The Instead soft cup is an alternative to tampons or pads during your period. It is a flexible, soft cup that you insert like a diaphragm. It can be inserted for up to 12 hours and then will need to be changed. The cup collects menstrual fluid with very minimal leakage (may happen normally while going to the bathroom). I wear a pantiliner "just in case" and I really do not have to.
I had never used a diaphragm before and they always made me nervous. I worried about insertion and comfort. Once the Instead cup is in place, you really can't feel it and forget you even have your period! Taking it out takes a little more practice. There are no strings involved, so it is best to stay relaxed and get in the correct position. The cup should be pulled straight out horizontally rather than pulled down, like a tampon. This will minimize spilling of the contents.
Another bonus of the Instead cup is that you can wear it during sex to minimize any mess. Clean sex during your period is definitely a bonus! I've heard of others using it while trying to conceive to "hold" sperm up longer after sex but I have not done it and I don't believe there is any research to show that there is a benefit to this practice.
The Instead cup can just be emptied or rinsed out after use and wrapped in toilet paper to dispose. The cup cannot be flushed. I bought a box of 24 for $8.49 at Target and I figure with wearing only 2-3 a day that it is not much more than a box of tampons and has so many more benefits.