When it comes to discussing a subject like a menstrual cycle to your daughters, mothers mostly feel uncomfortable. They mostly do not have any idea how to discuss, when to discuss, and what to discuss. But kids need reliable information. It is important to make your kid get information about the changes they are going to face. So that they would be able to make good decisions about their body and health.
The menstrual cycle starts at about the age of 12, but it could be as early as the age of 8. Menstruation, however, can be an awkward topic to discuss. So, what’s the best way to prepare your child?
The earlier you start talking to your daughter about the changes they are going to face during puberty, the better they would deal with this challenge. Don’t try to plan a long discussion it would make them feel scared and uncomfortable. Instead, plan some series of conversations. Suppose, your child asks about menstruation, answer them honestly and openly.
You might start by asking what your child knows about puberty. Clarify any misinformation, ask if your child has questions, and explain the basics. Share your experiences. Follow up on any health lessons and sex education your child is receiving in school. If your child is resistant to talking, don’t give up.
Actually your daughters need to know facts about the menstrual cycle and all changes that puberty brings. They might be guided inaccurately or improperly by their fellow beings. This would eliminate unfounded fears or anxiety, it will also bring a positive influence into your child’s body image.
Practical advice preferred
The bio of the menstrual cycle is important, but most children are interested in practical knowledge. Your daughter might be interested in knowing what’s going to happen to their body, how it’s going to feel like, and what to do when the time comes.
What is menstruation?
Menstruation is a stage where a body becomes capable of getting pregnant. To here are two main parts, in the first half of the cycle, estrogen level increases, making uterus wall thick. This lining will provide nourishment to a fertilized egg if pregnancy occurs. As lining grows, an egg in one of the ovaries starts getting mature. On the 14th day of an average 28-day cycle, the egg leaves the ovary and the process of ovulation occurs. The egg travels through the Fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is fertilized by the sperm cell and attaches to the uterine wall only then pregnancy occurs. If the egg is not fertilized it breaks apart, and the thick uterus lining sheds through the vagina due to the hormone decrease in hormone level.
When will it happen? Nobody can tell the exact time period when it occurs. However, menstrual cycle begins at about two years after breast begin to develop.
How long does it lasts? The first few periods might be light with only few spots. Mostly periods lasts from three to five days, but its normal time duration is from 2-7 days.
Does it hurt? Common symptoms include cramps in the lower abdomen, back or breast tendering just before or during the period duration. One might feel headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. You can get relief anyhow by exercising, warm baths, a heating pad, etc.
What should you do? Explain how to use pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. There is a need to tell them the importance of changing them regularly-every 4-8 hours for pads and tampons and 8-12 hours for menstrual cups. Stock bathroom with sanitary products.
Will everyone know that I have my periods? Explain to them that pads, tampons and menstrual cups are not visible through clothing. Ask your child to carry supplies in a backpack, locker, or purse just in case.
Remind your child not to worry if their fellows begin to menstruate. Explain to them that the menstruation, including cycle length and flow changes from person to person. Sometimes it varies from month to month.
Irregular periods: It is common for teens to have irregular periods. It might take some years, for about 6 years or more after your periods get started to make it regular. The average cycle lasts for about 28 days, longer cycles are common for the first few years of menstruation.
How to track periods: Tell your child to track periods by using a calendar or smartphone apps. With the passage of time, your daughter will be able to predict her date. Tracking periods date will help your daughter and doctors to identify if any possible menstrual cycle disorder or health problem occurs.
Schedule of medical checkup:
- Consult a doctor for your daughter if she has not started menstruation cycle by age 15 or within 3 years after breast enlargement started
- If her breast have not started to grow by age 13
- Periods occur more frequently than every 21 days or less frequently than every 45 days.
- Having irregular periods after having regular periods
- Has periods that last for more than seven days
- Severe pain during periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding more heavily than normal and using more than one pad or tampon
- Suddenly getting a fever or feeling sick after using a tampon
Accept changes and be positive
The puberty changes maybe a little scary. Reassure your child that it is completely normal to have this process and there is nothing to be worried about. You should be there to answer their all questions anytime. It creates a friendly relationship between mothers and daughters. The word woman binds you with some responsibilities, you have to spare sometime for yourself and your family.