Menstrual discs are completely different types of products than menstrual cups for so many reasons. Watch how I’ve tackled how to insert a menstrual disc and how to best remove it. The good news: It’s actually pretty easy!
How To Insert a Menstrual Disc
- Fold your disc longways. Some menstrual discs, like the Ziggy, have to be inserted a certain direction. The Lumma disc, which has a stem, should be inserted with the stem side last to enter. The opening of the “bowl” needs to face upwards towards you. You can use one hand or two- using two allows you to keep the disc folded fully lengthwise and reduces the diameter.
- Keep pushing the disc until it is tucked below the cervix. Knowing where your cervix is helps but it’s not required. The only time this gets tricky is if your cervix tilts towards your back. In this scenario you might have to “scoop” the cervix into the back of the disc.
- Next, push the front side of the disc up as much as you can. Many people are nervous about this step and gingerly push the front up less than it should be pushed. With practice you will get comfortable with this part. If you experience leaks with your disc very often it’s for this reason.
There is a lot less than can go wrong with discs compared to menstrual cups, so from an insertion perspective it’s quite easy. If you’re uncomfortable reaching inside your vagina you may have a harder time at first. Practice will get you more comfortable with the entire process.
How to Remove a Menstrual Disc
This is where things get a little… sticky. Removing menstrual discs is a messier experience than removing menstrual cups or tampons. In fact, I would wager the assumption you made about how messy removing a menstrual cup would be is actually how messy it is removing a menstrual disc.
Due to their shallow bowl shape and the fact that the “catch” part squishes to almost flat while pulling through the vaginal canal there will be blood on your hands. The nickname “blood drawer” is used for menstrual discs for good reason. That visual should help prepare you for what is to come. Some of the blood will also spill out while you remove it. Positioning yourself over the toilet or standing in the shower is required.
Menstrual Disc Removal Techniques
- “Hook” the rim of the disc with a finger and drag it down. Once it’s near the entrance you can pinch the rim and remove the rest of the way. Dump the remaining contents in the toilet.
- “Pinch” the rim of the disc between your finger and thumb. Pull down and out. Dump the remaining contents in the toilet.
- “Pull” the stem if your disc has one. There is no suction so you can simply pull the stem/string without concern of a suction. Once it’s near the entrace you can pinch the rim and remove the rest of the way. Dump the remaining contents in the toilet.
More Tips for Menstrual Disc Removal
- For your first time try it in the shower. Trust me.
- Always have a firm grip on the disc’s rim as soon as it’s easily reachable at the vaginal entrance. Many have dropped their discs in the toilet due to a loose grip, myself included. Alcohol and removing discs is a bad match!
- Pre-Empty the contents. Menstrual discs can sometimes “auto-dump.” If you experience this you can use it to your advantage. Try to force your disc to dump with a bit of “bearing down” pressure while over the toilet. Dumping the contents in the toilet means less will spill onto your hands when you remove the disc.
- A bidet is your friend. Having a bidet attachment or toilet with a bidet built in can be a lifesaver for discs users. I like to use the spray to rinse the disc. Unlike cups, discs often have blood on the outside as well as the inside. Rinsing it with my bidet first makes my trip to the sink (a decent walk in my ensuite bathroom) stress free. I also rinse my fingers off with the bidet water for the same reason.
- A squatty potty helps too! Having your feet slightly elevated on a stool like the squatty potty makes removing the disc or a cup easier.
- A softer disc removes with less/no discomfort. A disc like Nixit with a soft rim will remove very much folded by the limits of your vaginal canal and vaginal opening. A disc like Lumma, which is firmer, may press outward more during removal, giving you more discomfort. You can press the firmer discs inward manually to help.
Real talk. It can be real messy
Even though I’ve had some real “whoa omg” experiences I still prefer a disc to cups these days. If you’re not keen on the mess menstrual cups are the opposite experience. I’ve never had blood on my fingers like the blood I get on my hands with discs. If you can “hook” the disc or use the Lumma with a removal stem, this is less messy than “pinching” to remove. I’m just unable to remove my disc without pinching the rim.
Related Video: Menstrual Cups or Menstrual Discs – Which to Choose?
Why would you still use a disc if it’s that messy?
I find discs to be less finicky. My chances of a totally leakproof period are 100% when I use a disc. I am probably at 90% with my favorite menstrual cups (random unexplained leaks sometimes happen) so if I have a day I need to make sure there are no issues, I use my disc. I also love the auto-dump feature. Menstrual discs can be worn during intercourse so that’s another potential selling point. They’re as comfortable as my best cups, undetectable while being worn, and I just love them. I accept that removals will be messy and prepare accordingly.