The arrival of the first period is an important milestone in a young person’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 child and discuss what periods are and how they can affects your life. It is important to let the teen know that a period means that they can now become pregnant. You should also emphasize that it is a completely normal and natural part of life. Having a period is nothing to be ashamed of, 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 make a young teenager anxious. They 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 child openly about the different phases of a period. During the first few days, the bleeding is typically light, but a pantyliner or sanitary pad should still be used to protect the underwear. In the middle of the period, the bleeding is heavier, and you need to change your pad or tampon more often. Towards the end, the bleeding decreases again. You should buy different types of intimate hygiene products and talk about how to use them with your child. It might be a good idea to put some sanitary pads in their schoolbag too, because periods can start unexpectedly and you should always be prepared for it.
Before their first period, teens usually experience some vaginal discharge. The discharge prepares the body for menstruation, keeps the vagina clean and moist and prevents infection. A pantyliner can be used to prevent the underwear from 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 your underwear every day. Taking care of your 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 that best suit them and to explore how their body works. Your role as an adult is to listen to their troubles and give them advice whenever they needs it.