Listen to this article
Although you might see signs of your teen entering puberty, her period may still be unpredictable! Hitting puberty is an important milestone in every girl’s life, because it brings with it a whole lot of changes to her body. One of the most significant milestones is your daughter’s FIRST PERIOD.
The onset of a girl’s first period can be a time of many questions for girls. Some young ones are frightened by the sight of bleeding or embarrassed if it causes a stain on their underwear or clothing. That’s why a talk on her period with your daughter can help her a lot. Talking about periods shouldn’t be a taboo at any particular age. In fact, being a mother, it is important to start the conversation early and slowly build on your daughter’s understanding .
The first period is a big deal, but it shouldn’t be seen as scary or bad! Most girls get their first period between 12-14 years of age. However, it’s normal if it starts a little too early or later. So, be sure that your daughter is well-informed about menstruation and normal changes of puberty, before her first period arrives.
Tell her about the age when periods start, how long the period lasts, the time interval between the next period, and more. All in all, explain to your daughter that these body changes are completely normal and happen to every girl. Therefore, there should be no shame and embarrassment in getting periods.
First, get your facts straight before you explain the practical aspects of the period. You can explain:
While explaining the facts, don’t focus too much on period problems and reassure your daughter, it won’t hurt too much. So, she can look forward to it in a positive way.
It’s a good idea to start carrying sanitary pads or tampons around with you in advance. Show her how to properly use pads, tampons, menstrual cups, so that if you’re not there, she’ll know what to do. Also, explain how often to change them and share your own experience with different products, so that she can select which type of sanitary napkin she is comfortable using.
Always give her a chance to ask questions to clear her doubts. Also, tell her to keep a period kit with her at all times, just in case.
There’s still shame and stigma around periods. We’ve seen how girls aged 14-21 are still embarrassed about buying sanitary products and talking openly about their period in the family. Your daughter needs to overcome her shyness about periods, which may be possible if a man in your family joins the conversation on periods. This will remove the awkwardness between a daughter and a father, making it easier for your daughter to discuss her menstruation.
And don’t forget to talk about periods with sons too!
The conversation you have with your daughter about menstruation can lay the foundation for future talks about dating and sexuality. But it’s important you give her a preview. So, teach your daughter that in each cycle, an egg is released and explain that if the egg meets a sperm through sexual intercourse, it can develop a baby. This means she can become pregnant if she is sexually active, if she does not use any contraception. However, if the sperm doesn’t fertilize the egg, that will result in menstrual flow or period.
Many girls fear they’ll get their first period at school or when they’re away from home. Explain to your daughter that if she thinks her period has arrived, she needs to ask for permission to go to the girl’s washroom to check. Advising her to keep a menstrual kit with her must is important. It must include a clean pair of underwear, pad or tampons, wipe, or a pain reliever.
Periods can be irregular, which is not always a sign of a problem but sometimes may indicate an issue. So, ask your daughter to use a diary or an app to track her menstrual cycle. Keeping track of periods can benefit you in a number of ways that range from helping you to avoid those emergency moments, helping you understand your unique patterns.
Most girls don’t have any problems with their periods. But call your doctor if your daughter:
Be ready to communicate openly and with accurate information!