What is menstrual disc “auto-dumping?”
This is a phenomenon that happens to some (not all) people who use menstrual discs. It can also sometimes be referred to as “self-emptying.” When the wearer goes to the bathroom and they find that the disc releases some of the blood into the toilet, as if on cue, this is auto-dumping. The combination of sitting on the toilet and the force of urinating or defecating can displace the disc for a moment, enough that some of the contents are released.
Does this mean the disc leaks more than a cup?
Not really, no. This doesn’t seem to happen at other moments (certainly hasn’t for me!) and this auto-dump feature is actually a selling point for those with a heavy flow! It’s one of the reason’s I’ve become a menstrual disc convert.
The menstrual disc stays in place by propping against the pubic bone. If your disc is displaced in some way then it will leak, but if you have a good fit it shouldn’t tilt and dump its contents until you’re on the toilet (if at all.)
It’s unclear how to make auto-dumping happen and it’s not a guarantee that if you use a menstrual disc that you will experience this. If you do, it’s certainly a scene to behold! It’s hard to explain the visuals of expelling a lot of blood all at once. Fascinating would be a good adjective.
Related: Menstrual Cups and Menstrual Discs – Which to Choose?
Do I want this to happen?
I see menstrual disc auto-dumping as a good thing and even a selling point to using a disc over a cup, but again, it’s not something all disc wearers experience. Most people I’ve spoken with who also experience this like that their disc self-empties. For myself and many others, after the disc empties it goes back into place once you’re no longer in that seated/pushing position. I’ve not had to remove the disc and place it again, nor have I had to push it back into place after this happens. It just magically goes back into position and works the rest of the day without leaks. That experience may differ for you, however. You may find the disc needs to be repositioned after it tilts.
If you are lucky enough to use menstrual discs and have your disc “self-empty” or “auto-dump” it’s a nice bonus to an already comfortable reusable period product.
Menstrual Disc Cleaning Best Practices
As stated in the video above, you will still want to remove your menstrual disc and wash it at least every 12 hours. Being able to release some of the contents is not a replacement for removing and cleaning every 12 hours or more.