The stigma surrounding menstruation means that conversations about it are often done in
secretive or hush-hush mode. Hence, it is of no surprise that parents may struggle to bring up the topic or openly talk about periods with their own children. According to a study conducted in India, 71 % of adolescent girls are unaware of menstruation until they get it themselves. This reflects that parents rarely prepare their daughters about it which leads to the sprouting of misconceptions, misinformation and much avoidable fear and anxiety amongst girls.
If your daughter is approaching puberty, it is essential to have a proper conversation with them about period and other bodily changes that come with puberty. This would ensure that her entry into womanhood is not marred with worry, fear, shame, and anxiety. By providing accurate information and supplementing your conversations with real-life experiences and practical advice, girls may come to appreciate their period as a natural process.
Having the talk
1. Period is a normal process in a girl's life and hence should be treated that way or even
better with a sense of happiness and pride since your daughter is stepping into her
womanhood. Talk about it in a positive light along with what changes it will bring to her life can be helpful. Perhaps, the best way to approach would be a series of
conversations, instead of one big talk!
2. Look for the right moment, that allows you to talk about it. For instance, a TV advertisement on sanitary napkins, social media campaigns, etc. These moments can present to you a “way in” to start a discussion.
3. Ask your daughter about her knowledge about periods. Whether she is aware of it or ever heard of it from someone. This would allow you to grasp the extent of awareness and/or knowledge your daughter has. This may also allow you to dispel the myths and
misconceptions that are generally associated with period.
4. Try to incorporate your teenage experiences in dealing with periods and silly misconceptions you had heard about periods so that she can relate to the subject in a more personal way.
5. Explain to your daughter what her period signifies, and this also includes that she is capable of getting pregnant. This can also present a good opportunity to have a conversation about sex!
6. Explain the biology of a period if she’s old enough to understand. Teach her how to keep a
track of her period. A cycle is generally of 28 days, and anything between 21 and 35 days
from the start of one period to the start of the next is considered normal.
7. Explain to her how to use sanitary napkins or tampons etc. You can even demonstrate to her how to wear a pad or a tampon on a dummy model or underwear or show her educational videos on the same.
8. MOST IMPORTANTLY, explain to her how to maintain period hygiene and why it is
important to do so! Not paying attention to her period hygiene can cause various vaginal
infections like UTI.
1. Bodyform. (2021, July 29). Talking to your daughter about periods – is it time for a rethink?
2. Providence Team. (2021, July 29). How To Prepare Your Daughter For Her First Period
3. BBC News. (2020, May 28). Why India must battle the shame of period stain.