Dr Knight on Body + Soul – What is a Menstrual Disk?

The explosion of environmentally friendly solution to menstrual bleeding has been a long time coming.

For generations, pads and tampons were the only viable option. Since then, we’ve been introduced to period undies with in-built absorption and reusable silicone menstrual cups that substantially reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

The newest kid on the block is the menstrual disc.

Like the name suggests, it’s a flat, round shape with a raised edge rather than the funnel shape of a menstrual cup.

While menstrual cups are inserted in the lower part of the vaginal canal to effectively ‘plug’ it like a tampon would, menstrual discs sit around the cervix which is the widest part of the canal.

By pushing a menstrual disc past the pubic bone and effectively ‘wedging’ it in, it won’t leak and you’ll be covered for 12 hours. Which is a more comfortable night-time option than a thick pad or getting up during the evening to change a tampon.

While some menstrual disk products are reusable, others are disposable. But seeing as it covers you for 12 hours rather than 3-4, you can save up to 60% on landfill compared to tampons.

According to gynaecologist, obstetrician and reproductive endocrinologist, Dr David Knight of Demeter Fertility it’s easy to tell whether or not you’ve inserted it correctly.

“The reality is if you start leaking, you haven’t put it in properly,” he said.

“The menstrual disc going to go at the back of vagina. You use two fingers to press the disk together and put the the two fingers and the disk right into the back of the vagina, then push the front of the disk, maybe with the thumb, up to the pubic bone.

“The vagina is only so big. It’s like a long sock, you put the disk all the way down into the sock until you get toe of the sock.”

Sex on your period

As a bonus, because of its position in the vaginal canal, you can wear it during sex. Which means clean sheets if you fancy getting it on during your period.

“First thing, the menstrual disc doesn’t have a pointy bit coming out at the end which will poke the end of the penis,” Dr Knight said.

“Second thing, the menstrual disc goes into the back of the vagina behind the cervix and the penis misses the cervix. The vagina expands and elongates during intercourse, so if the penis hits the cervix it’s really painful.

“Third thing, the menstrual cup doesn’t dislodge.”

To read the full article on Body + Soul click.

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