How Early Should I Talk To My Kid About Periods
Kids should definitely understand periods well before they have one or hear about their peers having one, but there is no age thatâs too young to start talking. For young children, a discussion of periods often happens when they see their mother or an older sibling using period products. Thatâs a perfect time to use your âno big dealâ attitude and explain
1.) that a period is just a normal part of life
2.) it isnât always painful
3.) pads or tampons are how we take care of it.
With early drama-free discussions that normalize periods, it becomes a lot easier to add the details they need as they approach or begin puberty.
How Do I Deal With Pms And Cramps
PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome. Its when the hormones that control your menstrual cycle cause changes in your body and emotions around the time of your period.
Some of the most common PMS symptoms are:
Some people get PMS every time they have their periods. Others only get PMS every once in awhile. You may have all or just some PMS symptoms. And some people don’t get PMS at all. Learn more about PMS.
Cramps are one of the most common symptoms to have before/during your period. They can be super painful, or just a little annoying. You can calm cramps by taking pain medicine . Putting a heating pad where it hurts, taking a hot bath, exercising, or stretching your body can also help. Learn more about how to deal with cramps.
Certain types of birth control like the pill, shot, implant, and IUD can help with PMS and other period problems. If your PMS is so bad that its hard to do normal activities during your period, talk to an adult you trust or your family doctor. You can also call your local Planned Parenthood health center. You shouldnt have to suffer every month, and they can help you find the cause and get treatment.
What Does It Mean To Get Your First Period
Your body begins to produce adult levels of hormones during puberty. A period happens when your brain sends a signal to your ovaries to release hormones called estrogen and progesterone.
Every month, starting around the first period, estrogen and progesterone hormones prepare your body for a possible pregnancy. This causes the lining of your uterus to build up. This buildup is to prepare for a fertilized egg to attach and begin development.
After about a month of buildup without an egg attaching, the buildup will break down and bleed. This blood is what is seen during a period. This cycle repeats every month and is called a menstrual cycle.
Its common for a cycle not to be regular after a first period. Periods may be hard to predict occurring every 3 weeks, every 2 months apart. This often lasts for the first 1 or 2 years after a first period.
There are apps that can help track periods. Using an app to track in the first couple of years can help spot if anything is very irregular. You can use information from the app to start a conversation with a doctor.
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When Is It The Right Time To Buy Your Daughter Her First Bra
Is it time for somesupport? We have advice for parents wondering how to handle the first bra talk.
By Kate WinnJuly 22, 2016
Diana Carmichael* of Peterborough, Ont. has three daughters, and theyve all responded differently to the first bra milestone. My oldest was pretty low-key about it, and asked for a bra when she needed one. My 11-year-old should be wearing one now, but doesnt want to, and my nine-year-old keeps stealing and wearing her sisters bras, even though she doesnt need them yet, says Carmichael.
Arati Mokashi, a paediatric endocrinologist in Halifax, says that breasts may start budding as early as eight or as late as 13, but age 10 and a half is the average. American data suggests that puberty is beginning earlier now than in the past, which may be due to improvements in nutrition and an increase in obesity, explains Mokashi. We can assume this data would be similar for Canadian girls. Girls with breast buds may ask for a bra for comfort or modesty, or parents may be first to make the suggestion.
What if, like Carmichael, your daughter wants to go bra shopping before she really needs one? Carla Fry, a psychologist in Vancouver, recommends listening to what your child is telling you. Simple formula: If shes asking for a bra, its time to get her one, whether its for modesty, fitting in or fashion.
Now were talking more often, and shes more comfortable as we go through other changes, says Reilly.
* name has been changed
When Is Period Bleeding Less Than Normal
Period occurs because your hormones wash out the inner uterine covering called endometrium. The endometrium continues to get thicker and taller from the end of your period to when it begins again.
If period occurs very early or if natural hormones that control your menstrual cycle are affected, you may notice a scanty period.
Most women get their menses every 25 to 35 days. During period, bleeding last between 3 to 7 days in most women with blood loss about 40 to 60 milliliters.
Should your period last less than three days or blood lost during menstruation less than 20mls, you have a scanty period.
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Will I Feel Different
Not only do hormones cause physical changes in your body, they can also affect how you feel. Emotions during puberty may feel a bit like a roller coaster. You may:
- Be afraid of the changes in your body one minute and excited about them the next.
- Feel awkward or confused.
- Laugh one moment and cry the next.
- Get along and fight with good friends all in the same day.
- Feel angry at times.
- Feel grown up one day and like a child the next.
Sometimes, these changes can be overwhelming. Youre not alone. Like other teens, youre going through a period of transition in your life. It can be both scary and exciting at the same time.
Myth: Pubic Hair Signals The Onset Of Puberty
The reality is that without breast or testicular enlargement, pubic hair and body odor indicate increasing adrenal secretion of weak androgens rather than activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal unit . Before 1997, premature adrenarche was defined as pubic hair developing in girls younger than 8 years old and boys younger than 9 years. However, the results of a large, cross-sectional study suggest that the development of pubic hair may be normal in white girls as young as 7 years and in African American girls as young as 6 years.
Although the definition of normal puberty, as compared with premature, remains in flux, unquestionably early pubarche is likely to be benign if it meets the criteria in the box. If these criteria are met, then for most children a diagnostic workup can be limited to continued observation. Some physicians order an x-ray film to check that the skeletal age of the child is no more than 2.5 standard deviations above the chronologic age. An abdominal ultrasound scan or blood tests for dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, and testosterone are rarely needed.
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Before You Get Your First Period You Might Notice Changes In Your:
In the beginning, the small bumps around your nipples become raised. Then, the darker area of your nipples will get bigger and start to puff outâit might even feel like there is a little lump on your chest. These are called breast buds. This can happen on both sides at the same time, or on just one side at first. If it happens on one side, it can take up to 6 months for the other side to catch up .
Most people first get their first period 2â3 years after their breast begin to grow . If your breast buds start to grow around age eight or nine, it may take closer to three years for your period to start. If your breast buds develop later than most people in your class, like when youâre 13, it may take less than a year for your period to start .
The shape and height of your body will also be changing around this time. By the time you notice breast buds, your whole body will have already started growing more quickly .
Path To Improved Well Being
The changes associated with puberty can be difficult. Many girls anxiously await the opportunity to wear a bra for the first time or think about becoming a mom in the future. All other changes, such as your daughters first period or changes to her size can be scary. Break it down for your daughter by explaining the stages of puberty that will affect her physically and emotionally.
Girls begin puberty at different ages. It can start as early as age 9. By age 15, most girls have fully developed. Its during these years that both her body and her emotions will change.
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Questions To Guide The Talk
Starting conversations about puberty and periods with questions is always a great idea. When it comes to talking about topics that may seem awkward or personal, kids respond well to questions about their friends or classmates instead of focusing of their own changes. If talking about puberty, you might ask if you child has noticed any friends whose bodies are growing fast or if theyâve noticed any friends wearing a bra. As children enter middle school, there are lots of questions to ask about their friends or their school environment:
1)Do you know anyone who has started their period?
2)Have you seen pads or tampons in your school health room or bathrooms?
3)What would you do if a friend had a period stain on her gym shorts?
Follow up with open ended questions to guide you into deeper and more personal discussions. You can say things like
1) Tell me what you know about that
2) How is that going for them?
3) What are you curious about?
There are no right or wrong questions, but staying curious and calm will open a lot of doors for important conversations as your child grows up.
Make Sure She Is Prepared
Stock up on supplies and have her always keep 2 pads or tampons in her purse. One for her, and one for a friend that may need it. A cute zipped pouch works great for this. Here is a super cute one. By the way, make sure she has these in her purse as soon as you think she may be getting ready to start someday. Its never too early to be prepared! Usually, her body will show signs shes going through puberty before she starts her period. Thats the time to start being prepared!
She might also want to keep ibuprofen or essential oils in her purse if she is prone to bad cramps and is mature enough to handle her own dosing. Schools may not allow her to carry her own meds, so if thats the case, make sure she knows to go to the nurse.
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Pads Tampons Or Menstrual Cups Which Is Best
When deciding what menstrual hygiene products to use, its important that your child feels physically and emotionally comfortable. Many girls start with using pads and transition to tampons or menstrual cups when they are older however, they do not have to wait to use tampons or menstrual cups. Tampons might feel uncomfortable or unusual at first while the pelvis and vagina are growing.
If your child decides to use tampons, each box comes with instructions, and it can be helpful to read them together. At first, your child may become irritated with tampons, but explain that it gets easier with practice. Start with a slim tampon applicator, as it is easier to insert and can help with the first time.
Menstrual cups can be awkward at first, but as with tampons, they get easier to insert with practice. Your child may be uncomfortable with the process of using a menstrual cup, but once put in correctly, they are able to do everyday activities without any issues with the cup. Many brands of menstrual cups come with instructions in the box or can be found on the website. Going through the directions can help ease your child into using it.
What Is Menstruation
Menstruation is when the body becomes physically capable of becoming pregnant. Each month, one of the ovaries releases an egg. This is called ovulation. Hormonal changes prepare the lining of the uterus to accept the egg for pregnancy. When ovulation takes place and the egg is not fertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds and drains through the vagina. This is called a menstruation or a period.
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When To See A Doctor
Schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or endocrinologist if your daughter:
- Has not gotten a period for 6 months. A doctor may try to rule out whether there are any medical issues responsible for the huge gap in periods.
- Suffers from excruciating pain or other symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, during her periods. Hormonal treatments may be recommended
- Experiences extreme mood changes or depressionthat disrupt her daily life. A doctor may suggest visiting a mental health therapist to help your daughter learn coping strategies to deal with the problem.
Increase In Height And Weight
Starting at around age 9, girls begin to gain about 17% to 18% of their adult height. If someone has commented that you are “all hands and feet,” it’s true! Your limbs grow first, then your trunk. Most girls grow fastest about six months before they start their first period .
You’ll probably gain weight in puberty — most girls do. You may notice more body fat along the upper arms, thighs, and upper back. Your hips will grow rounder and wider your waist will become narrower.
Your doctor will check your height and weight each year to make sure you are growing properly. If you are gaining weight too fast, you may need to increase your exercise and substitute fruits and vegetables for junk foods.