Tried It: Review of FLEX Menstrual Discs
What is FLEX? FLEX is an feminine hygiene product — a “menstrual disc” — that is a disposable, leak-free alternative to tampons and pads. It’s a circular “disc” that gets inserted into the vaginal canal, sits at the bottom of the cervix, and alternatively, catches menstrual fluid instead of simply absorbing it like pads, tampons, and THINX period panties. According to the website, FLEX can be worn for up to 12 hours straight, is virtually undetectable to the person using it, hypoallergenic, and made without any toxins. In case those aren’t enough perks to maintain your interest, FLEX also claims that users can have sex and swim while the disc is in place. Keep reading to check out my in-detail review on the newest menstrual product on the market!
Ever since I first got my period, I have always been a pad girl. I never felt secure or confident enough in using tampons exclusively and for the sake of comfort, I resorted to pads for most of my life and didn’t give alternative options much thought. Until I entered my mid-twenties, I was unbothered by feeling like pads were my only option. Then I briefly entertained the idea of a menstrual cup. There were so many features and advantages that I loved about the menstrual cup; it’s an environmentally-friendly option in that you can keep the same cup for years by just washing it, taking care of it and reusing it. I also loved that the cup is phthlate- and BPA-free.
Despite the reasons why I gravitated to the cup, the actual physicality of inserting it just wasn’t a good fit for me, personally. Cue the menstrual disc, a game-changing hybrid between the tampon and cup. I tried FLEX once and was immediately hooked. Since ordering my trial, I’ve vowed to finish out the rest of my pre-bought pads before fully and totally switching to menstrual discs. Keep reading to check out the rest of my in-depth review of FLEX menstrual discs!
Let’s talk about packaging.
If you sign up for FLEX as a new user, the company sends your first subscription for free. All you have to finance is the shipping, which comes to about $4. FLEX arrives in a small, unsuspecting white box with gold print embossed on the top. The package contains eight menstrual discs in chic black wrapping. The disc itself is a clear, bag-like kind of cup with a black outer rim. It’s very flexible, soft, and super malleable.
Let’s talk about how FLEX feels.
Inserting FLEX was super easy, which is kind of crazy because I’ve never gotten comfortable enough with tampons to swim with or even leave the house wearing one. As soon as FLEX was inserted into my vaginal canal, I knew it was sitting at the bottom of my cervix because I watched the how-to video several times, but I couldn’t feel it. It felt so insanely comfortable; I literally could not feel it. When using a tampon, I can feel it sitting in my vaginal canal and I’ve likened it to an annoying feeling of needing something to shift before. I don’t have that experience with FLEX. It goes in and then it’s gone; I don’t think about it again until I have to remove it.
Let’s talk about how well it works.
Despite my knowledge of how FLEX physically worked (inserted through the vaginal canal, lodged at the bottom of the cervix where it catches blood leaving the cervix before it exists the vagina), I was cautious and suspicious. I used a back-up pad, just in case FLEX came out of place or there was leakage but I didn’t need it. Not only was there zero leakage and no need for the extra back-up plan, but it felt like I didn’t even had my period. I felt confident, wasn’t afraid to leave the house for fear of bleeding through my pants, and was overcome with the overwhelming desire to tell every single woman I knew about this marvelous, game-changer of an invention! The only brief issue I had was removing FLEX for the first time. Since it was my first time, I was anxious, especially when I failed at removing it my first try. I turned the shower on and lay down horizontal on the tile. Because FLEX requires anatomical knowledge about your body, where parts are, and how they work, it can be tricky to remove the product. However, once I got the hang of it (and stopped sweating profusely because I was envisioning a doctor having to remove this thing from my vag), I immediately became a FLEX convert and knew it was the option for me.
Let’s talk about health risks.
What are the health risks of using a menstrual discs? And what are the benefits? FLEX claims that it doesn’t disrupt the vagina’s natural pH balance, like so many vaginal soaps and washes do. The website also alleges that its design reduces period-induced cramping. It even claims to ward off infection. It’s a hypoallergenic product, made with absolutely no natural rubber latex, and has been found to not be linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome. There is no BPA, no phthlates, no chemicals, no toxins, and no bleaching or shedding. FLEX is FDA-registered and has gotten the attention of media outlets like Refinery29, Glamour, New York, Wired, and more.