Articles / Menstrual Disc vs Cup: Which is Better? 8 Key Differences

Menstrual Disc vs Cup: Which is Better? 8 Key Differences

12.05.2023 8 Minutes
Menstrual Disc vs Cup: Which is Better? 8 Key Differences

Navigating the world of period products can feel like a bit of a mission. It feels like everyone is talking about sustainable options like menstrual discs and cups. These alternatives to tampons and pads have fans all over the world who love that they offer comfort, convenience, and eco-friendliness all in one but choosing whether to use menstrual disc vs cup can be a bit daunting. Don’t stress ‘cause that’s where we come in. Here’s our guide to choosing the right period product for you.

What Is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a nifty little flexible cup that you insert like a tampon into your vagina. It collects your menstrual blood (rather than absorbing it like a tampon).

Unlike pads and tampons that you toss after one use, menstrual cups are simply emptied, washed and reused. While many cups are made from silicone or rubber, Hello Cups are a bit special. These gems are crafted from medical-grade TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) - a safe and hypoallergenic material that warms up and molds to your body once inside. Menstrual cups are a smart and eco-friendly period care choice - they can be reused for years, cutting out the need for pricey single-use tampons and pads, and saving you hundreds of dollars over time.

What Is a Menstrual Disc?

A menstrual disc is another brilliant reusable period product. It's shaped like a shallow disc that looks a bit like a diaphragm. It is folded lengthwise and inserted like a tampon. It sits below the cervix  in the vaginal fornix - slightly higher than a menstrual cup.

High quality Menstrual Discs like the Hello Disc are normally made from medical-grade silicone, designed to collect menstrual fluid with ease. Users love that they have a super high capacity and extended wear time—absolutely ideal for those long, busy days! What sets the Hello Disc apart? Its patented double-looped tab design makes removal a breeze and mess free.

The Key Difference between a Menstrual Cup and Disc

Hello Cups and Hello Discs are both great reusable period product options but there are a few key differences that are good to be aware of that might help you choose with one you go for.

Features Menstrual Disc Menstrual Cup
Wearability 8-12 hours 8-12 hours
Placement Behind pubic bone Under cervix
Capacity 5 Tampons or pads 3-4 Regular tampons or pads
Suction No Yes
Inserting Fold it in half first and insert with the tab at the bottom. Shallow punchdown fold
Removal Single-finger removal with double-loop tab Pinch and release
Lifetime Around 5 years Around 5 years
Sizing One size fits most S, M, L
Cervix height Great for all cervix heights (just adjust the tab as you need to) Specialist cups for low, average and high cervix heights
Beginner / Teen A little more to learn. as the menstrual disc sits higher in your body, you'll need to insert your fingers a little higher to position it Less to learn. as menstrual cups sit lower, there's not so much “BODY KNOWLEDGE” needed!
Material Hypoallergenic, medical-grade silicone Hypoallergenic, medical-grade tpe
Wearing an IUD Has no suction / IUD friendly Can be used but requires suction to be fully released before removal
Period sex Yes! The menstrual disc sits higher up behind the pubic bone and is a great option for no-mess period sex. (The hello disc does not substitute for contraception) No - Cups sit low in the vaginal canal and would get in the way!
Non-drying Yes Yes
Swimming / Exercising Yes Yes


1. Positioning of a Menstrual Disc vs Cup

A period cup will sit in your vaginal canal. It sits lower than a menstrual disc. A menstrual disc sits at the very end of the vagina in an area called the vaginal fornix. Think of the fornix as the turning bay at the end of a cul-de-sac. It’s wider and therefore has room for the disc to open out.

2. How They Stay in Place?

A menstrual cup relies on suction to stay in plae in your vagina. A menstrual disc on the other hand, doesn’t use suction. It stays in place by tucking behind the pubic bone.

3. Menstrual Disc vs Cup: IUD Compatible or Not?

If you have an IUD you’re best to opt for a menstrual disc because it doesn’t use suction. There is an increased risk of dislodging a IUD with menstrual cup removal if the suction is not broken properly before removal. If you use either a cup or a disc with an IUD we recommend asking your doctor to trim the strings in advance and waiting three months after your IUD has been in place.

4. Inserting a Menstrual Disc vs Cup

At Hello Period, we recommend using a shallow punchdown fold to insert your menstrual cup. This is the most reliable fold to allow the cup to open fully (especially if the rim is internal like it is on Hello Cups). To insert a disc, you fold it in half lengthwise (so it is shaped like a tampon).

5. Removal of a Menstrual Disc vs Cup

To remove a menstrual cup, you need to break the suction seal by pinching the base before pulling it out. This can sometimes be tricky, especially for beginners. Menstrual discs, on the other hand, are removed by hooking a finger under the rim or pulling a loop tab, allowing for easier and often less messy removal.

6. Sex with Menstrual Disc vs Cup

If you are keen on no mess period sex, then look no further than your Hello Disc - it can be worn during intercourse or sex play (we recommend you empty it beforehand, however). Because menstrual cups sit lower in the vagina, they need to be removed prior to penetrative intercourse.

7. Sizing of Menstrual Disc vs Cup

Menstrual cups tend to have more size options as the vaginal canal is a stretchy tube and the diameter will vary depending on age and fitness (and sometimes childbirth). You will also often find options for low or high cervix heights too. Menstrual discs often only come in one size. Sizing is less important in a menstrual disc because they are not reliant on suction and as long as they are positioned below the cervix, users should experience no leaks.

8. Menstrual Disc vs Cup Volume

Menstrual discs generally have a higher capacity than menstrual cups, making them ideal for those with a heavy flow. If you find yourself changing your menstrual products frequently during your period, a disc might offer the convenience of longer wear time with fewer changes.

For comparison, the Hello Cup comes in different sizes:

  • Hello Cup S - holds 17ml
  • Hello Cup M - holds 21ml
  • Hello Cup L - holds 29.5ml

The Hello Disc can hold up to 50ml, which is equivalent to up to 5 tampons.

9. Lifetime of Menstrual Disc vs Cup

Both menstrual cups and discs are designed to be durable, sustainable options for period care. With proper care, Hello Discs and Cups can last up to 5 years. How these products are cared for—including proper cleaning, and storage—can significantly impact their lifespan and effectiveness.

Proper cleaning involves rinsing your menstrual cup or disc with cold water first to prevent staining, followed by washing with mild, unscented soap. It’s also important to sterilize your cup or disc by boiling it in water for 5-10 minutes between cycles.

For storage, ensure your menstrual cup or disc is completely dry before placing it in a breathable container, such as a cloth bag, to prevent bacterial growth.

By following these care tips, you not only extend the life of your menstrual cup or disc but also  ensure your period care remains safe and effective.

How Long Should You Use Menstrual Cups and Discs?

One of the standout features of menstrual cups and discs is their impressive longevity. With the right care, these products can last from one to five years, making them not just a savvy investment but also a great choice for the environment. Make sure you regularly check your cup or disc for any signs of wear and tear and replace it when needed to keep things safe and effective.

Are Menstrual Cups or Discs Better?

What Are the Benefits of Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups offer several advantages, including:

  • Customisable fit with various sizes and firmness levels.
  • Secure suction that prevents leaks during physical activities.
  • Reusability, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly option.

What Are the Benefits of Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs also come with their own set of benefits:

  • Higher capacity, suitable for heavy flow and extended wear.
  • Compatibility with penetrative sex, offering a mess-free experience.
  • Easier removal without the need for breaking a suction seal.

Which One is Right for You?

The better option when it comes to menstrual discs versus menstrual cups is always the option that works best for you. It may be a different choice for different individuals, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

When Menstrual Discs Are Better?

Menstrual discs may be better for those who are looking for a more one-size-fits-all solution. Because they’re worn in the vaginal fornix, which is identical in most individuals, the majority of discs on the market today are similar in shape, size, and design.

Menstrual discs have a much greater capacity than menstrual cups, making them a great option for all day wear and those who have a really heavy period.

Menstrual Discs don’t use suction to stay in place so they are the ideal option for people with an IUD.

The Hello Disc is the first of its kind with its convenient loop tab, making the Hello Disc easier to reach and remove with less mess for anyone, including those with varied abilities. A menstrual disc is also a good choice for those who want a reliable method for period sex with a lot less mess.

When Menstrual Cups Are Better?

Menstrual cups sit below the cervix making them easier (for some) to insert correctly than a disc. Since menstrual cups don’t require reaching as far into your vagina as discs, they may be better for those who don’t want to have penetrative sex while on their period or who don’t want to insert their fingers deep into their vagina.

Another benefit of choosing a menstrual cup is the variety of choices, from shape, size, and firmness to different rims and stems. The availability of different menstrual cups makes it much easier to choose a product specific to you.

Hello Period - Your Best Choice for Period Products

Choosing between menstrual disc vs cup can totally transform your period experience. Both options have their own perks and suit different needs and preferences. Whether you’re after comfort, capacity, or a mess-free period sex option, there's a sustainable product for you. If you’re on the fence, why not go and find out which suits your lifestyle best? For more personalised advice on the right period product, pop over to to shop the multi-award-winning Hello Cup and Disc range.