Period cups are an alternative method to sanitary pads and tampons. It’s a reusable soft silicone cup worn internally like a tampon that collects, rather than absorbs, period flow. They are eco-friendly and a single cup can last for years. But how user friendly are they? How would a tween get on with using a period cup? We asked our review panel to try the Saalt cup and give us an honest view.
The first challenge
Under normal circumstances, when we approach our tween review panel to trial a new product, they are super excited! We usually have to resort to drawing names out of a hat or go through a list in order to keep it fair. However, when we approached our panel for the period cup, it went well...quiet. It seems that period cups are perhaps a step too far for our youngest panel members with their periods. So we widened the request until we found a 14 year old teen to trial the cup.
Her mother uses one, which helped her to recognise what one was. She also loved the packaging (it is quite cool). And her mum was very keen on the trial although she said wouldn't push the suggestion of using it too much. Instead, she'd wait until her daughter (an avid football player) asked about using tampons and would suggest this cup instead.
Understanding the logistics
It wasn't too long after, that our teen reviewer decided to give it a go. Staring at it for a while, having a few attempts both with her mother in the room and without.
Her mother got back in touch with us and said she was really struggling to actually use it. We sent over some links via Saalt's YouTube channel in order to help.
This video is very clear and we noticed a few 11 year olds on the video chat commenting on how they learned to use a cup following this guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5KCYXDddzc
Ultimately, our reviewer's mum wrote in the following as our reviewer struggled to use the cup and decided to wait a bit longer in her period journey before trialling it again:
"So the journey was a little rough around the edges! Her period was 10 days out ( she’s been bleeding now for 2 years) I’ve just finished my 'empowering girls' course and 'cycle awareness training' course - both amazing - so I’m getting my daughters to do follow their menstrual cycle as it's so empowering for them (although at this age it’s just a taster for things to come and I reckon my youngest daughter's next period won’t be 28 days! But it’s so good for them to see how they change within the month!).
My daughter and I had talked about using a period cup when she was ready to transition to trying tampons - to be fair in hindsight I don’t think she’s ready just yet - I think I pushed it a little because we had the cup to trial. She was keen - she gave it a go. On Day One, she didn’t want to try because she was having cramps. Day Two we tried in the morning - which was really stressful for her because she was struggling to put it in and was stressing about school!! ( as you need to fold it and not let go and then insert / quite a lot to think about when you haven’t used anything inside before)
In the end, we gave up after about 15/20 minutes when I could see she was getting stressed. We decided to give it ago later that evening - I said she could try and sleep with it - so she tried again ( without me this time ) after a shower - she came out 30 mins later laughing ( which I was grateful for because she was nearly crying in the morning) saying mum this thing is not bloody working - I look like I’ve killed something!! She made me laugh and I said thank you for trying to give it ago!
We've decided together that perhaps we need to wait a little while before trialling it again. I'm sure she'll get the knack and use it. I absolutely love mine.
In hindsight, I think I should have waited to introduce the cup. We will definitely give it another go but not for a while.
I'm really proud of her for trying -they are quite fiddly until you get the technique!"
If your child is interested in trialling a range of products, we are always looking for tween reviewers (boys and girls, aged 8-12) to join our review panel. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.