Menstrual Disc vs Cup: How to Choose Your Fighter

Menstrual Disc vs Cup: How to Choose Your Fighter

10 minute read

So, you’ve decided you’re ready to make the switch to sustainable period products. Welcome! We’re delighted you’re taking the time to make an informed decision about something that is being inserted into your body. With so many menstrual care options on the market today, the decision making process can be admittedly daunting. But, we’ll walk you through the difference between a menstrual disc vs cup.

There are few key differences between the two—it’s a matter of shape & size differentiation and they involve different insertion techniques. But, why make the switch? What’s the payoff? We’ve given this point our undivided attention in the rest of this article.

For some people, these products require a learning curve. That goes for both menstrual discs and cups and discs. Finding the product that’s best for you will include some trial and error.

Today, there’s more than one way to get around using pads and tampons—meet menstrual cups and discs.

There are few key differences between the two—it’s a matter of slight shape & size differentiation and they involve different insertion techniques. But, the bottom line here is why make the switch?

What’s the payoff? (and we’ve given this point our undivided attention in the rest of this article)

But let us break it to you: we have some bad and some good news. These products require a learning curve. That goes for both menstrual cups and discs. Finding the product that’s best for you will include some trial and error.

But the good news is once you find an alternative menstrual product that fits you, you’ll be walking on air.

This article will hopefully solve your menstrual cup/menstrual disc dilemma and dive deeper into the technicalities of what should be your personal fighter. nixit puts one next to the other, so you can see which one solves your specific situation.

Your Menstrual Disc vs Cup Comparison Chart

If you’re tired of changing your tampons and pads every 4 to 8 hours, menstrual cups and discs are great alternative menstrual products to turn to. They’re both inserted into the vagina and collect rather than absorb period blood.

Additionally, both of these options offer 12 hours of protection and have higher capacity than pads and tampons (meaning they’re a life-saver for those with heavy flow). They’re beyond dispute the most favorable option for people who pursue an active lifestyle.

But which one will work for you best? We’ve created a chart to help you decide between the two. We’ve divided the features into a few categories (such as shape, suction, and capacity).

Menstrual discs or menstrual cups—check out which one ticks the right boxes for you.

Menstrual Cups vs Discs Comparison Chart

Menstrual Cup

Menstrual Disc





Vaginal canal

Vaginal fornix


10-30 ml

70 ml


Depends on the brand





Period sex



Heavy flows



Mess-free removal






Menstrual Cups and Menstrual Discs—What’s in it for Me?

Shape & Comfort

Menstrual cups are bell or cone-shaped while discs are, well, disc-shaped. Cups have a stem to assist with removal and are more rigid than discs, which have a wider and shallower body.

Menstrual discs do appear larger out of the box but don’t judge by the looks of it. Cups are smaller but that’s because they sit in the narrower portion of the vagina.

A good menstrual cup or a disc should above all provide you with comfort. That said, cups can be slightly less comfortable than discs, as they sit in the vaginal canal which is brimming with nerve endings.


A menstrual cup is placed inside the vaginal canal and uses suction to stay in place. It should sit directly below the cervix to be able to collect blood securely.

Conversely, a menstrual disc sits in the vaginal fornix which is further up and closer to your cervix.


Menstrual cups and discs are differently inserted. To compare the process, we’ve parsed it into three different phases—when the period product is folded, when it’s inserted, and when it's sealed into place.

a folded menstrual cup

Fold – There are three techniques you can use to insert a menstrual cup—a c-fold, a 7-fold, and a punch-down fold. A menstrual disc has only one fold, it is pinched at the center. That said, it’s a bit less stressful to work out which fold will get the cup to open properly upon insertion.

folded nixit against a bright green background

Insert – To insert a cup, hold the fold firmly and insert it into your vagina with the rim facing up, positioning it a few inches above your cervix.

Inserting a folded menstrual disc is similar. It should be aimed towards your tailbone but should be placed differently. To insert it properly, make sure one end of the rim reaches the vaginal fornix, then tuck it behind your pubic bone to help keep it in place.

Seal – While a menstrual disc uses suction to create a seal against the vaginal walls, a menstrual disc doesn't. This helps a bit upon removal as breaking the suction seal can be tricky.


Discs don't have a suction seal so removal can be easier⸺yet, a menstrual cup removal is less messy. It’s because cups have a stem which makes it easier to pull down the vaginal canal.

Discs, on the other hand, are removed by hooking the disc rim, which risks it partially collapsing and spilling some of the disc contents onto your fingers. Therefore, menstrual discs can be a less desirable option for those who are squeamish at the sight of menstrual blood.

Possible solution: The messy removal inconvenience can be compensated by a disc’s so-called auto dumping feature. Meaning the disc can self-empty during bathroom visits (and you can control this)! To do it, bear down over the toilet. This will make the disc tilt and let some menstrual blood escape, making the removal less messy (and also less frequent during the heavier days).


Sizing is much more critical when choosing a cup than a disc, and this is purely down to human anatomy.

  • If a menstrual cup is too small it may not create a leak-proof seal with your vaginal walls, which can lead to spillage. If too large, it can cause discomfort. And with many different sizes on the market, choosing the right one can get confusing.

  • The vaginal fornix is not as narrow as the vaginal canal. It’s a tented area that’s pretty much the same size regardless of the body sizes. For this reason, most menstrual discs are about the same design and size. This stops the sizing from being an issue altogether.

Leaks or No Leaks?

You shouldn’t be experiencing leaks with neither cups nor discs unless they’re out of place.

If you’re worried your menstrual product may leak, make sure it fits snugly against your vaginal walls. If you’re a first-time user, you can use a dash of a water-based lubricant to shift your cup or disc around until you find a no-leak position.

Leaks can also happen if your period product is full, so make sure you empty it religiously.

Sex or No Sex?

Having penetrative sex is not recommended while wearing a menstrual cup. Inversely, a disc allows for mess-free sex as there’s nothing there to block the vaginal canal.

Reusable vs Disposable

Swapping traditional period products with reusable products is a good idea for those that are tired of having to deal with their period so much. It’s those moments when you get through your tampons at such a rate that they run out at the least convenient of times.

And it’s not only a matter of convenience. Reusable period products can save you money and they go easy on the environment . But how do our cups and discs fare in this department?

  • Most menstrual cups are reusable and they can last you anywhere from 1 to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer.

  • There are disposable menstrual discs and reusable discs as well. While these products have traditionally been made from plastic and used as single-use products, nowadays more and more reusable menstrual discs are emerging.

How to Choose the Right Product

A good menstrual cup or disc should come with all the above-mentioned benefits. Most critically, it should give you reliable, worry-free protection even on the heaviest days. nixit is a disc-shaped reusable menstrual cup that comes with the nifty features listed below.

  • Convenience. nixit offers safe 12-hour long protection.

  • Money saving. This reusable disc will last you up to 5 years (think of how many tampons worth of savings this is)

  • Simple selection. This one-size-fits-all reusable menstrual disc makes sizing a no-brainer.

  • Ease of use. nixit disc is suction-free, meaning you don’t have to tug it when pulling it out.

  • Safe from leaks. The high-capacity disc can hold 70 ml of menstrual fluid, and that’s a lot! This means heavy periods don’t have to keep you on the edge anymore.

  • Period sex. You can practice mess-free period sex while wearing the product.

  • Safe. It’s made of body-safe materials (100% medical grade silicone) and it’s FDA registered to boot.

two nixit boxes and one disc

“Switching to the nixit cup changed the game for me with pretty much all the issues I had with other cups. The silicon is so soft that it doesn't interfere with my bathroom use, and it doesn't worsen my cramps when bloating is particularly heavy. The disc shape doesn't shift as I move through the day, so I can easily wear it for the full twelve hours before taking it out to clean.” - Reddit review

So, Which One Will It Be? Menstrual Cups vs Discs—The Final Verdict

Both menstrual discs and cups can give you great zero-waste period protection. But it’s most important how they fare in your book and which one is more likely to solve your menstrual problems.

A menstrual cup might work better for beginners, as the stem might give them more confidence with product removal. Either way, expect 1–3 cycles to pass until you get the hang of it, cup or disc—this goes for both.

A disc can be a better option for you if you have sizing issues, or need extra-safe protection (auto-dumping feature here is a plus). Preferring comfort and period sex is also a deciding factor here.

Ready to start your personal period revolution? We make it our mission here at nixit to help keep you in the know. That said, visit our central knowledge hub and make sure to check out our Comprehensive Menstrual Disc A to Z Beginner Guide.

Or take another route on your alternative period protection journey, learning from various knowledge sources available here at nixit:

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