Published On: Sat, Jul 23rd, 2022

Things teen girls and boys need to know about mensuration cycle and periods

When a girl reaches puberty it is natural for her to have periods or start with her mensuration cycle. This is a normal procedure and parents have to accept it as a reality of life. As parents it is important that you prepare the child for something like this that will change her body and take her a step towards adulthood. In school the kids are told about the mensuration cycle so that they can be prepared. However, as a parent you never know what the school has taught and you must do your part and teach the child about the reality of mensuration cycle and how to face the challenges.

The first thing to know is that in average girls between the ages of 12 to 13 will start with mensuration cycle. It is possible that some girls may start at 11 and some even after 13. The second point is do not wait till the child starts the mensuration cycle to talk about it. The doctors say that one good indication that the child will be starting with the mensuration cycle is the appearance of the breast buds. When a girl develops these then its time you talk about mensuration cycle to her.

Ideally a 10 year old can be educated about mensuration cycle. That’s a proper age for a child to understand it. Some parents get very sacred when a child starts mensuration cycle below 10 years of age. Well that is possible and can happen. The parents must be open to it and accept it as a normal process of growing up.

The child must know about the changes that are happening in their body so that they can take good decisions about themselves and take better care of their health. We are not saying that the information about mensuration cycle should be given to girls alone even boys must be educated about mensuration cycle. They should know so that they do not make fun of a friend or get scared to see what is happening to the girls in their class.

First the parents have to be convinced that they must talk to the child about mensuration cycle. Only when the parents are sure that they must communicate then they should start the communication. You should not wait till the child is 10 years old to tell them about what periods is and what happens during the periods. For example if a 5 year old child notices a sanitary pad and asks you want it is. Tell the child that women use it to ensure no blood stains come into the clothes and pants because during few days of a month blood comes out of the vagina of a woman but that does not mean she is hurt. It is just a way of the body to prepare for having a baby. It is a normal process and must be accepted and dealt with. There are a lot of advertisements on television and on magazines that you often see about sanitary pads. These can also be a good start to curiosity among the kids and they can ask you questions on what these are and why are they used. You cannot give them some vague replies. If you do that you are only leaving a lot for their imagination. You have to give them convincing replies. Questions can be asked both by boys as well as girls.

When a child is seven years they definitely have an idea about what periods is and sometimes the information can be a picture that they have made using the bits and pieces of the information that they have been gathering from different sources. If the child asks you some questions listen to them and try to answer as much as you can. You can also ask the child if they already know what periods are.

A child can be given a lot of information about periods but it depends on the age also. You cannot give too much of technical information to the child. The kids may have a lot of questions but they will be scared to ask you at the first place thinking what your reaction will be. Will you get angry or what will you do. The simplest way you can put it is tell the child that the body of a woman needs to prepare itself to have a baby. So every month there is a process that happens inside the body. There is an organ called uterus where a wall develops every month. If there is a baby the wall will remain and if there is no baby in the body the wall will have to come out through the vagina. This happens in the form of bleeding that you see during the mensuration cycle. This goes on for a few days. It is a normal process and nothing to worry about it.

Do tell the child that if she feels there is some discharge from the vagina she should speak about it to you. These discharges will be there for some time till the period starts. When you prepare the child they will be more mentally prepared to deal with periods when it actually starts. When you see these changes in the body of the child, do teach the child how to use a sanitary pad and how she must place it properly to ensure there are no stains on the clothes. Also tell the child that if stains come she should try to cover it. If she is not able to cover then its fine nothing to be ashamed of as this happens to many girls when they start with the periods.

The kids will have a lot of questions. They may ask you why they have periods and their friends do not. Well you tell them that it depends on the body of the person. It is not necessary that all of us will start periods at the same age and same time. The mensuration cycle starts due to the presence of a hormone in the body. It depends from person to person when the hormone will actually be triggered. This hormone is called progesterone. They can ask how often women get periods. You tell them that they get it once a month. Sometimes it does happen that when a girl starts with her mensuration cycle it is quite irregular. Some girls get it every 15 days and some get it at a gap of few months. Well you must explain this part also. Tell the child that it depends on how the body will react to the new changes. It may take the body a while to get used to the new hormone and as a result the body will take some time to adjust.  

When you mention babies the girls may get sacred and ask having periods means having babies? Well if this question comes up there will be a need to discuss about sex. You have to tell the child that babies can happen only when there is a sexual intercourse. Until the egg is fertilized by a sperm there cannot be any baby. It can be a little difficult for a parent to talk so openly about sex and babies but it is always better to communicate openly to the child as a friend. Cases of teenage pregnancies are increasing every year all across the world. One main reason for this is that the kids are not told properly about sex and pregnancy as a result they often get into this mess.

When you communicate openly you are preparing the child for the consequences of an irresponsible behaviour. Today children are into relationships at a much early stage in life. If they are aware of the problems they can get into they will be able to take better care of their health and life. As parents we must try to accept these new ways of life that the kids have and not try to oppose. Opposing will not help we can just advise them.

Some questions can be how long it can last and does it hurt. How frequently a girl will have periods. There can be questions on what are the emotional and physical changes that a girl will feel during the periods and how she can deal with these changes. Do prepare the child for the reality. Tell them that during periods it is possible to have a slight ache in the tummy and some girls do feel a lot of pains and cramps. Generally the period happens once a month and the date must be kept in mind. Most of the time the period will happen at the same date. This will remember to ensure you are prepared with a sanitary pad in your bag when you are expecting the periods. Tell them that when mensuration starts some girls do have irregular periods and sometimes the periods may go on for days. Tell them not to get scared just to be prepared for the worst. When you tell the kids the reality it becomes easier for them to deal with the sudden changes.

Girls can also ask if it is fine to play and continue the normal activities during the periods. The simple answer is yes. If they are comfortable running around they can do whatever they want. However, each body is different and some girls do have a lot of pains and other troubles during the periods. These girls may not be able to run around or participate in sports during these days. It is absolutely normal and fine. Nothing to be ashamed of if you are not able to do something that your friends can. Sometimes girls feel very embarrassed and shy when they start with the periods. The embarrassment is even more if they stain their clothes and it is visible to others in the class and the school. Do teach the girl how she can cover herself up in case something like this happens. Maybe they can carry a change of clothes to school. If they have a jacket as a part of uniform you can teach them to tie it around the waist in case of such unforeseen incidents. You must teach the girls to regularly check their pads so that they know when it has to be changed. Teach them to discard it well in the dustbin and not throw in the toilet. When the girls just start with periods they may tend to forget about these small things and that can become a problem for the child. The more you talk about the small things that are involved with periods the better you will prepare the child for a safe time during these days.

Periods are normal and we have to accept them. Some girls can also ask why can’t we just stop this from happening at the first place. Explain to them that it is not possible and is a part of growing up. Each child may have a different way of facing this reality in life. They may either accept it or try to find ways to avoid it. Some kids are extroverts and they will openly ask you questions and some are shy they will not open up about their problems easily. As a parent you must be prepared to answer all the questions with patience and deal with the emotional ups and downs that will come with the periods.

A boy may not need to know the practicalities of dealing with periods and the issues that a girl needs to know. However, you can make them aware of what periods are and how they can be more sensitive to the girls when they are having periods. It is very important especially in today’s world for boys to be aware of the issues a girl faces so that they can grow up to be more sensitive and make better friends, husbands and fathers. Many schools are co-educational where both boys and girls study. It is quite possible that a boy will witness the girls and even close friends facing this problem. These boys must be taught to learn to deal with these situations and at least know what it is all about.

As parents you must also be aware of when you should consult a doctor. We all know that periods are normal and nothing to worry about. However, in some cases there may be a requirement to consult a doctor. A child may not know the importance of having a normal mensuration cycle but you as a parent must ensure that you help the child to get a normal cycle. If girl is above fourteen and does not have periods you must take her to a doctor. Similarly if the girls have already developed breast buds for almost three years and still she is not having periods a doctor must be consulted. We have mentioned that some girls have irregular cycles in the beginning that too must be discussed with a doctor. The normal frequency for periods is once a month anything more or less must be treated seriously. Some girls tend to have very heavy bleeding. It is so heavy that within two hours the pad has to be changed. This can mean a lot of things and can lead to weakness in the child. Please take the child to the doctor in case of such an emergency. Severe pain in periods must not be neglected either. Many parents feel that it is just a drama or the child is over doing it. Please do not neglect if the child is complaining of severe pain. You must take her to the doctor. Do not panic or scare the child if these problems are occurring. Deal with the issue with a cool head and practical way.

We hope that this article will help the parents of a teenager to understand what they must tell the kids about periods. What information must be given and how. It is definitely important to talk about it to the child there is no doubts about that. Some parents may find it embarrassing and awkward. They can take to books and videos that talk about periods for the child to get an idea of what it is all about. Sometimes the single parents like fathers may find it embarrassing in such cases they can take the child to a close family member or even the family doctor to discuss about the same. Periods are one of the challenges in parenting and we have to face it there is no way we can escape discussing about it.

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