Girls, on average, will get their periods when they are 12 to 13 years old. This can be scary for a young girl, but it is also inevitable. As a parent, you will need to help her prepare for this and learn how to manage it. Here are some tips to help you with this if you have a daughter who will soon be starting her period.
Be open about what a period is
If you fail to educate your daughter about her period, she may be frightened when it comes. She may think there is something wrong with her, and she might be too scared to tell you. This is why you should talk to her about it. Let her know what it is and that it is completely normal. Try to be open about your periods too. By doing this, she might feel more comfortable coming to you when she has questions or notices any changes with her body.
Understand what "normal" is for a teen
As an adult, your periods are probably normal. You know when they will occur, what to expect, and how long they will last. This is not always the case with teens, though. It often takes around two years for a teen to develop a normal period. This means that your teen may go months without having one, and she may then have a couple that are very close together.
Another part of a normal menstrual cycle is pain, bloating, and cramping. Many women experience these symptoms each month, but the pain should not be so severe that your daughter cannot function or get out of bed. If she is having pain this bad, it could indicate some type of other problem, such as endometriosis.
Teach her about good hygiene and safety
It's also important to teach your daughter about good hygiene and safety. Periods can be dirty and can have bad odors. While these are normal things, you can help your daughter understand how to deal with these things. Teaching her to change pads and tampons often is a good idea, but helping her understand the importance of daily bathing is also important. You could also give her a package of baby wipes to use to help her clean herself during her periods.
If your daughter will be using tampons, you may need to help her learn how to use them, and you should help her understand how to safely use them. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare, but serious, health problem caused by leaving a tampon in too long. While you do not want to scare your daughter when explaining this, it is very important for her to know how to safely use tampons before she attempts to try them.
If your daughter has any issues with her periods, you should take her to a gynecologist. Even though gynecologists typically do not perform pap smears until the age of 21 (in most cases), it is still good to help your daughter become acquainted with visiting a gynecologist like Tod Stillson MD.