Most women at some point in their life will experience the menstrual cycle; a period.
As a teenager, and in all honesty – still now, I feel embarrassed carrying a sanitary pad and changing my pad in public toilets; knowing that someone else can hear me tear the pad off my underwear.
I know it’s not something to be embarrassed by, nearly every female experiences it at some point in their life; for most it can be every month for over 30 years!
I do sometimes wonder why I feel this way; my mum was always honest and happy to talk about periods with me when I was younger. I wonder if it has anything to do with my peers when I was younger?
How can we encourage the younger children to not feel embarrassed? I know that one of my girls had a sex education session at school about periods and the boys of the class were taken out. Does this not encourage the embarrassment? How can we encourage our younger generations of all genders to not be embarrassed about periods, to not make it a topic of “silliness”. And what is age appropriate?
I am a mum of a house of girls. When the girls were young, it was very rare for me to be able to go to the toilet without being interrupted. There have been times they’ve walked into the bathroom and have noticed it’s my ‘time of the month’. I’ve always tried to be honest with them, and tried to explain that I’m not bleeding from a cut, I’m not going to die and I’m not hurting (not all the time anyway!). Keen to show them, and any females that enter our home, that I don’t want them to feel embarrassed, I keep pads and tampons in an accessible drawer beside the toilets in our home and they are constantly fully stocked.
In an attempt to alleviate my own embarrassment when at work and also to help others around me, I decided to make a sanitary product tin for others to have access to, should they need a sanitary product.
Please talk to your children, sons and daughters, about periods. Let them know about the bodily changes, the needs of the person and how they can be supported.