Common Misperceptions Your Daughter Might Have About Her Period
We've talked to a lot of young girls about periods. We've noticed that sometimes girls get their information about periods from their friends and not from their moms, aunts, grandmothers or other adults. This is just like the "telephone" game where the first girl passing along information may have it right, but by the time the information gets to the last girl in line, facts get distorted and misperceptions are born.
Here are some of the misperceptions we've heard about:
- If I stay skinny, I won't get my period.
- People can tell when I'm on my period because it smells.
- The sanitary pads will show through my clothes.
- If I use a tampon, I'm no longer a virgin.
- Girls can't get pregnant if they have sex during their period.
Ask your daughter what she's heard about periods from her friends and help her to sort through what's true and what's based on false information. She may bring up some of the misperceptions we mentioned above and you can be ready with the right information:
- Being underweight can have an effect on hormone balance and the menstrual cycle. However, this is not a healthy state to be in. Encourage your daughter to maintain a healthy weight and prepare proactively for her first period.
- Menstrual blood itself does not cause an odor. Using proper hygiene methods during her period, such as regularly changing pads, will alleviate odors.
- There are many different sizes of pads available today. Help your daughter find the right one for her and practice standing in front of a mirror with different types of clothes on. Your daughter will become comfortable with knowing that pads can't be seen through clothing.
- A virgin is a woman who has not had sex. Using a tampon does not have an impact on virginity.
- Although unlikely, it is possible to get pregnant during your period. It is not considered a method of birth control.
Your daughter will most likely feel relieved once she has gotten the facts about periods. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you both feel confident as she navigates this time in her life.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and are not intended as medical advice. For medical care and advice, you should consult your physician or health care provider on a regular basis. If you have any problem which concerns you, consult your physician immediately.