What are Reusable Menstrual Discs?
In recent years, the menstrual health industry has witnessed a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual products. One such game changer is the reusable menstrual disc. For those who haven’t explored beyond traditional menstrual products, you might be wondering, what exactly is a reusable menstrual disc anyway?
At its core, a menstrual disc is a flexible silicone or medical grade silicone-based product designed to be worn inside the vaginal canal during menstruation. Unlike menstrual pads or tampons, menstrual discs, and their counterpart, the reusable menstrual cup,, collect menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it.
The Flex Reusable Disc
Among the brands making waves is the flex reusable disc. Crafted with ultra soft silicone catch, the flex disc, when inserted, sits snugly at the base of the vaginal canal, just behind the pubic bone. What makes it unique from other discs is the anti slip pull tab designed for easy removal, a feature appreciated by many menstrual disc users.
Menstrual Disc vs. Menstrual Cup
The menstrual disc and menstrual cup might appear similar, both being flexible silicone-based products, but they have their differences. While a menstrual disc sits at about the same size and base of the vaginal canal behind the pubic bone, a menstrual cup is generally positioned a bit higher, held in place by the vaginal walls and pelvic floor muscles.
Menstrual cups, like the popular Diva Cup, have a bell-shaped design and are typically made from medical grade silicone, soft silicone, or natural rubber latex. Reusable menstrual cups are known for their sturdy rim, which ensures a leak-proof fit.
On the other hand, a menstrual disc has a more oval or circular shape with a firm rim. One distinct advantage of the menstrual cup or disc is its compatibility with penetrative sex, something not always feasible with all menstrual cups.
Benefits of Switching to a Reusable Menstrual Disc
With the growing concern over environmental damage, switching to a reusable disc means fewer disposable menstrual products in landfills.
Although the upfront cost of a flex reusable disc or a flex reusable used menstrual cup might be higher than disposable discs or pads, they last for a few years with proper care, offering long-term savings.
Especially for those with a heavy flow, the flex reusable disc boasts a high capacity, making it ideal for prolonged wear.
Some users have reported that using a menstrual disc can help reduce cramps. Though this might vary for individuals, it’s a benefit worth noting!
Making the shift from traditional menstrual products to a reusable menstrual disc or a menstrual cup can seem daunting at first. However, the environmental, financial, and potential health benefits make it a decision worth considering. In the upcoming sections, we will delve deeper into how to use, clean, and care for your menstrual cups and disc, ensuring that both first time users and seasoned disc aficionados get the most out of their menstrual health products.
How to Use and Care for Your Reusable Menstrual Disc
Getting Started with Your Disc
If you’ve chosen to try the flex reusable disc or any other menstrual disc, the first challenge often involves insertion and an easy removal afterwards. Let’s simplify this process:
Inserting Your Menstrual Disc:
- Clean hands: Always start with thoroughly washed hands. Use mild soap and cool water, ensuring that your fingers are completely dry before handling the disc.
- Position: Many users find it easiest to insert the disc while squatting or with one leg elevated.
- Fold & Insert: Pinch the disc into a narrow point. Slowly insert it into the vaginal canal, aiming it towards the tailbone.
- Perfect Placement: Ensure that the front rim of the disc is behind your pubic bone and the disc is nestled into the vaginal fornix. When the disc is inserted properly, you shouldn’t feel it, similar to the sensation (or lack thereof) when wearing menstrual cups.
- Adjustment: Some discs, including the flex reusable, come with an easy insertion notch or patented notch that can assist in ensuring perfect placement in the vaginal canal.
Removing Your Menstrual Disc:
- Clean hands: As with insertion, always begin with clean fingers.
- Relax: Before attempting easy removal, take a moment to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Tensing up can make the removal process more challenging.
- The Auto Dump: Some discs offer hands-free emptying or “auto dumping”. This can happen when you’re using the restroom as the pressure from your pelvic floor muscles can naturally push some of the fluid out.
- Grip & Pull: Gently hook a clean finger under the anti-slip pull tab or the rim of the disc. Carefully pull the disc out, keeping it level to prevent spills.
- Empty & Clean: Once removed, empty the disc’s contents into the toilet, rinse it with cool water, and clean it using mild soap. Ensure the entire surface of the disc is cleaned properly.
Caring for Your Menstrual Disc:
A reusable disc differs from disposable discs in that with proper care, it can last for years, making them an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice.
- Storage: Store your clean flex reusable disc in a breathable carrying pouch, like a cotton pouch. Avoid using an airtight container as it can promote bacterial growth.
- Deep Cleaning: Depending on your usage and flow, consider boiling your disc once a month for about 5-10 minutes. This can help ensure any bacteria or residues are removed, maintaining the natural vaginal pH.
- Regular Replacement: Even with the best care, consider replacing your menstrual disc every few years or if you notice any tears, punctures, or changes in the material.
Both new and experienced menstrual disc users will find that with time, the process of insertion and easy removal becomes second nature. Much like the learning curve experienced when switching to period underwear or menstrual cups, patience and practice are key. As with all menstrual products, finding what works best for your body and flow is essential. In the next section, we’ll discuss some of the common challenges users face and how to overcome them.
Overcoming Common Challenges and Concerns with Menstrual Discs
Just like any new experience, there can be challenges when making the switch to menstrual discs. Armed with knowledge and a bit of patience, these hurdles can easily be surmounted.
1. Leaks and Placement Issues
Problem: One common concern among new disc users is leaking. This often occurs when the disc isn’t placed properly behind the pubic bone or isn’t sitting securely in the vaginal fornix.
Solution: When inserting, make sure you aim the disc towards your tailbone and ensure that the front rim flex reusable disc sits snugly behind the pubic bone. The patented notch or easy insertion notch in some discs can be beneficial for this. If you experience leaks during heavy flow days, consider checking the disc’s placement more often or pairing it with period underwear as backup.
2. Messy Removal
Problem: Some users are apprehensive about removing the disc, fearing a messy removal experience.
Solution: Over a toilet, carefully pull the disc out using the anti-slip pull tab or simply your index finger. The design of many reusable discs, such as the flex reusable disc, ensures that the fluid is contained when removed horizontally. If you’re worried about spills, practice removal during light days or at the end of your cycle until you feel more confident.
3. Compatibility with Penetrative Sex
Advantage: One standout advantage of the menstrual disc over other menstrual products like the menstrual cup is its compatibility with penetrative sex. Many users value this feature, especially those who don’t want their period to disrupt their intimacy.
Usage Tip: Before engaging in penetrative sex, ensure that the menstrual disc is positioned correctly. This will not only prevent leaks but also ensure comfort for both partners.
4. Concerns About Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Fact: While TSS is a concern with certain menstrual products, when used correctly and kept clean, the risk associated with menstrual discs and menstrual cups is relatively low. The FDA registered products, like the flex reusable disc, have undergone rigorous safety testing.
Safety Tip: To minimize any risk, always ensure that your disc is cleaned thoroughly after each use and avoid wearing it for prolonged periods beyond the recommended time.
5. Challenges with a Low Cervix
Problem: Individuals with a low cervix might find that some discs sit too high or feel uncomfortable.
Solution: Brands have been recognizing this concern, and now there are discs specifically designed for those with a low cervix. It’s all about finding the right fit!
Switching to a reusable menstrual disc might come with its set of challenges, but understanding potential issues and their solutions can make the transition smoother. Embracing the learning curve, practicing insertion and removal, and selecting the right reusable disc made for your anatomy and needs are key. In the upcoming sections, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits of switching to reusable menstrual discs and also explore how they stack up against other menstrual products.
Exploring the Many Benefits of Menstrual Discs
Menstrual discs, particularly the flex reusable disc, have garnered attention not just because they’re an eco-friendly alternative, but also due to the myriad benefits they offer.
1. Sustainability and Environment
Menstrual discs dramatically reduce waste. A single reusable disc can last for years, leading to fewer menstrual products in our landfills. When compared to the heaps of disposable pads, tampons, or disposable discs one might use over a lifetime, the environmental savings flex reusable disc are significant.
2. Financial Savings
While the initial investment for a flex reusable period disc, or any reusable menstrual disc may seem higher, the long-term cost benefits are immense. Instead of buying disposable products every month, you have a product that, with proper care, can serve you for several years.
3. Comfort and Feel
Once inserted properly, most menstrual disc users report that they can’t even feel the disc. This contrasts with the sometimes noticeable feeling of tampons or pads. Moreover, the flexible silicone or soft silicone construction ensures the disc adapts to the shape of your body, enhancing comfort.
4. Reduced Menstrual Odor
Menstrual odor is a natural occurrence when menstrual blood comes into contact with air. Since menstrual discs collect blood internally and are airtight, the chances of developing an odor are minimized.
5. Less Frequent Changes
Depending on your flow, a menstrual disc can be worn up to 12 hours, which can be especially convenient during lighter days or when you have a busy schedule. This offers more freedom than having to change a pad or tampon every few hours, especially on heavy flow days.
6. Safe for Night Use
For those who dread nighttime leaks, menstrual discs can be a game changer. With their high capacity and perfect placement behind the pubic bone, you can sleep without the worry of midnight surprises.
7. Active Lifestyle Compatibility
Whether you’re into yoga, swimming, or any other physical activity, the reusable disc fits securely, ensuring you can continue with your active lifestyle even during your period. Plus, they’re discreet, so there’s no string or outline showing, unlike some other menstrual products.
8. Reduced Cramps for Some
While it might not be universal, some users have reported experiencing reduced cramps when using a menstrual disc. The reason isn’t entirely clear, but the positioning and lack of external materials might play a role.
The benefits of using a menstrual disc are extensive, making it a compelling option for those looking to shift from traditional menstrual products. As with anything, individual experiences might vary, but the overarching advantages – both personal and environmental – make the disc a noteworthy choice. In the next sections, we’ll explore tips for first-time users and delve into common questions surrounding menstrual discs.
First-Time User? Tips to Master the Art of Using a Menstrual Disc
Navigating the world of menstrual discs for the first time can be a tad overwhelming. However, like anything new, there’s a learning curve. Here are some tips to help first-time users get acclimated:
1. Relax and Choose a Comfortable Position: Inserting a menstrual disc is often easier when you’re relaxed. Many find success when they squat slightly, put one leg up on the bathtub, or even lie down.
2. Explore the Different Folds: Unlike menstrual cups that can be folded in numerous ways for insertion, the menstrual disc has a narrower point of focus. However, ensuring the disc is pinched into a figure-eight or folded in half can be useful.
3. Aim for the Tailbone: Instead of pushing flex disc upwards like a tampon, aim the disc towards your tailbone. This ensures it rests correctly in the vaginal fornix.
4. Double-Check the Positioning: Once inserted, the front rim of the disc should be positioned behind the pubic bone. This keeps it securely in place and prevents leaks.
5. Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first go. Like any menstrual product, it might take a cycle or two to get comfortable with insertion and removal.
6. Use Period Underwear for Backup: In your initial cycles of using a menstrual disc, wearing period underwear can provide additional peace of mind against potential leaks.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Menstrual Disc for Longevity
Taking care of your menstrual disc not only ensures its longevity but also keeps your health in check. Here’s a quick guide:
1. Rinse with Cool Water First: Before using mild soap, always rinse your disc with cool water. This helps in maintaining the natural vaginal pH and prevents potential staining.
2. Opt for Unscented, Mild Soap: When cleaning your menstrual disc, always choose a mild soap without fragrances or harsh chemicals. This ensures that no residues are left behind that might disrupt your vaginal flora.
3. Boiling for a Deep Clean: As previously mentioned, boiling your menstrual disc once a month can keep it sanitized. Ensure the entire surface of the disc is submerged in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes.
4. Dry Completely: Before storing your menstrual disc in its carrying pouch or cotton pouch, ensure it’s completely dry. Storing a damp disc can lead to bacterial growth.
5. Store in a Breathable Container: Most menstrual discs come with a breathable carrying pouch. Avoid sealing it in an airtight container as it needs ventilation.
6. Check for Damages: Before and after every cycle, inspect your disc for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. If you notice any, it might be time to replace it.
Your menstrual disc is more than just a menstrual product; it’s an investment in sustainable menstruation and a more comfortable period experience. Taking good care of it ensures you reap its benefits for many cycles to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Menstrual Discs
1. Are reusable menstrual discs safe?
Answer: Absolutely! Reusable menstrual discs, when used and cleaned properly, are safe. They are often made of medical-grade silicone, which is hypoallergenic and non-reactive, minimizing the risk of infections or allergic reactions. Like any menstrual product, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on cleaning, storage, and usage duration to ensure safety. Moreover, products like the flex reusable disc are FDA registered, ensuring they’ve undergone rigorous safety testing.
2. Why aren’t all menstrual discs reusable?
Answer: While reusable menstrual discs are becoming more popular due to their environmental and cost benefits, disposable discs have been around for a while. Disposable discs offer convenience for those who might not want to clean or maintain a reusable product. They’re designed for single-use and are typically made of materials that aren’t intended to withstand long-term wear and tear.
3. Do doctors recommend menstrual discs?
Answer: Many doctors recognize menstrual discs as a viable menstrual product. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss any concerns or specific health conditions with your healthcare provider before making a change in your menstrual care routine. While many find discs comfortable and beneficial, individual needs and anatomy can influence the best product choice.
4. How often should you boil a menstrual disc?
Answer: Boiling your menstrual disc once a month for 5-10 minutes can help to thoroughly clean and sanitize it. This ensures any lingering bacteria or residues are removed. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care instructions, as boiling might not be suitable for all discs, especially those not made from medical-grade silicone.
"name": "Are reusable menstrual discs safe?",
"text": "Absolutely! Reusable menstrual discs, when used and cleaned properly, are safe. They are often made of medical-grade silicone, which is hypoallergenic and non-reactive, minimizing the risk of infections or allergic reactions. Like any menstrual product, it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's guidelines on cleaning, storage, and usage duration to ensure safety. Moreover, products like the flex reusable disc are FDA registered, ensuring they've undergone rigorous safety testing."
"name": "Why aren't all menstrual discs reusable?",
"text": "While reusable menstrual discs are becoming more popular due to their environmental and cost benefits, disposable discs have been around for a while. Disposable discs offer convenience for those who might not want to clean or maintain a reusable product. They're designed for single-use and are typically made of materials that aren't intended to withstand long-term wear and tear."
"name": "Do doctors recommend menstrual discs?",
"text": "Many doctors recognize menstrual discs as a viable menstrual product. However, it's always a good idea to discuss any concerns or specific health conditions with your healthcare provider before making a change in your menstrual care routine. While many find discs comfortable and beneficial, individual needs and anatomy can influence the best product choice."
"name": "How often should you boil a menstrual disc?",
"text": "Boiling your menstrual disc once a month for 5-10 minutes can help to thoroughly clean and sanitize it. This ensures any lingering bacteria or residues are removed. However, always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for specific care instructions, as boiling might not be suitable for all discs, especially those not made from medical-grade silicone."