This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Cups vs. Discs: A Buyers Guide on How to Choose

Cups vs. Discs: A Buyers Guide on How to Choose

Menstrual discs and menstrual cups are both reusable menstrual products designed to worn internally and collect menstrual blood. Discs and cups have some differences in terms of usage, design features, usage and pros and cons.

Below is an an explanation of the differences and comparison table showing the differences and similarities between menstrual cups and discs.



General shape Bowl Cone
Removal aids (stem/tail, loop, ring etc) Some Most
Available in multiple sizes  Yes Yes
Available in different capacities Yes Yes
Available in different base material (silicone, TPE)  Yes Yes
Available in different hardness' (durometers) Yes Yes
Leak-free when correctly inserted Yes Yes
Reusable  Some Yes
Suitable for a high cervix Some Yes
Suitable for a low cervix Yes Some
Can be worn by all ages including teens Yes Yes
Can be worn if you have or have not had a child Yes Yes
Can be worn if you have or have not had a child Yes Yes
Suitable for tilted or retroverted uterus Most Some
Can be worn by those with mild prolapse Most Some
Available for different flows (light, medium or heavy)  Yes Yes
Stay in place using… Pubic bone Suction-seal
Can be worn during sexual intercourse Yes No
Mess-free during removal No Yes
Easy to fold and insert Yes Yes
Can't be felt when correctly inserted Yes Yes
Can be worn when sleeping Yes Yes
Can be worn when during exercise Yes Yes
Wear time (TGA recommended) Up to 8 hours Up to 8 hours


Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are made of soft, flexible material like medical-grade silicone or latex.

Their shape generally resembles a bowl - shallow, wide and round to cover the cervix.  The body of the disc is made of a soft thin membrane and the rim is more rigid to help it open and stay in place. 

Menstrual discs may be designed with or without a removal aid - these may be features such as a "string" or "tail", a loop or ring-pull or a finger indent for additional grip.  

How are menstrual discs used

  • Menstrual discs are pinched to create a long narrow shape and then inserted into the vaginal canal and positioned under the cervix. The front of the disc tucks up above the pubic bone to hold it in place. 
  • They are designed to sit high in the vaginal fornix, collecting menstrual blood.
  • Menstrual discs can be worn during sexual intercourse.
  • Removal involves hooking a finger behind the rim and carefully sliding it out.
  • For a detailed usage information see our our How to Use a Menstrual Disc User Guide

Pros of Menstrual Discs

  1. Sexual intercourse: Menstrual discs are a flat-fit design that covers the cervix. They can be worn for mess-free period sex.
  2. Low cervix positions and mild prolapse: The shallow, rounded shape of menstrual discs tends to suit people with a low cervix or mild prolapse.
  3. Tilted or retroverted uterus: Many people with a tilted uterus have more success when using a menstrual disc compared to a menstrual cup. 
  4. Less choice: Yes, this can be a pro! There is a massive range of menstrual cups all with different features which can make the choice overwhelming. As there are fewer menstrual disc brands on the market, it can make choosing one a bit easier. 

Cons of Menstrual Discs

  1. Learning curve: Beginner users may find it more challenging to get discs positioned correctly after insertion when compared to a menstrual cup.
  2. Leaking: There is a potential for leakage if the disc is not positioned correctly above the pubic bone (which holds it in place) or if it dislodges due to sudden abdominal pressure such as sneezing.
  3. Messy: Menstrual discs are messier to remove and your fingers will get bloody. 
  4. Difficult to reach: If you have a high cervix, a menstrual disc may be difficult to reach and remove. Choose a cup with a "tail", ring-pull or loop if this is the case.
  5. Limited variety: There are fewer brands and models of menstrual discs available compared to menstrual cups but much more are coming to market every year.


Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone, rubber, or elastomer and are conical in shape - like a bell or funnel with a stem.

They come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different body types.

    How are menstrual cups used?

    • Menstrual cups are folded and inserted into the vaginal canal, forming a seal around the cervix.
    • They collect menstrual blood, and removal is typically done by pinching the base to release the suction seal and pulling it out.
    • For a detailed usage information see our our How to Use a Menstrual Cup User Guide

    Pros of Menstrual Cups

    1. Easier transition: If you are transitioning from using tampons or pads, menstrual cups are generally easier to get the hang of when compared to menstrual discs.
    2. Wide variety: There are numerous brands, sizes shapes and harnesses of menstrual cups, providing options to suit most peoples anatomy.
    3. High cervix: Menstrual cups are often better suited to a high cervix.

    Cons of Menstrual Cups

    1. Learning curve: Like menstrual discs, there can be a learning curve for inserting and removing menstrual cups but for most people, they are still generally easier to learn to use than menstrual discs.
    2. Too many choices: With the wide range of brands, shapes, sizes, stem features and harnesses we can face decision paralysis when trying to make a choice. 
    3. Discomfort: If not positioned correctly and the cup opens beside (rather than below) the cervix or if the stem protrudes, it can cause discomfort. Choose a cup with a shorter body and a trimmable stem or no stem if you have a low cervix.  

    Ultimately, the choice between a menstrual disc and a menstrual cup depends on personal preference and comfort. Individual experiences vary from person to person due to anatomical differences so you may need to experiment with a few brands and sizes to find the one that works best for you.

    See our Menstrual Cup and Menstrual Disc Brand Comparison Chart for a comprehensive comparison.