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Menstruation and sexuality

Home Services Women's health Adolescent girls Menstruation and sexuality

Helping your daughter understand the menstrual cycle process

Typically, young girls have their first period, or menarche, between age 10 and age 17. The hormonal changes that they may experience at this time can create strong emotions.

At this time, your daughter may have learned some things about menstruation and her sexuality from school or her friends. It is important that she fully understand the menstrual cycle process and how it will impact her body, as well as the potential consequences associated with sexual activity after menstruation begins. The more that she knows about the entire cycle, the easier it will be to handle the changes that occur in her body.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are talking to your daughter about her first period:

  • Every step of the menstrual cycle is controlled by sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
  • From menarche, a girl has her period each month until she reaches menopause, which generally occurs in the late 40s or early 50s.
  • It is perfectly normal to have a period that lasts anywhere from three to seven days.
  • Most girls lose only about 4 to 6 tbsp. of menstrual fluid each month.
  • To catch the menstrual flow during your period so your clothes are not soiled, there are products available such as tampons or sanitary napkins (disposable pads).
  • Most girls do not need to change their daily activities or exercise routines when they have their periods.