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Five Common Questions Preteens Have About Periods

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Preteens have lots of questions about a woman’s menstrual cycle, but they are often not comfortable enough to ask an adult. Sometimes asking your preteen if they have any questions might not be enough, as they may still be too embarrass or confused to be able to ask anything. Being armed with the five most common questions will help you open the lines of communication with your preteen, help them better understand the menstrual cycle, and help them rise above their embarrassment when it comes to talking about tough issues with adults.

How come only girls get their period? Why don’t boys have a menstrual cycle?

Girls and boys both go through puberty, but our bodies are different. Women are able to carry a baby. In order to be able to do this, we have to go through menstrual cycle. Boys change in different ways, such as their voices getting deeper.

What are cramps? Will I have them?

Sometimes women experience discomfort when having their period. These are called cramps. Some women get them, some don’t. Many do not get them with every period. Everyone is different in this area. Tell your preteen that if they should get cramps with their periods, you will be there to help. That a hot water bottle can ease the discomfort and ibuprofen can help too.

Do I have to get my period? Will I have a period for the rest of my life?

Yes, you have to get your period if you are a healthy girl. Even if you do not want children when you grow up, it is still going to happen. While it is scary at first and not always a pleasure to have, you will hopefully some day come to respect the life cycle that you are a part of. And no, women only get their period until about the age of 45 to 55. At this time a women will not longer be able to carry a baby.

Is there a lot of blood when you get your period?

The amount of blood can vary from girl to girl, period to period or even from day to day. Generally, it is a tablespoon or two to ½ cup. Tell your preteen that you are willing to help them understand what that means by using food coloring (use blue), water, and a couple of pads. This ‘experiment’ will also help later if you daughter should ever feel that she is bleeding too much, and she needs to show you by gauge. Pour 2 tablespoons into one pad, ¼ cup into another and ½ cup into another. Now you both have a gauge to go by when talking about this women’s health issue.

How long does a period last?

A period only lasts for 3 to 7 days, depending on the woman. Some months it will be for 3 days; others it will be longer. Until your system is regulated, you may even skip a period or get it twice in one month. This is all very normal.

The important thing to remember when talking to preteens about issues of sexuality is to not give too much information to fast, but to make sure you have answered what they wanted to know. You’ll feel like you’re walking on a tight rope at times, but let your preteen help gauge what you say and you’ll be just fine.

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