In the world of period management, more and more diversity is emerging. We are no longer forced to choose between only Kotex and Tampax or Always and Stayfree. Menstrual cups, Sea Sponges and Period Panties are become more mainstream and many women are wondering-what is the difference between a menstrual cup and a menstrual disc? Are tampons really that bad for you? (Hint: they are) Do I really have to figure all of this stuff out or can I just keep picking up some tampax at the walmarts and hope for the best?
You don’t have to, but you should. Your vagina will thank you. Your daughters will thank you. And I’ll be here to hold your hand and help you through it. So let’s talk Menstrual Cups and Menstrual Discs today.
1. MENSTRUAL DISCS (FLEX specifically)
FLEX is my favorite brand of menstrual discs. It isn’t a cup, it’s a flexible disc that forms to the shape of your body.
- A disc holds 5 tampons worth of fluid. It catches (rather than absorbs) menstrual fluid
- The only internally-worn product not linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome.
- You can have sex while wearing it!
- Menstrual discs are disposable.
- A disc sits just past the vaginal canal in the fornix and can’t be felt at all once in place. Plugging the vaginal canal causes distention in the vagina which can lead to cramping and general discomfort. A disc molds nicely to the inside of your body, warms to your bodies temperature and can’t be felt once in place!
READ MORE: WHY TAMPONS ARE SO BAD FOR YOU
From the FLEX website, about menstrual discs vs menstrual cups:
They are completely different products, the only similarity being that they both collect rather than absorb menses like a tampon. FLEX is disposable, which means you just remove and throw it away after using. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, must be emptied and rinsed because they are reusable and typically have to be boiled every month to disinfect.
The other big difference is that a menstrual cup sits in the vaginal canal, while a menstrual disc sits in the widest part of the vagina called the fornix. This is why you can have sex with a menstrual disc but not a menstrual cup, and why some people that had difficulty with the cup find a menstrual disc more comfortable.
FLEX answers many more questions here.
Menstrual cups (like the Diva Cup) are a silicone cup that is more funnel shaped and has a stem at the bottom.
- Cups are reusable (up to 10 years!) and the best for the environment.
- Easier to remove than menstrual discs because of the stem.
- Don’t like the stem? You can wear the cup flipped inside out!
- Also holds up to 5 tampons worth of fluid.
From Diva Cup’s website, in regards to IUD’s and Nuva Rings:
The DivaCup is worn low at the base of the vagina and away from the cervix. This means that it should not interfere with an internal birth control device. However, please use caution when using any internal feminine hygiene product with an IUD as there is the possibility that they can be dislodged. When using The DivaCup, it is important to carefully follow the directions in our User Guide, paying close attention to inserting The DivaCup low in the vaginal canal and breaking the seal (suction) before removal. Many of our customers use The DivaCup with an IUD or NuvaRing® simultaneously, but we recommend that you become familiar with your birth control device’s risks (such as the body expelling the IUD, etc.).
Diva Cup answers many more questions on their website here.
READ MORE: THE BEST ALTERNATIVES TO PADS AND TAMPONS
Bonus’s about both:
No need to pick absorbency!
Change them by the clock instead of ‘as needed’ usually. I’m able to wear either for 12 hours before needing to rinse or change.
Both of them are not tampons!!
All things considered, cups and discs are an awesome way to manage your period!!
Have more questions, a story to share or anything to add? Contact me!! I wanna hear about it!