What are periods?

The onset of menstruation, and more specifically the period, is one of the biggest changes puberty brings to girls.

Periods are part of the menstrual cycle, in which blood and tissue leave the body through the vagina. Its primary purpose is to prepare the uterus for pregnancy and is one element of the menstrual cycle.

Naturally, periods often come as a shock to young girls reaching puberty. It is important to prepare your child for this change before she has her first period by having an open discussion about how her body is going to develop and explain what this means.

When periods start

A girl’s first period can occur anywhere between the age of eight and 16.

Symptoms before a period

Common pre-menstrual symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Sore breasts
  • Pimples
  • Greasy hair

How do I manage menstruation?

If your child is approaching puberty, ensure she has a handy supply of sanitary pads or tampons at home and knows how to use them (and how to hygienically dispose of them). She may also want to carry a supply in her schoolbag.

How do I manage Period pain?

Treatment for relief of period pain may include:

  • Putting a hot water bottle on your stomach
  • Walking or other light exercise
  • Taking pain relief medication

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