I remember the day my period started for the first time. I was 12 and other than hearing the vague and cryptic comments from my friends at school and an older sister who had shared a little bit about their own experiences with me, I was woefully unprepared. I have good parents whom I love dearly, but I think there was a whole generation of young girls who were as unprepared for this life event as I was, because menstruation wasn’t something we talked about.
When I married and then years later when I gave birth to my first child, a daughter, I knew I wanted to do things a little differently with her. I wanted her to have a better understanding of how her body worked and to be prepared for the day, many years in the future, that she too, would face menstruation. Globally there is still so much confusion that exists even today about this very normal monthly female occurrence. One need not go very far to hear stories about young girls and women forced to sleep outside and eat separately from their families during their menstrual cycle due to centuries-long beliefs which wrongfully assume that these poor young women could bring ruin and sickness upon their family by interacting with them during menses.
So I think it is safe to say we really need to have this discussion with as many young girls and their parents as we can.
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