An inclusive menstrual cup guide for all parents
There is one thing you and pretty much every other happy menstrual cup user has in common: You wish you’d started using a menstrual cup sooner, am I right?
So when your daughter* starts her period, do what you wish your parents had done: introduce her to a menstrual cup! If you’re not sure if your daughter is old enough to use a menstrual cup, this guide has your back.
Especially if you don’t use a cup yourself, either because you don’t have a period or because you’ve never tried one yourself, you probably have a lot of questions.
This menstrual cup guide for parents will talk you through common misconceptions and fears (virginity, we’re looking at you) about girls using a menstrual cup and introduce eight incredible reasons why a menstrual cup is a great way to manage the first period.
It’s an inclusive guide for all parents that is particularly helpful for cisgender dads, who have not experienced periods or the life-changing benefits of menstrual cups firsthand.
We think it’s really important to include everyone in the conversation about periods. When those who don’t menstruate also understand the diverse experiences of periods (from the first to the last), then those with periods will face understanding and compassion instead of period-shame and stigma.
Ready to become a part of this positive change? Let’s dig in!
Is my daughter old enough to use a menstrual cup?
If you’re not sure if your daughter is old enough to use a menstrual cup or if it’s safe for her to use one for her first period, we’re here to answer your doubts and questions.
So, can your daughter use a menstrual cup? The answer is so simple: yes! The moment she has a period, she is old enough to use a menstrual cup.
Common fears about your daughter using a menstrual cup:
Let’s have a closer look at two of the most common fears parents (and kids) have about a young girl using a menstrual cup for her first period.
1. Fear of losing virginity to a menstrual cup
Unfortunately, most societies sexualizes a girls’ body from a very early age onwards. In some parts of the world, society still gives significant meaning to the concept of virginity, which means the thought of inserting a period product produces a mental barrier for many parents - and also for some kids themselves.
Virginity is a social construct, and we cannot say this clearer: using a menstrual cup will not take away the virginity status (or stretch out the vagina, but more on that below) of a girl or young woman.
An important part of our mission is to educate and break down social constructs that are holding girls back. That’s why we firmly believe that if you have a period, you should be able to use whichever period product you think is best for your needs.
2. Fear that the menstrual cup will stretch the vagina
The second biggest fear is that a young girl‘s vagina is still too small for a menstrual cup. The moment the body starts menstruating, puberty is in full bloom. This means that the whole body is transitioning into adulthood, making pregnancy and birth possible.
To give birth, the vaginal canal must be elastic and is designed by nature to eventually press out a little human being. Compared to a newborn, a menstrual cup seems tiny, don’t you think?
A menstrual cup will not stretch out the vagina or make it wider. The flexibility of the medical-grade silicone most menstrual cups are made of will adjust itself to the vagina of the person wearing the cup.
8 incredible reasons why we recommend a menstrual cup for the first period:
1. easier to insert than tampons
2. don’t disrupt the healthy pH balance of the vagina
3. ideal for very light and irregular menstrual flow
4. no need for bathroom break during class to change pad or tampon
5. reduce cramps in some users
6. produce no trash
7. plastic-free period product
8. freedom - enable your daughter to take part in every social activity
1. Menstrual cups are ideal for light and irregular flow
A person’s first periods are often defined by irregularity and a light flow. This is exactly why using a menstrual cup for the first period beats tampons and pads. Even when the flow is very light, there is no pain or dryness when inserting or removing a period cup, as opposed to a dry-ish cotton tampon.
If your daughter is expecting her period, she can insert the cup at home upfront to be prepared and to avoid bloodstains in class. Even if no period arrived that day, she did not waste a period product or have to take out a dry tampon.
2. Menstrual cups are easier to insert than tampons
The smooth, soft, silky medical-grade silicone of the Ruby Cup makes insertion effortless, easy and doesn’t cause any irritation.
Since a menstrual cup can be worn for 12 hours, your daughter can insert the cup in the comfort of her home in the morning, and take it out when she is back again. At no time will she have to change the cup while she is at school or risk not being able to take a bathroom break on time to change her period product.
Tip: For a pain-free insertion, try folding the cup using the punch-down-fold.
Extra tip: use a water-based lube to make inserting the menstrual cup even easier.
3. Menstrual cups don’t disrupt the balance of the vagina’s pH
Menstrual cups have no adverse effects on the vaginal flora because instead of absorbing all fluids in the vagina the way tampons do, menstrual cups simply catch the menstrual flow. Unlike most tampons, Ruby Cups are blissfully free from plastics, latex, toxins and bleaches.
This means that there is no dryness, no leftover fibres in the vagina, less irritation and less likelihood to infections. These are the main reasons that make wearing a menstrual cup so comfy.
4. Menstrual cups mean fewer menstrual cramps
This almost sounds too good to be true, but many customers, and even members of the Ruby Cup Team have reported that since using a period cup, their menstrual cramps have decreased in intensity and/or frequency.
5. Menstrual cups avoid frequent bathroom breaks
Especially for young girls at school, needing to ask for a bathroom break several times a day, or worse, several times during the same lesson to change a pad or out of fear of leaking, can be nerve-wracking and drastically impede concentration in class.
A Ruby Cup can hold 3x the capacity of a super tampon. That means that even on very heavy period days, the cup doesn’t have to be changed every hour, but is designed to give period protection for up to 12 hours.
6. Menstrual cups are a plastic-free period product
Young kids are more conscious about our environment than ever and enthusiastically seeking new solutions to old problems. Single-use period products are one of the biggest culprits for marine-based plastic pollution, and kids and teens have had enough of it. Using a menstrual cup for just one year already saves 200 tampons or pads and their plastic wrapping from going to the landfill.
7. No trash from tampons or pads
When girls get their period at a very young age, it can lead to stressful situations when there is no bin to privately dispose of used pads or tampons. The only options in this scenario are to flush it down the toilet or wrap the product in a bag and take it with you. Neither of which are recommended and can be avoided completely when using a menstrual cup.
8) Take part in any social activity no matter which day of the month
Remember when you had to sit out on swimming class or gym lessons because of your period while everyone else was having fun? No more of that with a Ruby Cup.
This also goes for extracurricular activities. Especially for teenagers, fitting in and not missing out on activities is really important. With a Ruby Cup, you can go swimming, to a pool party, birthday party, excursion, hiking - no fear of a tampon string or inconvenient situation where she cannot change her pad.
Which menstrual cup size is recommended for teenagers?
We have a thorough guide to choosing the right menstrual cup size. We suggest to try both sizes at first (buy two cups at a reduced price). Starting with Ruby Cup Small might be easier because it seems less intimidating.
The great thing about cups is that you don’t need to have any prior experience in order to start using a period cup. Everything new takes some getting used to. No matter if it’s inserting a menstrual cup, a tampon or contact lenses. After a bit of practice, it becomes as easy as putting your socks on in the morning.
We have a helpful beginners menstrual cup guide that will walk your daughter through the whole experience and set her up for success. Should she still have questions or doubts, our customer care team is always happy to help.
*we understand that some people with periods might not identify as girls/daughters and that getting their period is a stressful event. That’s another very important conversation to have and there’s a great parent guide on that here.