The menstrual disc isn’t a new concept or product but it’s becoming a more popular period product choice. Menstrual disc problems may arise during the first few cycles while you learn how to use this new device. I’ve helped many users troubleshoot their menstrual disc issues so let’s go through each problem and possible solutions.
Problem: Menstrual Disc Leaks Heavily
Cause: If your menstrual disc leaks heavily in a way that makes you wonder if it’s catching anything at all you’re probably right – it isn’t! While inserting your menstrual disc it needs to tuck below and behind the cervix. If you’ve only inserted the disc in a way that it sits smashed against the front of your cervix where the blood flows from, well, that’s doing no one any good!
Solution: In some cases, this is an easy fix. While inserting your menstrual disc direct it towards your tailbone. The angle is very important while inserting. If you push it straight up the disc might sit in front of the cervix instead of below and tucked behind it. If you have a tilted cervix that angles towards your back (some users may not be able to reach it enough to know this and others may know from being told by an OB/GYN) a disc can be harder to use for this reason. Try “scooping” the cervix with the disc if you can feel it. A cervix that is pressed against the back vaginal wall might not work with a reusable disc – if you can’t seem to stop leaking you might find a menstrual cup that sits below your cervix to be a better option.
Problem: Menstrual Disc Coming Untucked Without Cause
Cause: If your menstrual disc tends to come untucked at the front rim and slips into the vaginal canal this will cause discomfort and potentially leaks.
Solution: When your disc is coming untucked without cause, such as exercising or bathroom visits, my first instinct is to tell you that you aren’t pushing the front of the disc in high enough. It happens often with new disc users. Apprehension about HOW far up the disc should get pushed is common. I experienced this problem myself and my first few days using one ended in a slipped disc in my vagina that felt like it would fall out. Over time I learned to be more confident and I realllllly tucked that front rim into place. Some people can feel a more pronounced pubic bone, you’re aiming to get the front of the disc securely behind that “notch” in your body.
Anatomy differs for each person. If you are confidently tucking your disc and it continues to slip down during normal activities and movement you might need a different diameter of disc, either smaller or larger, to fit better in your anatomy. Worst case? Your anatomy doesn’t have enough of a pronounced pubic bone to keep a disc in place without slipping, in which case a menstrual cup is a better option.
Problem: Menstrual Disc Coming Untucked During Exercise or Sneezing
Cause: If your menstrual disc is slipping when you’re working out or it dumps during a hard sneeze or cough this is definitely not ideal.
Solution: These slips that happen only when provoked by physical activity or bursts of involuntary muscle movements are usually a sign of a menstrual disc that is too large or too small in diameter. Discs are now offered in multiple diameter options and firmnesses. A disc that is too wide may tuck into place successfully but is “primed” like a tightly wound spring. All it needs is a big cough or the right change in position to pop out of place.
A cup that is too small in diameter may also feel successfully tucked into place but slips past your pubic bone with certain movements since it has enough room. The easiest way to figure out if you should go for a smaller or larger diameter disc is by comparing what you use to the available disc sizes. If you’re using a disc on the larger size chances are it needs to be smaller in diameter. Find a full comparison chart of menstrual disc sizes on the menstrual cup comparison chart.
Problem: Menstrual Disc Is Hard To Remove
Cause: Most menstrual discs, disposable and reusable, are a simple round shape without any place to grab during removal. I find these discs easier to remove when I use a thumb and forefinger to grasp the rim, but others can use a finger to “hook” below the rim and drag out. Some users with a higher cervix run into reach issues with discs since they don’t have a stem, making removal even more of a challenge.
Solution: If you consistently have issues removing the disc sometimes it can help if you bear down very gently. This helps the disc dislodge from the pubic bone. If you’re having issues reaching your disc, try squatting in the shower then reaching for the rim.
If you love your disc but removal is always difficult look into discs with special stems like the Lumma Disc, a favorite for those with a high cervix, or the Cora Disc if you find removal tricky because the rim is hard to grasp or is slippery. Because discs are suction free many users find them easier to remove when they have access issues and certain disabilities, cups create a suction that required more strength and dexterity for removal.
Problem: Menstrual Disc Is Messy To Remove
Cause: The disc’s wider shape is perfect for holding a large amount of period blood but this shape does have to get squished when coming out of your body to fit through the narrower vaginal canal and vaginal opening. Spillage of period blood is very common onto the fingers and hands while removing.
Solution: Menstrual discs have a special superpower for some users – they “auto-dump.” This is when, during a bathroom visit for a #1 or #2, the disc changes position in such a way that it partially empties its contents. If you’re a lucky auto-dumper triggering this action before removing your cup definitely helps reduce the mess.
- Related Resource: What is Menstrual Disc Auto-Dumping?
If you’re a new menstrual disc user, try removing it for the first time in the shower. This will give you some leniency with the mess. The goal is to keep the disc upright while removing it to keep as much blood in the disc without spilling. Additionally, certain types of discs may be less messy to remove – pinching the rim of the disc can often result in blood spilling onto your hands compared to discs that are easy to “hook” the rim of, or that have a stem/removal grip.
Regardless of how you approach it, the fact is – there will be some degree of blood on your hands or fingers when removing your disc. It’s not that bad – I was very nervous to try a disc for this reason even as a cup user. It’s your body, your blood, and it’s easy to wash off with soap and water. Menstrual cups are less messy to remove – I have zero blood on my fingers at removal compared to a small-large amount with removing a disc.
Need more help?
If you need help deciding which menstrual disc is best for you start with the quiz on Period Nirvana. You can also find the measurements for reusable discs listed on our chart – visit our Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart. For troubleshooting advice join our group on Facebook called Period Nirvana Community.