-friendly option.
To be on the safe side, it's always a good idea to consult your doctor before trying anything new down there if you have an IUD.
Image from Diva Cup
Finding The One
Finding the right menstrual cup can be complicated as there are so many cups on the market for different body types and lifestyles. But don’t stress! There's a menstrual cup quiz for that. Just answer a few simple questions and it’ll narrow the options down to the most suitable cup for you.
When it comes to menstrual discs, things are simpler. There aren't as many options, but that's okay because they're typically one-size-fits-all. This makes it much easier to pick a menstrual disc especially when there are innovative brands with unique and useful designs.
Menstrual Cup vs Menstrual Disc
- Both menstrual cups and menstrual discs are reusable and last up to 10 years
- Both menstrual cups and menstrual discs can be worn for up to 12 hours
- Menstrual cups are smaller and more beginner-friendly
- Menstrual discs have a higher capacity and are suitable for those with a heavy flow
- Menstrual discs can ‘self-empty’ or ‘auto-dump’ without having to remove it
- Menstrual cups form a light suction to stay in place
- Menstrual discs do not have suction making them IUD-friendly
- Menstrual discs can be worn during sex
From menstrual cups to period underwear, period care seems to be getting better and better, and menstrual discs are no exception. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to remove, allows for period sex, and suitable for heavy flow, consider giving menstrual discs a try!