I was recently teaching a small group of 10-year-old girls about puberty. When our discussion became focused on the vulva, it was interesting to them to learn that there are two openings. One opening is for urine and one is the opening out of which menstrual blood comes. Because they have heard that blood appears in their underwear when a period starts, they assumed it was coming from the same place as urine.
I used this great anatomy figure from my book, “I’m a Girl, My Changing Body,” to help them understand that there are two separate openings.
This anatomy figure might also be helpful for you to look at with your daughter. It shows her what the pelvis looks like from the side. Here are the highlights.
- The urinary bladder is in front. Urine is stored in the urinary bladder and flows down the urethra to come out the urethral opening in the vulva.
- The uterus is next. The tube that leads from the uterus is the vagina and it also opens into the vulva as the vaginal opening.
Learning about the vulva helps prepare her for her first period and the options she has for caring for herself. The more she can learn, the more confident she is going to be.