How to talk about menstruation with your parents and especially with your father?
Menstruation is a natural phenomenon that occurs at the age of puberty and that will follow the life of menstruating people until the menopause. They come every month, for an average of 2 to 7 days. Menstrual cycles are different for each woman and last between 20 and 40 days.
The first menstrual period is an important stage in the life of young girls, even if we should not dramatize their arrival: it is certainly a moment marking, many women remember the moment when they had their first period, but it is above all a natural phenomenon. Even if 72%* of French people believe that menstruation is no longer a taboo subject, many young women turn to their mothers or a female family member (sister, cousin, aunt...) when they get their first period. However, menstruation is a completely natural phenomenon, which concerns both women and men. Don't be afraid to talk about menstruation with your father and conversely with your daughter. Men are aware of what menstruation is and have an important role to play in supporting and preventing it. Boys also need to be talked to about menstruation, starting at a young age. The more we talk about it freely, the less taboos there will be!
At school, periods are discussed, for example with the school nurse or in science classes, but support and prevention are mainly provided by the family circle.
How can we, as parents, best prepare for the arrival of menstruation?
To best prepare for the arrival of menstruation, we must accompany young girls by explaining to them what they are used for, how the body works and how to protect themselves when they have their period.
For example, putting a trash can in the bathroom and sanitary pads in the toilet, freely available to young girls. All this contributes to breaking the taboos around menstruation and helps them to live this moment better. Moreover, the support also includes going with the child to buy sanitary protection: to show her that it is something normal that she should not be ashamed of. Menstruation is not dirty!
In the same way, it is important to show the different means of protection and their differences: there are not only tampons or disposable pads! There is the cup, but also the menstrual panties: simple to use, it is put on like a classic panties in the morning and you take it off in the evening after the day!
For the first cycles, it is possible to test first the menstrual panties at home, especially for the first periods when one does not know yet its flow.
Another important point: you must dissociate menstruation and sexuality. Indeed, some people may be embarrassed to talk about it because menstruation is sometimes wrongly associated with sexuality, but it has nothing to do with it and it is necessary to differentiate these two things.
If you have difficulties talking to your parents about menstruation, sexuality or subjects that affect your intimate or sexual life, there are professionals who can help you: your doctor, midwives, gynecologists... You can also go to a family planning center, the list is right here: https: //www.planning-familial.org/fr.
Don't hesitate to give us in comments the advices you would give to your dad to talk about menstruation !
*figures : Barometer Règles Elementaires x Opinion Way