Put A Cup In It

Does It Work? A Look At The FLEX Menstrual Disc

Menstrual discs are something we’ve been asked about more times than we can count, and usually it comes in the form of a confusing question about menstrual cups … and then we realize they’re talking about an Instead Softcup or a FLEX.

Menstrual discs are NOT the same as menstrual cups!

Menstrual disc and menstrual cups share exactly one feature. They both catch menstrual flow. That’s it.

They differ wildly in material, shape, insertion, fit, removal, cost, and environmental consideration.

cup vs disc

So does it work?

That answer depends on a couple of factors. Does it function? And do we like the way it functions? Check out our video review for all of the details.

As you can see, we aren’t fans. While they do work for some — and that’s great! — they just aren’t a good fit for us. Wear was comfortable but removal was anything but. Amanda found it painful to remove and Kim ended up in a horror show situation as a result of a moderate flow day. (If you recall from our Heavy Flow video – we aren’t all that heavy, so we cannot imagine what a disc might be like for someone with even more flow than us!)

Flex Fail Censored

The Cost

In addition to our removal discomforts, we aren’t all that impresses with the cost of using a disc. They are not approved to be safe for reusing (though some do use them for a full cycle before trashing them) which poses a problem for your wallet, as well as the environment.

FLEX costs $20 per month for 8 discs that are meant to be worn for 12 hours. This assumes #1 that you have a four day cycle and #2 that you can go a full 12 hours before needing to change. If you are heavier or longer than this, you’ll need more of them. At $2.25 per change – the costs really add up. By contrast, one quality menstrual cup can cost $20-40 depending on the brand — and you only need one. Organic tampons are also cheaper, with most costing around $10 per cycle.


This is just our two cents. If you use a disc and love it — let us know. We would love to hear about your experience with discs and why you feel that they are the best option — especially if you’ve also used a cup.






57 Responses

  1. I remember when I first learned of the cup reading the etched messages in the back of my washroom door stall in university, lol. When I asked my friend about it she was like, “girl, i’ve been using one for a few years. You’ve NEVER heard of it before?” And i was like “Whaaa….?” So that’s how I got started on my cup journey, lol.

    I have now been using a menstrual cup for around 7 years. When I first used one was before I ever had sex or used sex toys, and was still nervous about using products while being a virgin – seeing the size of those cup things when open? LOL I thought I’d faint. Learning curve was steep…was not used to being that intimate with my own body. Found it scary at first and hard to insert/take out, but after a couple of periods it was easy peasy. Sunction when taking it out definitely means a little more effort, but i never find it painful; just have to break the sunction first by squeezing the rim before removing.

    I have always had a very heavy flow in the first 24 hours; on average 80ml – another benefit of the cup, you learn your flow really well making it far easier to track and relay info to doctor if you have concerns. I always leak at least a little bit on that first day even with a cup, so I wear period underwear (Thinx) as well for peace of mind. I’ve never had any leaks into my pants, leggings, stockings, swimwear, whatever, since.

    I first used Diva, then tried Intimina, and am now on the large Pixie cup, which i find far superior and i only use that, now. I cringe at the thought of going back to pads or tampons – funny how dependant I was on pads but now find them absolutely disgusting. Not to mention I feel so much better with the environmental benefits and knowing I’m not feeding the greedy tampon/pad manufacturer industry, hah! (They don’t have our best interests in mind, anyway- who wants to support a business like that?!)

    I just got a Nixit menstrual disk, so I’m excited to see how it performs. I know some might find getting blood on fingers a cringefest, but honestly, it’s not a big deal. I got used to bloodied fingers with my cup because i have no patience in perfectly removing it.

    The whole insertion/removing process only takes a few seconds once you’re used to it, and cleaning it isn’t a big deal if you’re already in a washroom – though I will say I’ve never had to do it in a public washroom when someone else was present. Would probably find that pretty uncomfortable, but fortunately with how long you can wear a cup or dic finding privacy isn’t hard.

    Several months ago I started swimming with the cup even on my heaviest days. Was so excited that I had no issues even while doing freestyle for 45min, so now I don’t shy away from swimming on my period. My cramps are terrible but swimming at least helped take my mind off the pain, if not helping alleviate the cramps.

    Tl;dr I’m a hardcore cup fan, and highly HIGHLY recommend – no, demand, even – that any girl or woman considering the switch to do it asap. The longterm gratification is beyond compare.

    Hope to soon be a disk fan, too!

  2. Yes this!
    I have a heavy flow too a d they’ve been life changing!
    For the first time ever I honestly forget about my period.

  3. I have used both. Often
    To be honest. I prefer the disc’s. I used various cups for about a year and finally settled in the flex cup (my favorite). Then I found flex discs… more my favorite.

    I have VERY VERY heavy periods that last a week.
    The cups overflow and get leaky during my 3 heaviest days.

    The disc’s seem to stay put longer and leak less.
    Both are messy for heavy flows. The disc is messier but I don’t need to change it midday like I need to change a cup.

    I have reused disc’s. But can only go about 3 uses before they wear out and start to leak.

    I also like the disc because, like it says, you can leave it in during sex. That’s my husband’s favorite part.

    The cup is cheaper and a bit cleaner. But the disc definitely works better on my heavy days.

  4. Interesting. From what I’ve seen the Flex discs retail for $14 for 12 discs, not $20 for 8. What?! There was definitely a learning curve and I went through half a pack before I finally became comfortable with it, but I LOVE them. I mostly use them for sex, but sometimes just because. I’ve also used it to have sex on the heaviest day of my period, and it worked like a dream. I now keep two boxes on me at all times.

  5. I am a full convert to reusable menstrual discs. So liberating. I never have to worry about being caught short, it’s one small thing and it’s either in body or in my handbag. Never have to worry about interrupting a romantic moment (taking out tampon, putting down towel…etc..). And I don’t have spend money on new products every month.

    I have pretty light flow, but very irregular periods due to an IUD. The irregularity of my periods is much more manageable with a reusable product that can sit in for 12 hours. And I’ve never had a problem with the IUD being sucked or anything – gentle insertion and release is all that’s needed.

    I use Lumma Unique and LOVE IT. It is the only disc product I’ve come across that has different sizes.

    All the other disc manufacturers claim that one standard size (adopted by Flex, Nixit, Ziggy – yes, I tried them all) will work for most women. They simply didn’t fit me. Lumma Unique in small size was perfect. Although texture wise, Ziggy is by far the nicest. If Ziggy came in a smaller size it would be my go to product.

    I’d urge those who’ve struggled to get a disc to fit to try a different size through Lumma, because the disc concept was life changing for me.

  6. Discs are the only thing that work for me. I have a very heavy flow, and my cervix will not cooperate with cups. I’ve tried 6-7 different cups, over and over, all the folds, heights, positions. If you find the disc messy, I find it to be a dream, because for me cups leak like nobody’s business, and trying to make it sit right inevitably ends in a blood bath, everytime.

    I’m disappointed by your attitude toward the discs in your review (it’s almost palpable that you don’t want to like discs in your video, disproportionally so to the actual complaints you have about it) as discs are frankly life changing for me, And I hope that it won’t deter someone else in a similar situation as me to give it a try.

    I have never gone more than an hour without leaks with both cups or tampons until discs came along.

  7. Just tried the soft disc for the first time seemed amazing. Didn’t bother me at all UNTILLLLL REMOVAL TIME. It took a long time, a couple cigarettes a hot bath to relax ;( It is really big and mine wasn’t trying to come out at all. I couldn’t hook my finger and pull it’s hard and felt stuck when pulling, used lube to help but it was horrible feeling and felt like it was pulling my insides or getting stuck on them! I’m only on leaving my review because I was trying to find people’s tips to get it out… trying again maybe it’ll get easier??

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