I was scrolling through Twitter when the tweet below caught my eye. I had no idea what Flex was, but I was intrigued. I set off to Google to see what it was all about. Quickly I found that The Flex Company makes two menstrual products: the Flex Disc and the Flex Cup. Based on the visuals of where each products sits in the female body I decided to go for the disc. I wanted a product that I would feel the least. The company allows you to order from their website as a single order or as a subscription. I decided to order from Target so that I could utilize my free shipping as a Red Card holder. You can get 12 for $14.99 at Target online. My local stores did not sell it. If you order from Flex and you just want to try it for one month you can get 12 discs for $19, so I’d suggest buying from Target if you have a Red card. But if you are interested in a subscription you can get 8 for $13 for your first month with free shipping. Subscriptions end up being cheaper in the long haul as your future shipments will be 16 discs, can be paused/canceled at any time, have free shipping.
“Unlike tampons and menstrual cups, FLEX sits just past the vaginal canal in the same place as a diaphragm and can't be felt at all once in place.”
Flex collects fluid instead of absorbing like pads or tampons and can hold as much as 3 super tampons
Up to 12-hour wear during sleep, exercise, swimming, and more
Mess-free period sex due to the unique positioning
Reduces cramps in up to 60% of users
Reduces dryness and irritation in up to 80% of users
Not linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
As a former Nuvaring user insertion was quite simple for me and familiar. Once you open the box each disc is individually wrapped and there is an instruction booklet. There are also videos and visuals on their website if you have additional questions. I decided to try Flex Discs throughout my period on my heavy, medium and light days. On my heaviest day I ended up changing my disc around the 8-hour mark. I wore a sanitary napkin just in case since I had to work and wasn’t 100% sure if my insertion was done correctly. For the first day I inserted at home by putting one foot on the tub and entering a light squat. Then I pinched the disc, making sure the bottom was positioned correctly, and I inserted. You can pinch the disk similar to a taco (how Flex fits describes it) but to me a more accurate description is how New York Style pizza looks when it is folded. Once you insert push it as far as possible with your pointer finger. Then with the same finger push the rim of the disc upwards to ensure a seal. It was so simple at first that I was worried that I did it incorrectly. But once I used the bathroom a couple of hours later judging by the clean pad I realized I did it correctly. The second time I inserted I did it while sitting down on the toilet. This method is a little less smooth, but still not difficult.
Removal is a bit trickier. Most importantly you should relax and either position into a light squat or if you are sitting you should push down as if you were doing a bowel movement while inserting a finger or two to pull the disc downward. And, with a quick flick of the wrist you can empty the contents into the toilet. Once that is done you can dispose of the disc. I recommend saving the black wrapper when possible for easy disposal. For newbies, I’d suggest grabbing tissue in advance or having a wipe handy. In my opinion it is no messier than the removal of a tampon. Removing and inserting in the shower is also a less messy option. Do remember that these discs are one-time use. If your motivation for trying these is to be more earth friendly, then I’d suggest trying a menstrual cup instead which is reusable.
What does it feel like?
This is one of the best parts. I literally wasn’t aware of it after the first few minutes. It sits up high enough that there is no feeling of being plugged up, like how tampons feel. You can laugh and joke without any wet surge sensations. Ladies, you know what I am talking about. I felt super dry and no diaper feelings as after the first heavy day I only wore liners.
There is no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) which is a risk of tampon usage. The Flex disc is very comfortable and I felt very secure. I did not have to worry about my pad bunching or moving around during the day or in my sleep, I did not have to check seat or sheets when I got up, I did not have to wash panties in the shower, I did not have to worry about irritation from wearing pads for 5-6 days... I could go on and on. I don’t know about everyone else, but as I’ve gotten older and the pad technology has changed the skin on my labia has become much more sensitive to Always pads. In addition, I am convinced they have started using super glue on their wings! I am often left to pick leftover pieces of the wing from my panties.
I can imagine that these Flex discs will be so helpful on long flights, and travel in general. I can confidently book vacations that involve carnival, beaches, and pools without feeling like my period will be a major hindrance. After years of birth control usage I don’t have a ton of cramps so I am not sure how effective they are at reducing cramps. I also did not investigate their claims of mess-free period sex so I can’t speak to those claims. However, if you try it out do report back!
The Flex disc is a game changer for me. I felt way more confident and secure on my period. Having my cycle felt like less of a burden. It was comfortable and easy. I encourage all women to give it a try. Going forward I will probably still keep pads and tampons on hand (in much lower quantities) but have Flex discs as my primary option. I will likely phase tampons out completely in the near future.
Tips & Tricks
Spotting on the tissue when using the bathroom is normal. The disc may move slightly. I suggest wearing liners on heavy and medium days.
While some women may have super light cycles and not need a liner, others may. Do what’s best for your cycle.
Flex offers a subscription service for a slightly lower price. They also offer menstrual cups and a starter kit that is a combination of cups and discs.
Check out the website for visuals and videos on how to insert.
There are other brands who create menstrual cups and discs at varying prices and sizes.
Check out the FAQ for any other questions.
So tell me, are you convinced? Will you give Flex discs a try?