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First period

The arrival of the period is an important milestone in a young woman’s life. It may cause anxiety or embarrassment but at the same it is a proud moment. Your task as a parent is to sit down well in advance with your daughter and discuss what the period is and how it affects a woman’s life. It is important to let the teen know that the period means that she can now become pregnant. You should also emphasise that it is a completely normal and natural part of a woman’s life. There is nothing to be ashamed about having your period and menstruation does not in any way prevent normal life if you choose the right hygiene product and take care of your hygiene.

The period may cause anxiety to a young teenager. She may have heard from school or friends that menstruation involves bleeding. The teen may have the idea that the bleeding is heavy and involves severe pain. Therefore, you should tell your daughter openly about the different phases of a period. During the first few days, the bleeding is typically light, but the panties should still be protected using a pantyliner or a sanitary towel. In the middle of the period, the bleeding is heavier and you need to change the towel or tampon more often. Towards the end, the bleeding reduces again. You should buy different types of feminine hygiene products and talk about their use with your daughter. It might be a good idea to put some sanitary towels in her schoolbag too, because the period can start unexpectedly and you should always be prepared for it.

Before the first period, girls usually experience some vaginal discharge. The discharge prepares the body for menstruation, keeps the vagina clean and moist and prevents inflammations. The panty liner can be used to protect the panties against staining but this is not a must. The most important thing to remember is to take care of your personal hygiene. In other words, you should wash the genital area using water and change the panties every day. Taking care of one’s personal hygiene is an important part of becoming an independent adult, and you should therefore encourage this behaviour.

Give your teen space and time to find the practices most suitable to her and to explore how her body functions. Your role as an adult is to listen to her troubles and give her advice whenever she needs them.