How do fathers talk to their daughters about periods?
It’s an awkward topic for men to discuss, but when you’re a father, you need to be comfortable talking with your daughters about their periods. Its true that talking about personal subjects like periods (menstruation) can make you and her feel a little uncomfortable. Also, it’s also a tough time for her to experience. Not only is her body changing, but her brain is too. Nevertheless she needs reliable information and help! Helping her understand her body will help her make good decisions about her health.
Often, it is the mum who prepares her daughter for her first period. But what if the mum is unable to and dad has to take the lead? Or, what if dad would like to prepare his daughter alongside his partner? Or if single dad parent?
How well dads are doing on the period talk
Not quite well. You see, 4 in 10 Dads never learnt about periods at school.
Only 41% of Dads say they feel comfortable talking about periods with their kids, and nearly half haven’t chatted to
their daughters about them.
45% of Dads are unsure what the signs are that a girl might be about to start her period
0ne in 3 dads have never purchased period products. Based on a survey of 1500 British men including 753
Dads by Edelman Intelligence for Hey Girls, 2019 (source)
When should you talk to her about periods?
There are two possible times you can talk to her about it: before She’s Started or after shes started.
There isn’t really a perfect time for it, it depends on the kind of relationship you’ve built with her. Either ways, well talk about both scenarios and what to say in either occasions. Also there are perfect opportunities you can use to educate her on this, even from an early age.
- For example, if your little girl sees a tampon or bad and asks what it’s for, you could say, “Women bleed a little from their vagina every month. It’s called a period. It isn’t because they’re hurt. It’s how the body gets ready for a baby. The tampon catches the blood so it doesn’t go on the underwear.”
Over the years, you can give your child more information as he or she is ready.
If your daughter doesn’t ask questions about periods, you can bring it up. By the time they’re 6 or 7 years old, most kids can understand the basics of periods. Look for a natural moment to talk about it, such as:
- when kids asks about puberty or changing bodies
- if your child asks where babies come from
- if you’re at the store buying pads or tampons
Ask if your child knows about periods. Then, you can share basic information, such as: As a girl develops into a woman, her body changes so she can have a baby when she grows up. Part of that is getting a place ready for the baby to grow inside the mom. The place a baby grows is called a uterus. Every month the uterus wall gets ready for a baby. If there is no baby, the uterus wall comes off and bleeds a little. The blood comes out a woman’s vagina. The body makes a new wall every month, just in case there is a baby.
Answer any questions simply and directly.
When you know enough
Usually it ends much worse when you don’t know a thing about periods and you attempt educating her it. I know this because shell ask you some questions you might not just comprehend exactly well. You must know well enough about menstruation before approaching her on the issue.
Roughly every month, the female body prepares to have a baby. An egg is released and the womb develops a thick lining with everything a foetus would need to grow. If the in the womb gets fertilized, it sticks to the wall of the womb and starts to grow Chances are the egg is not fertilised, so the lining is lost and flows out of the body as a period. This is called menstruation or having a period.
The bleeding normally lasts about 3-5 days, though some girls may bleed longer or have a bit of bleeding between periods. The womb then starts preparing for another egg. For most girls, the time between their periods is about one month. For about 2 years after menstruation starts, the time between periods is not always the same. Some girls may skip a month, or have 2 periods close to each other. It is also normal to have cramps (rather painful squeezing feelings) or to feel bloated (swollen up) in the abdomen at periods.
When many girls start having periods, they begin using sanitary napkins or tampons to soak up the blood and tissue. A sanitary napkin is a piece of material that absorbs (takes in) liquids which is worn between the vulva and underpants. A tampon is a stick of absorbent material that is placed in the vagina.
Can a girl get pregnant as soon as her period starts?
Yes, a girl can get pregnant as soon as her period starts. A girl even can pregnant right before her very first period. This is because a girl’s hormones might already be active. The hormones may have led to ovulation (releasing of the egg from the ovary) and the building of the womb wall. If a girl has sex she can get pregnant, even though she has never had a period.
What is PMS?
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is when a girl has emotional and physical symptoms that happen before or during her period. These symptoms can include moodiness, sadness, anxiety, bloating, and acne. The go away after the first few days of a period.
Do girls have their periods for the rest of their lives?
No, a woman stops having her period usually between the ages of 45 and 51, which means she will no longer be able to become pregnant (at least, not without the help of some reproductive technology).
Do girls always have cramps with their periods?
Concern about cramps is a big issue for some girls. While most girls eventually have some cramps, many do not for the first year or two of getting their periods. It’s important to tell girls that cramps usually only last a few days. Sometimes, a hot water bottle or a hot bath can help ease discomfort. Some find that deep breathing and exercising help, too. If cramps become too uncomfortable, your daughter might want to take an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin). (source)
Having cramps for a day or two each month is common, but signs of dysmenorrhea — severely painful menstruation that interferes with a girl’s ability to attend school or study or sleep — or other menstrual problems should be discussed with your doctor.
- Periods are different for everyone – they can be heavy or light, short or long, very painful or fairly easy. Every woman is different
- Most women have periods between the ages of about 12 and 50
- They last about 3-7 days and happen roughly once a month
- Most people only lose one or two shot-glasses full of blood, but the total ‘flow’ can be more like 100ml
- It can take a couple of years for periods to settle into a pattern, so many young teenagers have very irregular periods
Signs they might be about to start their period
Menstruation usually starts around the age of 11, even as early as 8 years old or as late as 16. Girls who start earlier or later than their friends often worry that they’re not ‘normal’ – reassure them, it’s perfectly natural and everyone is different.
Signs you might notice
- Growing taller
- Breasts begin to grow
- Changing body shape
- Underarm hair
- Mood swings
Signs you won’t notice unless she tells you:
- Pubic hair
What to say
Whether you have the opportunity to discuss menstruation with her before or after she begins, this guide will provide tips on how to ensure a comfortable conversation.
Talking about periods before She’s Started
- Plan ahead to have the talk early. On average, girls begin menstruating between 12 and 13, but some may start much earlier or possibly later. Consider your daughter’s age and tell her casually that you’d like to have a conversation about health and our bodies.
- Practice what you plan to say with someone. Knowing what information you intend to share ahead of time is important to avoid uncomfortable moments for both of you. Try asking other friends or family members how they shared the information with their daughters to get a feeling for how your own conversation will go and practice with them if you need to.
- Have several small talks ahead. It can be intimidating or overwhelming for a young girl to have a big talk about something so important. Try starting individual conversations with these topics:
- “Inside a girl’s body are parts that help her grow a baby.”
- “Women’s bodies work on cycle called the menstrual cycle which takes about 28 days.”
- “A woman’s body takes the steps to grow a baby each month, even when she isn’t ready to have a baby yet. This causes a woman to have a period that causes her to bleed.”
- “Even though a period causes bleeding, there are ways to keep clean during your period. Some of the ways are with pads or tampons.”(source)
4. Stay positive! It is important to paint a positive picture of menstruation so your daughter won’t be scared about starting. Stressing that menstruating is a wonderful, natural experience all women share will help her recognize that it is simply the next step in becoming a woman.
- Make sure to let your daughter know that getting her period is a very normal event. When you normalize it, she’s less likely to see it as a scary or confusing thing that’s going to happen
5. Be prepared to answer follow up questions. It is okay if you don’t know all the answers. Just look them up together and show your daughter you are interested in learning too. There are many books and resources available out there.
Explaining Menstruation after She’s Started
- Be calm and comforting. The most important thing to remember when talking to your daughter about her period is to stay relaxed and encourage her to ask any questions she might have. Remember to keep the conversation positive and encourage her throughout the process. These phrases may help you get the conversation started:
- “Your body is doing what it is supposed to be doing!”
- “This is perfectly normal, and every woman goes through this.”
- “I am here to support you, and I understand what you are going through.” (source)
2. Explain why a period occurs. Explain what happens with the internal female anatomy during a period. Highlight the steps below to help her fully understand what is happening with her body.
- The menstrual cycle takes 28 days and is started by a change in hormone levels in a woman’s body.
- The hormones trigger a woman’s body to release an egg cell from the ovaries in the process of “ovulation.”
- If the egg is unfertilized, it breaks down on its journey through the fallopian tubes into the uterus due to a drop in hormone levels.
- The egg and lining of uterus are shed from the body in the process of menstruation along with blood from the wall of the uterus.
3. Tell her how to keep clean during a period. In most cases a pad is the best option for girls when they first begin having their period until they fully understand their cycle. Tampons can also be used; however, attention must be paid to the absorbency of the tampons and the relative blood flow during a menstrual cycle. It is important to educate your daughter on the use of pads and tampons as well as and to ensure that she knows to change her tampon at least every four hours. It is usually best to use a pad overnight
4. Tell her the physical symptoms she should expect. Although you don’t want to focus on the uncomfortable symptoms of a period, you should inform your daughter that periods do cause the womb to contract which sometimes can cause cramps which feel like a dull aching pain in their lower abdomen or back
5. Explain the link between menstruation and pregnancy. Due to fluctuating hormone levels in a woman’s body, the menstrual cycle causes the body to undergo changes which create the possibility of pregnancy when engaging in sexual activity. Make sure she understands this possibility to avoid future situations for which she isn’t prepared. Use these prompts to broach the subject:
- “Because you have begun having your period, it is now possible for you to become pregnant.”
- It’s important that you know that you can get pregnant by having unprotected sex.(source)
The more that kids understand about their bodies, the better they’re able to make good, healthy choices. Make sure your children get reliable information from you or another trusted source.