How To Prepare Your Girl For First Menstruation
A menstrual period is a big event in a girl’s life. Some girls welcome the first blood drops with joy or relief, while others feel confused and scared. Whatever the reaction, the arrival of the first menstruation has the same meaning for each girl: This is proof that she became a woman.
On average, most girls start menstruation when they are 12 or 13 years old; although some begin earlier or later. But if you wait until your daughter sees menstruation to talk to her about menstruation, it’s too late.
So, how do you discuss menstruation, educate and guide and support your daughter, before the big day arrives? Or, what do you say to your son because boys also have questions? However, before you can discuss menstruation, it is important to have a good understanding of how the process works.
In the early 1900s, girls generally reached menarche; medical terms for the first or early menstrual period at the age of 14 or 15. For various reasons, including better nutrition, girls now usually start menstruating between the ages of nine and 16 years. But menstruation is not just about having a period. This is a sign that a girl is physically able to become pregnant.
During the menstrual period, hormones are released from various parts of the body to help control and prepare the body for pregnancy. The preparation begins when the ovary; two oval-shaped organs located in the upper and left right of the uterus or the uterus produces estrogen and progesterone.
These hormones trigger certain changes in the endometrium; uterine lining. Then, other hormones from the pituitary gland stimulate the maturation and release of the egg, or ovum, from the ovary.
The release of an egg is called ovulation, and it occurs in the middle of the cycle; usually day 14 of a 28-day cycle, for example. From the ovary, the egg moves to one of the fallopian tubes, these are two tubes that lead from the ovary to the uterus.
If the egg is fertilized by sperm, the fertilized egg will take about two to four days to travel to the fallopian tubes. Then it will stick to the thick, blood-rich uterine lining. If it is not fertilized, the egg starts to fall apart, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and the uterine lining is damaged and shed; This bleeding is what is known as the period.
Menstrual period and other information
The menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of one period to the next. The typical cycle of an adult woman is 28 days, even though there are as short as 22 days and others for 45 days. The period usually lasts about five days, although this can vary too. During a period, a woman spends about two to four tablespoons of menstrual fluid.
For the first few years after menstruation begins, the cycle is often irregular. They may be shorter, around three weeks or longer, around six weeks, or a young woman may only have three or four periods in a year. There is no period called amenorrhea. Your daughter should visit her doctor if she has not started menstruation at the age of 15, or three years after the first signs of puberty appear.
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How do you know when your daughter starts menstruating?
You must be able to see the physical changes that indicate she has almost started. Breast development is usually the first sign that a girl is entering puberty. Some pubic hair will grow afterward.
About a year after breast development begins, most girls enter a phase of rapid growth. They will become taller and curler and their feet will grow. Then, about one year after the growth acceleration begins and about two and a half years after breast development begins, the first period arrives. However, these signs are not stereotyped.
Talk about it
It might be best to avoid “Talks” about menstruation. Instead, try to spread to many smaller conversations – education about how the human body works must be sustainable. Otherwise, too much interest is placed in one discussion and the information can be very confusing. Children who reach puberty should already know what will happen to their bodies.
Even toddlers start asking questions about their bodies, and parents must answer them honestly. But how specific you are with these details must depend on your child’s maturity and ability to understand.
Throughout childhood, children ask many questions and each is an opportunity for parents to advance their children’s knowledge. Doing so not only gives children the information they need when they ask for it but also tells them that their parents are ready and comfortable with this discussion.
But you don’t need to wait for their questions to talk about puberty and menstruation. Ideally, when they are nearing puberty, both girls and boys must have full knowledge of the changes that will occur in their bodies. Why? Children really want to learn about many things from their parents. And you can be sure that they will also hear their friends discuss this change.
By giving children good information, parents will know that they have enough information and can sort out the wrong information. Children often can make certain aspects of puberty – menstruation, especially – sound bad and frightening; and if that is the only information of children, then that is what they believe.
It is also important for parents to paint the menstrual period in a positive way. If a mother calls menstruation a “curse,” her daughter might get a negative impression of the whole experience. Instead, mothers can explain that monthly menstruation is a natural and extraordinary part of being a woman. After all, without them, women cannot be mothers
Explain that the key is different for everyone. For example, your daughter might be worried that her body is changing faster – or slower – than the bodies of her friends.
Girls must also be familiar with feminine hygiene kits (sanitary napkins and tampons) and they should know that menstruation can sometimes cause cramps when the muscles of the uterus contract.
Another reason children need to know about menstruation at an early age is that sexually active girls can become pregnant even before they start menstruating. Sometimes ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) can occur just before a girl will experience her first menstruation. This means that he can become fertile and become pregnant even though she hasn’t menstruated.
Common questions asked by teenagers about menstruation and how to answer it
• How long does the period last and how much blood is there?
It varies for each girl, but some have their period for three days and others have it for a week. Menstruation can be mild, moderate, or severe, and there are a total of two to four tablespoons (30-59 milliliters) of blood. And this can vary from period to period on the same girl.
• Are pads or tampons better?
In choosing between the two, what is important is the physical and emotional comfort of a girl. Tampons can become uncomfortable in the right year after menstruation starts when the pelvis and vagina are still growing. Usually, girls are more comfortable using sanitary napkins at first, but they may want to start using tampons when they get bigger; even though they don’t need to wait to use tampons to a certain age.
Although the first few times using tampons can be frustrating, explain to your daughter that it will be easy with a little practice. Because the vaginal muscles can be tense when a girl is nervous, it may be difficult to insert a tampon at first.
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• Do girls have to stop playing sports or swim when they menstruate?
Girls must understand that they can do everything they normally do as long as they feel comfortable. For example, women can choose to use tampons so they can continue swimming during menstruation.
• What is toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
TSS is a rare but serious bacterial infection that can be associated with tampon use.
• Do women always experience menstrual cramps with their menstruation? Most girls end up with some cramps, many of whom don’t get their first or second year. It is important to tell girls that cramps usually only last a few days. Sometimes, hot water bottles or hot showers can help relieve discomfort. For some people, breathing deeply and exercising also helps.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes physical and emotional changes; mood swings and irritability, tension, bloating, and breast pain that can occur during the time just before some girls get menstruation. But girls usually do not develop PMS-related symptoms for several years after menstruation begins if they have had it. Not all girls experience PMS, for those who do it, lots of rest, exercise, and eating a balanced diet can help.
• Do girls need to do douching or use deodorant spray during their menstrual period?
In fact, douching can increase the chances of infection in girls by disrupting the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina.
How to talk to your daughter
Because parents may be a little embarrassed to talk to their children about menstruation, children and adolescents may find it difficult to let their mother and father know their questions or concerns. If talking about menstruation is strange to you, here are some ways to make the discussion a little easier and more open:
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- Look for good books and videos or DVDs that can help grow more comfortable and educational conversations.
- Polish the facts of menstruation and have information available to your child to see or read.
- If there is a question that you do not know the answer to, tell your child that you will find out the information.
- Coordinate your conversations with the health and sex education lessons your child receives at school.
- To break the ice, try asking a few questions to your child that will help both of you to discuss. Ask what questions she has when you walk in the aisles of women’s health products at the supermarket or when you watch the related T.V program.
- If you hear your child mention something related to getting menstruation, run the conversation by asking where the information came from. Questions can be a great way to straighten out notes about misunderstandings that children might have.
- Before you take your preteens daughter for a regular check-up, let her know that the doctor might ask if she has had a period. You can then ask if she has a concern or question about getting her first period.
It is important to tell children the truth about menstruation in an age-appropriate manner and feel comfortable with the accuracy of the information.