The Flex Menstrual Disc is making it a lot easier (and less messy) to have sex on your period, but ironically, that was the last thing founder Lauren Schulte had in mind when it came to developing the product. In fact, it was triggered after years of battling yeast infections. This left Schulte wanting to find a better alternative to tampons, which would always cause a flare-up.
"I would joke that my vagina was out of commission for 50% of my life because one week out of every month I had my period, then the following week, I'd get a yeast infection. I felt a lot of embarrasment and shame about it, and it wasn't something I told my friends and family about it," she tells InStyle. "My doctor at the time put her foot down and was like, 'I'm not going to write another prescription for you until you agree to quit tampons.' I tried 32 different types of menstrual products, and none of them really met my needs." She asked her group of friends in California's Silicon Valley, many of who were founders, to collaborate on Flex, ultimately determining its design after speaking with and collecting data from groups of women on their pain points when it came to menstrual products.
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The result was a disposable plastic disc, which covers the cervix in a similar way as a diaphragm. Though it appears similar in shape to the SoftCup, the materials used to make Flex heat up and adjust to your body temperature, which allows the disc to fit more comfortably, and ultimately, not completely be felt by your partner if you decide to wear it during sex.
To use the Flex Disc, you can fold it in half and slide it into your vaginal canal until it is directly under your cervix. "You know that it's in correctly if you can't feel it. The disc should be covering your cervix almost like a shower cap," she says. "If it's not totally in that space and is still hanging out, just take it out and re-insert it." The disc can be left in for up to 12 hours, even on your heaviest days, though on the lighter ones near the end, you'll never have to deal with that annoying dry tampon feeling again. There is a learning curve, as there is with any product, so you can check in on it more frequently in the beginning until you learn your flow. "It's easy to forget that you're on your period when you're wearing Flex, and some women only change their disc twice a day," she adds.
Head over to flexfits.com for more information, and to pick up a box—while there, you can enroll in a subscription program to have Flex delivered to you for $20 each month.