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How to Prepare your Preteen for her Period

How to Prepare your Preteen for her Period

Periods are possible as early as age 8, but most girls start to menstruate when they’re about 12 years old. Because of this, it is important to explain menstruation early to your daughter. However, preteens seem to embarrass more easily than any other creatures on the planet, making the talk about menstruation quite awkward.

Here are some advices about how to approach this sensitive subject:



Answer any questions that your daughter may ask about menstruation openly and honestly and provide as many details as you think she needs. You shouldn’t let your daughter avoid the topic entirely, but it’s ok if you let her set the pace. It will be up to you to start talking about menstruation if your daughter approaches the preteen years and doesn’t ask any questions.


Instead of planning a single tell-all discussion, it’s better if you talk in a series of small conversations about various issues, from basic hygiene to fear of the unknown. You can consider it part of a continuing conversation on how the human body works. You should always keep in mind that your daughter needs good information about all the changes that puberty brings, including the menstrual cycle because she may hear some nonsense and take it for fact if her friends are her only source of information.



You could ask your daughter what she knows about puberty as a way of introducing the subject of menstruation. It is best to clarify any misinformation and answer any questions at this stage. You can bring up the topic before a routine doctor’s appointment, or you can time your conversations with the health lessons and sex education your daughter is receiving in school. You could also tell your daughter that her doctor may ask her whether she has gotten her period yet. After the talk, you can ask her if she has any questions or concerns about menstruation.


Though girls usually prefer to learn about menstruation from a female family member, but sometimes that may not be possible. For instance, a single father who isn’t comfortable talking about menstruation can delegate these conversations to a female relative or friend. Making sure that the information is relayed somehow is the most important key.



Despite the fact that most girls are more interested in practical information about periods, but the biology of menstruation is also important. When it will happen, what it’s going to feel like, and what should be done when the time comes are some of the questions that your daughter may want to ask.


What is menstruation??

When a girl starts to menstruate, it means that her body is physically capable of becoming pregnant. One of the ovaries releases an egg each month in a process called ovulation. Hormonal changes prepare the uterus for pregnancy at the same time. The lining of the uterus sheds through the vagina in case ovulation takes place and the egg isn’t fertilized. This is what we call a period.


Does it hurt??

When the period begins, many girls have cramps, usually in their lower abdomen. These cramps can be sharp and intense, or they can be dull. This discomfort could be eased with the use of a heating pad, an over-the-counter pain reliever, or with exercise.


When will it happen??

Typically, girls start menstruating about two years after their breasts begin to develop. However, no one can tell exactly when a girl will get her first period. About one year before menstruation begins, many girls experience a thin, white vaginal discharge.


What should I do??

You could explain to her how to use sanitary pads or tampons. Though it’s ok to use tampons right away, but many girls are more comfortable starting with pads. You should also tell your daughter that getting used to inserting tampons may need some practice. To help your daughter find the product that works best for her, you could stock the bathroom with various types of sanitary products ahead of time and encourage her to experiment.


What if I’m at school??

To help your daughter be prepared, you can encourage her to carry a few pads or tampons in her purse or backpack. However, if she isn’t carrying with her when her period starts, she can find supplies with the school nurse.


Will everyone know that I have my period??

You could assure your daughter that no one needs to know that she has her period, because pads and tampons aren’t visible through clothing.


What if blood leaks onto my pants??

You could offer your daughter practical suggestions on how to cover up stains, such as tying a sweatshirt around her waist until she can change her clothes. Just to be on the safe side, you could encourage your daughter to wear dark colored pants or shorts during that time of the month.



If your daughter’s periods aren’t like those of her friends, or if she starts having periods before or after friends her age do, she may worry that she’s not normal. However, menstruation varies with the individual. While some girls have periods that last more than a week, others have periods that last two days. Even in the same girl, it can vary this drastically from one month to another. The amount of blood lost each month can also vary, usually from 20 to 60 milliliters (4 to 12 teaspoons).


For the first year or two, it’s quite common for girls to have irregular periods. Some months may even pass by without a period. You could teach your daughter how to track her periods on a calendar once her cycle settles down. She may eventually be able to predict when her periods will start. You should take your daughter to a doctor in case:

  • She experiences menstrual cramps that aren’t relieved by over-the-counter medications
  • She goes three months without a period or suspects she may be pregnant
  • Her periods last more than seven days
  • She hasn’t started menstruating by the age of 15
  • She’s soaking more pads or tampons than usual
  • She’s missing school or other activities because of painful or heavy periods.



You should reassure your daughter that feeling worried about menstruating is quite normal, but that it’s nothing to be too worried about. You should also make sure she knows that you will be there to answer any questions that she may have because the changes that are associated with puberty can be a little scary for her.


Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss  Araz Kahvedjian

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