Period Fact #8 – What is that in her underwear?
The 8th post in our series about periods explains one of the early signs that your daughter might be experiencing closer to starting her period. She may notice a clear or milky-white fluid as a wet spot in her underwear. This is formally called vaginal discharge. The mucus is a normal part of the menstrual cycle and may appear up to six months before her first period. After that she may notice it before each period starts.
You can remind your daughter that this is her body’s natural way of cleansing itself and that it’s perfectly normal. If the discharge is dark in color or has a strong odor talk to your doctor as this can be a sign of infection.
Encourage your daughter to carry pantiliners with her. Keep a box stashed in the bathroom at home so she can stock up at any time. Pantiliners come in many different shapes and sizes, there are even ones to fit into thong underwear! Many are also folded in their own disposable wrapper. These individually wrapped liners are small enough to slip into even the smallest purse or back pack pocket.
Now might also be a good time to go with your daughter on a field trip to the local drug store. Take a walk down the feminine care aisle and talk about all the choices. Looking at the different size pads and when to use them – light days, heavy days, night time – will help your daughter gain confidence in managing her period. Several companies, like Kotex, are also reaching out to the tween market with colorful packaging which helps tweens be more comfortable about their periods.
There are also many different types of tampons and your daughter may have many questions about when and how to use a tampon. You may not want to have this conversation in the drug store aisle, however, it it good information for your daughter to have before she starts her period.