The Secret To Having Period Sex Without Making A Mess (For Real!)

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How To Have Period Sex Without Making A Mess Using A Menstrual Cup

By Jen Noonan

I was almost exclusively a pad user from the time I began my period at age 12. I tried tampons on a few occasions but was never able to get the hang of them; people say you don't feel them, but I did. Pads weren’t always practical—like when I was playing sports, wearing tight pants, or, say, didn’t want a puddle of blood in my underwear—but I accepted the status quo.

Then, about three years ago, when I was 38, I decided there had to be a better option. I started searching around online, and I learned about reusable menstrual cups like the Diva Cup. I was intrigued, but I wasn't so keen on the reusable aspect.

Then I came across Softcup, which was disposable and more like a disc than a cup: Softcup is circular and has no stem—which means you can actually have sex while it's in.

In the past, my husband and I did have sex during my period, but it was a messy affair involving towels and washcloths. I realized that Softcup had the potential to change my periods as well as my sex life. 

The first time I used Softcup it was very weird. I had never used any kind of internal birth control like a diaphragm or NuvaRing, so the inserting—which involves squeezing the disc and pushing it as far up the vaginal canal as you can reach—was unfamiliar. After a few tries, though, it worked! I didn't feel it at all, and soon I was an old pro.

Right away I noticed that it was easier to go about my day. The disc lasts up to 12 hours, so I only had to change it twice a day. 

The first time I used Softcup during sex I was a little uneasy, but I didn't even tell my husband—and he had no idea that it was in. (And I didn't feel it, either.)

Since then he's mentioned that, with deeper sex, he can sometimes feel it a little, but it's generally an out of sight, out of mind situation. And as long as I insert a new one just prior to sex, there's no mess at all.

Then, around nine months ago, Softcup started becoming difficult to find. I was heartbroken! But a little research told me that Flex—a young company that had recently launched a menstrual disc subscription service—had bought the Softcup brand.

I did my due diligence and found out their differences are undetectable, minus the color of the ring (though Flex is technically made of a different material, one that molds to fit the shape of your vagina!). Trying Flex was a no-brainer. (I later learned that both products are still on the market; Softcup can be found in drugstores—and for $23 on—and Flex is only sold online.)

I loved Flex from day one. Having used Softcup, I was very familiar with how it worked. But that’s hardly required: When I was first investigating menstrual cups and discs, I was able to find a lot of information, reviews, and YouTube instructionals.

Knowing what I do now, I can't believe I stuck with pads and tinkered with tampons for so long.

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With the discs there's no vaginal dryness, no bulky pads, no strings, no worry of TSS, and you can actually have non-messy sex. Switching to Flex even helped with my cramps, which used to be terrible, though I have no idea why. (The manufacturer says that the flexible material moves with uterine contractions, which helps ease cramps.) I’ll never wear a tampon or pad again.

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This article was originally published at Prevention. Reprinted with permission from the author.