How to Talk to Your Daughter About Menstruation
Menstruation is a natural part of every woman's life. When your daughter gets her first period, it's important to address the issue openly and honestly. Otherwise, she may feel uncomfortable or even embarrassed.
Many people feel a certain degree of embarrassment when talking about menstruation with their daughters. But in doing so, they fail to realize that the way we address certain issues can affect the way our children view and experience them. For that reason, if as a mother or father you feel awkward when you talk to your daughter about menstruation, she’ll feel awkward as well, and may even see it as a taboo subject.
However, we suggest talking openly about menstruation in order to make puberty a more positive experience. What’s more, it’s best to offer information gradually even from childhood in order to deal with the issue more naturally.
How to talk to your daughter about menstruation
How do you talk about your daughter’s day at school? Or about a tooth falling out? Probably in a very open and casual way, right? Don’t get caught up asking yourself what’s the best way to bring up the issue of menstruation or what words you should use. Rather, talk about it naturally just like you would any other subject.
Getting your period isn’t an illness, nor is it anything your daughter needs to feel embarrassed about. So there’s no reason to make a big deal of it. It’s just one more topic of conversation.
The importance of talking to your daughter about menstruation
Menstruation is part of the life and health of every woman. Therefore, it’s important for your daughter to feel comfortable enough to talk about it, ask questions, and express concerns.
What’s more, even though only women have periods, that doesn’t mean the subject only pertains to women. It’s also good for fathers to participate in educating their daughters when it comes to menstruation. That way, their daughters won’t feel like their periods are something they can only talk about with other women.
It’s important for mothers and fathers to be informed about every aspect of menstruation. This is because every person is different, meaning that every woman’s period is different as well. A woman’s menstrual cycle can cause a number of changes on a physical and emotional level and affects every individual in a unique way.
Physical and emotional changes
Menstruation is part of puberty and comes hand in hand with major physical and emotional changes. Your daughter will go from being a girl to being a woman. Getting her period will produce constant hormonal changes over the course of every cycle. And as a result, she may feel a bit overwhelmed by her development and changes in mood.
During this stage, adolescents are especially sensitive when it comes to comments from others about their bodies. It can be very complicated for them to feel at ease with the new shape their bodies are taking. Therefore, reinforcing their self-esteem is key as their bodies and personalities develop and they learn to handle their emotions.
At the same time, be sure not to ignore the anger or sadness your daughter feels about the comments other people make to her. Remarks like “It must be your time of the month” are likely to make her mood even worse than it was before. So make a point to listen to her and empathize.
Information about menstruation for your daughter
Your daughter is sure to have a number of questions regarding menstruation. So, you can use the following information to help dispell any doubts and concerns.
Women should get their period once a month, although it’s true that an adolescent’s first cycles can be somewhat irregular. On average, women menstruate between 3 and 6 days out of a 28-day cycle. Although this can vary and last up to a week. If a woman’s cycle lasts less than 21 days, or more than 35, then it’s best to consult a gynecologist.
It’s also important to talk to your daughter often about the importance of keeping track of her cycle. In fact, there are even smartphone applications that can help her create a personal record of her menstrual data.
That way, she’ll have a better idea of when her period is coming and how long it usually lasts. What’s more, she’ll have more knowledge regarding how heavy her flow is.
Tampons or pads? These are the most popular options when it comes to feminine hygiene during a woman’s period. When choosing, your daughter should keep in mind what level of absorption she needs. She can also consider other alternatives, such as cloth pads and menstrual cups, which are more hygienic, economical, and ecological.
Do periods hurt?
The media tends to give off a very mystified and stereotypical vision about menstruation. But the fact of the matter is that many do experience menstrual pain. Talk to your daughter about menstruation and the possibility of pain and discomfort during her cycle. That way, she won’t be startled in the case that her period does hurt.