Explaining Periods Ms Fierce

How to Explain Periods to Your Tween

How to Explain Periods to Your Tween

One of the best ways to empower your daughter is to fill her relevant and relatable period information so that she enters puberty educated and ready to take on the world!

I've written a series of questions, along with some personal tips💡that you can address or you can use this article as a checklist to make sure that you haven't left anything out. 

The Conversation

Anytime from the age of 8, your daughter may get her first period, so this is a great time to start having open conversations about them within your household.

There is a lot to discuss and it might be best to cover everything in small conversations over time. This will make it seem less “serious” and will be less of an information overload for you and for her.

Period "science" might be boring for her, she is more likely to want to know the practical info....so don’t feel the need to give her a biology lesson, she will learn this at school.

A great way to start the open conversation is to tell your daughter about when you first got your period. (when, where and how you felt etc.). You may want to tell her when you next have your period and even show her what it looks like and how you manage it.

💡 When you know she is listening, have her witness you telling a friend or your partner “I got my period today”...and make it a light-hearted statement with a positive vibe to reinforce it being "normal" and nothing to be ashamed or frightened of.

As women, we have the responsibility to discourage period stigma...it’s the 21st century! If there is a male/father figure in the house, encourage him to normalise the topic too.

Explaining Periods Ms Fierce

The First Period

The average age for a first period is 12, but it can happen any time from 8-15 years...reassure your daughter not to worry if her's occurs earlier or later than her friends'.

Having a 'period kit' handy is a great idea so that she knows that wherever she is, she has the tools to clean herself and be protected until she comes home. Ideas for a period kit; 1-3 pads or liners or a pair of period underwear
 a small plastic bag intimate wipes.

💡You could buy her a period box from Little Miss Period. 


How does a period look?

There are a few ways that you can go about this...

  • Google images - show her some images of a period (try to make sure they are pleasant ones so she doesn't completely freak out). 
  • Show her your period. It's probably best to do this when it’s not too heavy or has clots, once again, we don't want her to freak out and it is likely that yours will be much heavier than her's at the beginning anyway.

Explain that it is only a small amount of blood (2-3 tablespoons per cycle) that can be pink, red, brown or even black in colour. 

How does a period feel?

Explaining how a period feels physically has two components; the actual blood flow
 and then the side effects and period pain. 

1.The Blood Flow

Firstly, assure her that the blood flow part is not painful. If she has experienced discharge, you can compare the feeling to this, only a period has a slightly more 'wet' feeling. 

2. The side effects & period pain  

Although the bleeding doesn't hurt, there are other side effects that your daughter may experience.

These include;

  • cramping
  • headaches
  • acne breakouts
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • tiredness
  • difficulty concentrating. 

Period pain typically starts 6-12 months after her first period. Here are a number of remedies for the pain;

  • Lay down and bring your knees up to your chest  
  • Use pads instead of tampons  
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication.

How long does a period last?

On average, a period will last 3-5 days, although this can be 2-7 days for some.

Mood changes

Explain that during or prior to her period, she may experience mood swings and feel angry, anxious, or sad. Certain situations and problems may become magnified during mensuration and this is something to be aware of. Explain that she may notice her friends mood change too and to not take this personally.

Sanitary Options

The great news is that it is 2022 and there are many types of sanitary options available. Your daughter might like to try out a variety to see what she is the most comfortable with...or she might want to try a combination of options.

Sanitary Options include;

Sanitary Options for Teenagers

How she can stay clean during her period?

Using a face wash, deodorant and an intimate shower wash are good period hygiene practises. (💡I love IKO Collective for teen skincare). 

The smell of a period can be off-putting and she may wonder whether others can smell her. Reassure her that they will not if she stays clean. Using soap or sprays may be tempting for her to combat the odour, however you should discourage this and warn her that these will cause irritation.

Showering daily during menstruation is important. Using an intimate body wash is also recommended to properly clean around the vagina. (I recommend Femfresh wash sold at supermarkets and pharmacies)

Another good way to ensure she feels fresh is to use intimate wipes when she goes to the toilet to wipe away the excess blood. (Also Femfresh wipes). 

Pads, liners and/or tampons should be changed every 4 hours to prevent leaks and eliminate odours.

For sleeping the best products to use are pads and/or period undies.

Explain Toxic Shock Syndrome and the risk if she leaves her tampon in for too long.


How to know when the second period will come?

Periods usually occur on an average 28-day cycle, however for the first few years this can be irregular. She can set up a reminder in her phone or diary or use a Period Tracking App (💡Flo is a great App to try). Her body may also give her clues; cramping or breast tenderness in the days leading up to her period.

Can she swim when she has her period?

YES...she can swim, go to the beach and not feel insecure or uncomfortable with her period. Ms. Fierce swimwear provides her with the ultimate protection against period leaks. She may choose tampons, with or without Ms. Fierce swimwear.

Ms Fierce Swimwear

What does it mean now that she has her period?

Now that she has her period, you might want to explain to her or reiterate the importance of using contraception if or once she is sexually active, because she can now become pregnant.

How can she support other women?

Now that she has all of the info, it's a good idea to encourage her to help out other girls if she sees or hears that are having difficulties with their period.
 For example, if she sees someone with a leak, she may offer her jumper to tie around their waist, or offer them the contents of her period kit.

What is NOT normal with periods?

There are certain things that she should alert you to should she experience.

These include;

  • prolonged or excessive bleeding  
  • very late periods
  • severe pain
  • fever or nausea after using a tampon.

In summary...

  • Periods are normal.
  • Periods should be discussed openly
  • Periods are not something to be ashamed of
  • Life can go on as normal and anything that he can do...she can do, every day of every month.

This article is not intended to suit everyone, everyone has their own parenting style. This is simply the way that I choose to talk and prepare my 9-year-old daughter.

This article is not sponsored.