These messages are designed as a basic minimum level of knowledge for girls and boys aged 10-14. The messages are designed to link to other messages on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
- Menstruation is a normal and healthy process that affects all women. It is bleeding through the vagina each month for 3-6 days in a cycle. Cycles do not happen the same every month – especially at first.
- Menstruation is one of the signs of puberty in the female body alongside visible signs such as the growth of breasts, hair under the arms and between the legs (pubic hair) and changes in body size and shape.
- Menstrual bleeding over 3-6 days is sometimes called a ‘period’. Periods start when girls are between 10 and 16 years old. It’s normal for periods to start at different ages.
- Periods start when the brain sends chemical messengers called ‘hormones’ to parts of the body which are used to create babies.
- A period happens when the female eggs have not ‘met’ a male sperm during sex. It is like a nest inside the womb and when this is not needed it comes out as blood.
- Periods stop when a pregnancy starts. It is one of the first signs that an egg has been fertilised by a sperm inside the womb.
- Bleeding is heavier at the start of a period and some people feel pain in their stomach, have headaches and they can feel sad and angry.
- Pads made of cloth or toilet paper, ‘sanitary towels’, tampons and menstrual cups are all used to catch the bleeding.
- No-one should be shy to buy or ask about pads or sanitary options at schools, shops or clinics. Bleedings happens to all women and it’s normal.
- It’s important to wash and keep you body clean and fresh and change the pads or tampons or empty the cups as least twice a day or more at the start of the period.
- For some, period pain is very bad. Friends and family can help and encourage girls when they miss school or other activities and make sure they drink enough fluids and eat a good diet.
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