Talking to your daughter about her first period can be daunting. We can help you work out what is the right age to talk to your daughter about her period.
Talking about periods
Here at WUKA, we want EVERY girl and woman to feel confident when it comes to speaking about periods. We want to break down the old-fashioned taboos that still surround menstruation, because let’s face it, us women are going to bleed each month whether we like it or not- so we may as well talk about it!
Let’s end the shame. Let’s end the stigma. Let’s end the silence.
When is the right time to talk to my daughter about periods?
Pre-teen and teen periods can be unpredictable and heavy, so period underwear can help reduce your daughter's dread of embarrassing leaks. Always pack at least one pair of period pants in her bag whenever she's out, so she won't be caught out if her period starts unexpectedly.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your child’s class teacher too see if they can give some extra time to anyone who would like to learn more about menstruation- particularly the types of sanitary product that they can use and information on proper menstrual hygiene and disposing techniques.
Ultimately, as your child begins to approach puberty there’s a good chance that her period is on the way. So don’t leave it too late. Talk to her now, so that she’s ready and armed with all the information she needs, when she needs it.
Signs of puberty
Puberty is a normal part of growing up and it happens in five stages from around the age of 8-11 years. During this time the body is beginning to produce hormones that will enlarge the ovaries ready for menstruation.
From around the age of 10 your daughter will start to develop breasts and body hair, and you’ll probably notice an increase in height, along with a widening of the hips too. These are all signs of puberty and a good indication that her period is on the way.
When will my daughter start her periods?
There’s no set age for when your daughter will start her periods. It will happen when her body is ready. Most girls usually get their first period between the ages of 10-15.
Signs that your daughter’s period is on the way
Some girls experience vaginal discharge at this time too; others may also get tummy cramps as their body is developing and getting ready for menstruation.
How do I talk to my daughter about periods?
The most important thing to remember is that there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of when it comes to talking about periods with your daughter. It’s a completely natural event that we need to talk honestly and openly about as much as we can.
Leaving sanitary products out and visible can help start an awareness, and opportunities for conversation. This will allow your daughter to see periods as a normal event, and nothing to be secretive about.
Dispel period myths
There are still so many old fashioned myths surrounding periods. Perhaps your daughter has already heard some of them? Encourage her to talk about what she already knows and has been told, and make sure you dispel any untruths. Arm your child with the facts only.
End period shame
Having your first period is a sign that you’re becoming a woman. That’s an amazing thing! Our bodies are unique and achieves so much each month. Make sure your daughter knows that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, rather there is much to celebrate when it comes to the menstrual cycle.
And while we’re here, make sure you use the word period. Not ‘time of the month’ or any other euphemism that may spring to mind. Let’s end period shame: it’s a period, period.
Talk openly about periods
Keeping the conversation open and honest is the key to helping your daughter understand what’s happening with her body and why- and learning about the stages of the menstrual cycle is a great way for her to gain the knowledge she needs.
Talk about the different options available to your daughter when it comes to period protection too. We really don’t need to be smuggling tampons up our sleeves any more! Let your daughter know what’s out there for her to consider so she can make an informed choice
What questions will my daughter have about periods?
Research done by Plan International actually found that 1 in 4 girls they spoke to were not ready for their first period when it arrived, and 1 in 7 had no idea what was happening either.
This highlights the extent of the issue we’re facing when we shy away from such an important topic. So be prepared to answer any questions your daughter has as truthfully as you can- but be as positive as you can, too.
How will I know that my period is on the way?
Your daughter may notice changes that take place in her body during her menstrual cycle, and these can be a good indication that her period is on the way.
Some girls experience breast tenderness, mood changes and tummy cramps in the days leading up to their period. Talk to your daughter about PMS, and what the symptoms can be for some.
Tell your daughter that although her periods might be a little irregular at first, soon they will settle into more of a reliable pattern that she will be able to track a little more easily.
Why haven’t my periods started yet?
If your daughter is under the age of 15, there’s no need to worry just yet if she hasn’t had her period. We’re all different and our bodies develop at different rates- that’s what makes us unique and special.
If your daughter is already 15, make an appointment with your GP to discuss potential reasons why she hasn’t yet had her period.
What do I need for my first period?
Your daughter will need sufficient period protection, so getting a ‘Period Kit’ together is a really great idea. You can talk about each item and what it’s used for, plus answer any questions she might have too.
Remember that puberty and menstrual hormones are a lot to handle at such a young age. Try and be kind and sensitive to young girls, and make sure they’re looked after during their period. A hot water bottle for cramps, ibuprofen, some nice bath salts and herbal drinks are always good for relaxation. Every girl should have very positive start to menstruation!
We also recommend our period pants for teens and girls collection- featuring our WUKA Teen Stretch™ pants- an affordable, comfy, eco-friendly solution designed to last for up to 2 years and fit up to 3 sizes meaning less expense, less waste and one less thing to worry about! They stretch with your daughter as she grows- clever, huh!
How long will my period last?
Again, we’re all different, and our cycles are too. Most periods last for around 2-5 days, but some can be longer.
What if my period leaks to my clothes?
Using proper period protection is key to avoiding leaks, which is another reason why period pants are such a great option for younger girls. No need to worry about whether or not your pad or tampon is up to the job- our pants are just worn like normal underwear. Put them on, bleed into them. Simple.
What period protection should I use?
Ultimately it’s up to you daughter what period protection she should use. Explain the differences, but also explain the cost (both to you and to the planet) involved with each. Help her to explore the options out there so that she can decide for herself.
When should I tell my daughter about periods?
Start the conversation as early as possible, so that your daughter is ready for when her period arrives. As she stats to go through puberty, you’ll notice physical changes starting to happen too. This is the right time to start the conversation.
How do I talk to my 7 year old about periods?
Be open and honest, but mindful of your child’s age. Answer questions truthfully and always use the proper names for the menstrual cycle and body parts.
At what age should you have the talk with your daughter?
All children grown and develop at different rates, so there is no set age to talk to your daughter about periods. If she is asking questions, answer them, and keep the conversation open as much as you can