You’ve heard friends and your favorite influencers singing the praises of reusable menstrual discs, but you’ve also heard the horror stories of messy menstrual disc removals.
Straight talk? Both can be true. That’s why I’ve put together a comprehensive step-by-step video to show you how to remove a menstrual disc no matter which brand you choose.
Are Menstrual Discs Suction-Free?
One selling feature of menstrual discs is that, unlike menstrual cups, these products won’t create a vacuum suction in the vagina. Contrary to the sensational videos circulating on social media, menstrual cups don’t cause prolapse.
Regardless, many menstrual disc users still want to use a product that is suction-free for other reasons, such as easier removals or comfort. Menstrual discs sit in a larger area of the body called the vaginal fornix. The disc stays in place not by suction but by tucking securely behind the public bone.
The placement and removal method ensure that the disc never creates a vacuum seal. This is also one reason many users prefer to wear a menstrual disc over a menstrual cup if they have an IUD.
Menstrual Disc Removal Techniques: Which Is best?
There are three basic ways to remove a menstrual disc. You can try each to decide which works best with your disc’s design and your own preference.
- Hook and Pull – Using a “come hither” motion with your finger (or thumb), hook below the front rim of your menstrual disc and pull it towards you. Once it’s close to your vaginal opening, pinch the rim with a finger and thumb for better control, and pull it out all the way.
- The Mr. Krabs aka Pinch – Insert your pointer finger and thumb and pinch the front rim of your disc. Then, pull down and out of your body.
- Hook Over Rim – Use your finger (or thumb) to hook over the top of the front rim and pull. Then, pinch when it’s closer to your vaginal opening and pull out fully.
Removing Menstrual Discs with Stems, Notches, and Loops
Brands are listening to feedback to improve the user experience. As amazing as wearing a disc can be, removals have been the chief complaint among even the most fervent disc users.
That’s why in the last few years, brands have designed discs with various features I like to refer to as “removal aids.” Each design addresses one or more common complaints about removing simple round or oval discs like the Ziggy, Softdisc, Flex Disc, etc.
- String Style – Brands like Lumma Disc or Pixie Disc have a long string attached to their rim. You can simply pull this string like you would a tampon string to avoid reaching high into the vagina for removal.
- Notch Style – Brands like Cora Disc or Saalt Disc have a recessed notch behind the rim to give your finger better leverage during removal. Find the notch with a finger and pull against it to drag the disc out for removal.
- Loop Style – Brands like Hello Disc or Diva Disc have one or more loops attached below the rim for your finger to catch and use to pull the disc out.
Best Practices for Removing a Menstrual Disc
OK friends. Take deep breaths. The first rule of the menstrual disc club is to relax.
Being stressed or anxious when removing your disc can actually make removal more challenging. Remember these battle-tested tips from your period bestie (that’s me) when you’re ready to tackle your first menstrual disc removal.
- Try a dry run before your period. Insert your disc with a water-based lubricant and then remove it. Without the worry of blood, you can try removing it a few times to see which method you like. Practice angling the disc upwards as you remove it to avoid spillage.
- Remove it for the first time in your shower or tub. This is a safe, “splash-friendly” zone. This lets you focus on getting the disc out without worrying about ruining your rug.
- Try auto-dumping before removing. Give your disc a small push while on the toilet. If blood comes out, that is just the disc self-emptying. Without as much blood in your disc, there’s less blood to spill on your fingers.
What’s the Best Menstrual Disc for Easy Removal?
To pick the best menstrual disc for you, there are many factors to consider. It’s not just about which product is the easiest to remove, but also how it fits your body. There are more choices than ever.
Luckily, menstrual discs are a “one-size-fits-most” product. There’s a good chance that you can use most of the “one size” or size large menstrual disc brands.
Consider your cervix height as a deciding factor. Visit our guide on how to measure your cervix height to determine this. If your cervix is low, a smaller diameter disc is probably a better fit. If your cervix is high, a disc with a long tab is going to be easier to reach.
If you tried a menstrual disc and found them slippery or hard to remove, but you otherwise enjoyed them, a disc with a removal aid should make your experience more pleasant.
Try taking the Period Nirvana Quiz, which leads you to the perfect menstrual disc for you. Or explore the menstrual discs listed on The Cup + Disc Finder to watch reviews and learn more about sizing and features.