The beginning of the menstruation is a significant event in the life of a girl. Some girls welcome their first drop of blood with relief or happiness, but for few the sight of blood is scary and makes them bewildered. The reactions may vary, but the meaning is the same for every girl i.e. now they have become a woman.
So the trouble with most of the mother’s is that, how to discuss about the first menstrual. How to support and guide them before their big or may be scary day arrives? What and how much to tell to your son (off course boys are curious too)?
To begin with, you should tell them (girls) something about the procedure (process) of menstrual, because the girl should know even the minor details about their body.
Information about Menstruation
In the 1900’s most of the girl’s reach menarche (the first period) at the age of 12-14 years, but now some girls begin at the of 7-16 (as early as 7 and late till 16). The early age for menarche nowadays is mainly because of cultural variation, eating habits etc. Getting periods is the sign that the girl is now capable to conceive.
It is a complicated process that involves different hormones, the brain and the sex organs of woman. The internal sex organs of woman consist of two ovaries: the uterus and the fallopian tubes. The eggs which help in reproduction are stored in the ovaries and, during period (each and every month) a egg ripen and becomes mature because of the action of hormones that are circulating in the bloodstream.
When the egg gets mature it burst out from the ovary and drift all the way through the fallopian tubes down to the uterus. The uterus lining is known as the endometrium and it is thick and is capable of receiving the fertilized egg. If it’s a fertilized egg (the woman become pregnant) the egg will take 2-4 days to go down the fallopian tubes, then it will attach itself on top of the endometrium (blood rich lining of uterus) and if it’s not fertilized then it will slip away and fall apart breaking the uterus line hence shedding the blood from vagina, this bleeding is known as the menstruation. Menstrual release is the composition itself from the endometrium, jointly with fresh blood, which is caused by the breaking of a fine vessel of blood within the endometrium. The quantity of blood which is lost in a female body due to the periods is generally less than 80ml (per month).
The average menstrual cycle of a fully developed woman is 28 days, several are as short as 22 days and some are 45 days long. The cycle usually lasts from the first day (of period) to the first day of the next period. Periods on average lasts for 5 days, although it might fluctuate.
Initially for few years periods could be irregular in girls, but with the passing time it will become regular. Amenorrhea is the word for irregular period or absence of periods. If a girl do not begin with her menses by the age of 15, or after 3 years of the first puberty signs, then the girl should see a doctor (Gynae).
How will you know that your daughter is about to start with her periods? You’ll be able to see some physical changes such as breast development, growth of pubic hair, they begin to get taller etc.
The common questions that arises:
- Boys become inquisitive about periods because they don’t have such bleeding. So it’s the mother’s responsibility to clear their doubts about their own body. Explain them that both girls and boys have different genitals.
- Girls get worried after hearing things about periods and the question that commonly arises in their mind is that ‘will we have it for the rest of our lives’? So explain them that it stops at the age of 45-50 (they cannot be pregnant from now on).
- The question is that, we won’t be able to play on those days. Clear this doubt and tell them that they can do whatever they like to do even on those days, as long as they are at ease.
- The girls will also have queries about menstrual cramps. Tell them that its nothing to worry about, its normal and every girl have such cramps. Suggest them natural remedies or ask them to take over the counter medicines such as Motrin or Advil.
Initiate to talk
It’s really embarrassing being a parent and talk about such things and some parents find difficulty to talk about menstrual to their kids. Even the kids who are slightly aware of the fact (knowing from peer) are scared to inquire about such things. If you are among such parents who feel awkward to talk about menstruation, so here are some ways that will make the conversation a bit easy:
- Ask your family doctor to help you in this case. Doctors can very frankly speak and explain kids about menses.
- If you don’t know much about the facts and information, then collect them and read them so that you can explain your children even about the minute facts.
- Search for good books or DVDs, which will help the girl child in understanding the basics of menstruations. But take care that the book or DVDs are not the hardcore one.
- If you hear them talking something about periods, than you should take the initiative to know the source and guide them if they heard any misconception.
- Become your child’s best friend, so that they can tell their heart out. If you’ll be frank with them they will try and approach you directly to clear there curiosities.
It’s really important to discuss and tell everything including the truths and myths about menstruations to the young girls before it’s too late. Don’t be ashamed or scared to tell them anything, because at their age probably you also had those questions, so don’t leave them unanswered.