A menstrual disc, or a menstrual cup? That is the question. On your personal journey to find the best reusable period product for you and your body, there are pros and cons to either of these two options. So what’s the difference between menstrual discs and menstrual cups?
While menstrual discs and menstrual cups do have some features in common, there are also a few differences between them that might make all the difference for you!
What Is A Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cups like the Hello Cup™ are shaped exactly like a cup or a bell, intended to collect menstrual blood instead of absorbing it. They’re folded and inserted into your vagina and sit below the cervix.
What Is A Menstrual Disc?
Menstrual discs like the Hello Disc™ look like exactly that—a flexible disc or bowl that collects period blood. They are folded and inserted higher in your vagina, and sit at the base of your cervix.
Similarities Between Menstrual Discs and Menstrual Cups
- Both collect blood instead of absorbing it
- Both discs and cups are inserted into the vagina
- Both are typically made of medical-grade silicone, rubber, or hypoallergenic TPE (thermoplastic elastomers)
- Both have 8-12 hours of wearability
- Both are reusable and eco-friendly
- Both have more capacity than disposable tampons or pads
The Differences Between Menstrual Cups and Menstrual Discs
Like any period management system, there are pros and cons to menstrual cups and menstrual discs. Here are the details you need to make the best decision for you:
As we mentioned, menstrual cups are bell-shaped and sit in the vaginal canal, forming a seal with the vaginal wall and using suction to stay in place and prevent leaks, and typically take up a little more room since they sit lower in the vagina, and for the most part maintain their shape. Cups tend to be easier to remove than most discs without any mess.
The Benefits of Menstrual Cups
- Sits in the vaginal canal
- Forms a seal using suction
- Mess-free removal
- Easier to insert
Menstrual discs are bowl-shaped and sit at the base of the cervix in the vaginal fornix, staying in place and providing leak-proof protection by being tucked behind your pubic bone. Once inserted it opens and catches the blood like a cup, but doesn’t create a suction to seal.
The Benefits of Menstrual Discs
- Sits in the vaginal fornix, at the base of the cervix
- Stays in place behind the pubic bone
- Ability to auto dump (empty without removing) when full
- Comfortable for sex on your period
Other Things to Know About Menstrual Discs
- Menstrual discs have a reputation for being messier and more difficult to insert and remove, but the revolutionary design of the Hello Disc’s™ double loop removal tab makes it easier to reach and remove your disc with one finger! (and, without the mess!)
- There are currently only a handful of options for menstrual discs on the market, but more companies than ever are looking to provide versatile, sustainable period options.
- Menstrual discs are a great option for IUD users. Since they don’t use suction to stay in place like a cup, there’s no risk of it getting shifted out of place.
- Menstrual discs have the option to auto dump without completely removing them.
How to Auto Dump or Empty Your Menstrual Disc
Sit over the toilet and gently bear down. For some users this action then releases the disc and allows the contents to empty without having to reach inside and touch the disc. It doesn’t work for everyone though! The disc may then pop itself back into place or you may need to just push the rim back behind the pubic bone. To empty your Hello Disc™, reach inside your vagina to hook the pull tab. Gently pull the tab down and towards the front of your body, so that the contents empty behind you and your hand stays nice and clean!
Other Things to Know About Menstrual Cups
- Menstrual cups are often easier to insert and remove for many people who menstruate, whether you’re a beginner user or one with experience.
- Menstrual cups are a great reusable option if you want to avoid more mess. Since they’re not inserted as deeply, you don’t have to reach as far to pull them out and get blood on your hands.
- There are far more varieties in size, shape, and material when it comes to menstrual cups. Since more people know about them, they tend to be more popular (for now).
Which One Is Better?
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.
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, especially in the first few tries. 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 menstrual cups makes it much easier to choose a product specific to you.