The more your daughter understands about her period, the less fear she will feel as it approaches. If you talk to a group of young girls who will likely have their first period in the next few months, they are anxious about what is going to happen to them. It’s all about the blood.
By explaining to your daughter that her period is simply a healthy cleansing process of her body, she will have a very different opinion about it. Here is some information you can use to help her be more informed.
In this anatomy figure from my book, I’m a Girl, Hormones!, you can see a layer lining the inside of the uterus. This layer is called the endometrium. During the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, which is usually about four weeks long, the endometrium becomes thick with tiny glands and tiny blood vessels.
The thick endometrial layer is what is cleansed away during a period. The reason that a period is bloody is because the tiny blood vessels that grew in the thick endometrium, break apart during the cleansing and that is where the blood comes from during a period. Only about 2-3 tablespoons of blood will come out over several days.
It is understandable why your daughter might feel anxious about her first period. It is scary to suddenly see blood in your underwear. A clear understanding about what is happening and being prepared will make all the difference for your daughter. Go together to find a small pouch to put in her backpack. It should contain a clean pair of underwear, a pad, and a feminine wipe. If she keeps this pouch with her, she will always be ready for the “first day.”
Your daughter will be forever grateful that you taught her this information and helped her be prepared for a memorable day in her life, the day she experiences her first period!