What are the differences between Menstrual Cups and Menstrual Discs?

By now, many of you may already be familiar with menstrual cups, but menstrual discs are something which might be quite new to you.

The two products share some similarities. Menstrual cups and menstrual discs both collect your menstrual flow, unlike tampons and pads, which absorb the flow. Cups and discs can be worn for up to 8 hours and can be worn at the same time as internal birth control such as the IUD and ring. However, the similarities between the cup and the disc are minimal, so you may still have some questions about the menstrual disc, which we will aim to answer in this article.What are the differences between menstrual cups and menstrual discs?What does a menstrual disc look like?

Unlike menstrual cups which are normally bell or V-shaped, with a narrow rim, menstrual discs are shaped more like a diaphragm, with a larger rim, and larger diameter overall. A menstrual disc has a diameter of around 60mm as opposed to cups which have a diameter typically ranging from 40-48mm.

Because most menstrual discs usually follow a ‘one size fits all’ system, some people think that they might not be suitable for them, especially due to the larger rim and diameter. However, brands such as nixit (a one size disc) say that this isn’t a problem, as the ultra-soft silicone shape is designed so that it conforms to your body.

For women who do like the option of choosing a size, the Lumma Disc is available in 3 disc sizes, helping accomodate different cervix heights.

Menstrual Cups are also more structured in shape, often made from firmer silicone than discs. The more ‘flexible’ design and feel of a disc may make them a more comfortable option for women who have previously always ‘felt’ a traditional style of cup.

Cups are also designed to stay in place through some level of suction, whereas discs are propped and held in place by the pubic bone. While ‘no suction’ may be excellent for women who have weak pelvic floor muscles or some degree of prolapse (and don’t want suction to worsen things), this lack of suction could have the potential to make a disc ‘dislodge’ after a big sneeze, cough, bearing down, or forceful movement.

How do you wear a menstrual disc?

While a cup sits in the vaginal canal below the cervix, a menstrual disc sits lengthwise, so that it fits back into the vaginal fornix, behind and below the cervix. It is then held in place behind the pubic bone.

How do you insert a menstrual disc?

Because of the differences between wearing a cup and a disc, naturally, the insertion methods are also different. There are many ways to insert a menstrual cup using various folding methods, however, discs must be inserted by squeezing the sides together, so that they can be inserted lengthways. 

How do you remove a menstrual disc?

Some people have commented that the removal of a menstrual disc can be a little more difficult and messier, compared with a cup. To remove a cup you use two fingers to pinch the base so that you can slide it out and then empty the contents in the toilet. With the disc, you need to make sure that you keep it parallel to avoid spillage. To remove the disc, you need to insert a finger to hook the rim that was tucked behind the pubic bone and then carefully draw it out. To help make removal a bit easier, some discs, such as the Lumma, have added a soft silicone stem, which can be trimmed off removed completely if necessary.

Is a menstrual disc reusable?

Menstrual discs were originally created as a one-time use item (known as the Instead or Softcup). These were meant to be disposed of after each use, or occasionally, every period. This was until the Ziggy Cup was released onto the market. The Ziggy was the first of a few different reusable menstrual discs now available. The typical lifespan of reusable menstrual discs is around 2 years. However, this still isn’t as long as the life cycle of a menstrual cup, which can last up to ten years with proper care.

Can I have sex while wearing a menstrual disc?

You’ll be pleased to hear that the answer to this question is YES! Typically conventional menstrual cups are not recommended to be in place during sex, whereas discs are suitable for mess-free period sex. Remember to empty the contents first though! Also remember: Menstrual Discs are NOT a form of contraception!

Whether you choose a menstrual cup or a menstrual disc is entirely up to your personal preference. We have lots of different cup and disc options available on our website, so have a browse through to see what suits you best.




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