Many of you have heard of menstrual cups by now, I’m sure, but how many of you know what a menstrual disc is? I know when I switched to cups, I didn’t even know what discs were! However, after using a cup for years and realizing I needed a change, I decided to take the plunge on a disc. Now, I’m never going back! (The only Kickstarter campaign I’ve ever supported was actually for a new disc, and it’s been well worth it.)
What is a Menstrual Disc?
A menstrual disc is a silicone disc that you insert in your vagina so that it rests just below your cervix. Menstrual cups suction to the cervix, but discs sit just below it. They can safely be left in for 12 hours and need to be cleaned with a gentle cleanser once a day. Like cups, they should also be boiled before or after your cycle to santize them. Many discs hold more than most of the available cups, and they tend to be easier if you have a high cervix, especially the discs with pull tabs. (Don’t worry, you can’t feel them!)
I, like many women, tend to suffer from intense menstrual cramps on my period. Yet, since I’ve switched to reusable products, my cramps have drastically lessened. I’m not saying this will happen to everyone, but my PMS symptoms were much worse when I was using tampons. My flow is even lighter now with a cup/disc! I honestly don’t know how that happened, but it did.
Also, after having a baby, I just couldn’t bring myself to use a tampon. I literally couldn’t do it. So, I switched to a cup. Now remember, cups do suction to the cervix, so if you have a high cervix like myself, breaking the seal can be difficult and removal can be a bit painful. (If a cup isn’t inserted properly, it can also cause pain.) With a disc, that is no longer a problem! I can’t feel it at all, and dumping it is a breeze, albeit a messy one.
I paid under $30 for my current disc, and it will likely last for five years. With a heavy flow, I was using many, many disposable products every month, and now that money can go toward other things. Even with the few reusable pads I’ve bought (and the period panties I plan on trying soon), the cost of my current products is way less than the cost of disposable ones. I know many of us are looking to decrease our spending right now, and switching to a disc is a great way to do that.
A cost benefit of discs over cups is that there is less room for error regarding how they fit. Since discs work differently than cups, it’s much easier to find something that is great for both your body and your flow. I found the disc to be a smaller initial investment than cups, but that may not be true for everyone, depending on your body and the first disc you try.
This may not be important to a lot of people, but I love that I have way less personal waste now. The only trash my disc has generated is the packaging and the empty bottles of cleanser I’ve tossed, and you don’t even need a specific cleanser! Going through multiple plastic tampon applicators and pad wrappers can really add up. So, if you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, switching from disposable period products to reusable ones can really help you reach your goals.