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How Do I Learn About Things Like Periods And Bras?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I know at some point I'm going to get my period and have to wear a bra and all things like that. But I'm so embarased about those things. But I don't really know anything about them. Do I talk to my mom about them? What do I say? Is she going to be upset that these things are happening to me? And what if she is all weird and can't talk to me about these things? Then what do I do???????
Signed: How Do I Learn About Things Like Periods And Bras?

Dear How Do I Learn About Things Like Periods And Bras?,

 

TeenHealthFX hopes you can find a way to stop worrying so much. Although these things can initially seem scary, foreign, and embarrassing, it is important to remember that these are perfectly normal issues that all young women go through. Your mother went through this, as did your grandmother and your great grandmother. If you have a close, open relationship with your mother, talking about the inevitable changes in your body will help make these next years less frightening, strange, and awkward for you. Even if you do not feel very close with your mother, FX encourages you to talk to her about this because no mother should be upset with her teen for opening up this topic of conversation. Most mothers are relieved that their daughters are brave enough to bring up the subject and are more than glad to give their indispensable advice and comfort.

 

While you are plucking up your courage to speak with your mom, FX will give you some suggestions as to how to bring this up with your mother. You might try saying something like, “Mom we are learning about puberty in school, and it all just seems so overwhelming and embarrassing to me. I know you went through this and I was hoping that you could help me through all this, too.” You could also start by saying something like, “Mom, there is something that is feeling very scary and embarrassing to me. So I really hope you can help me and be patient and gentle when we talk about this issue.” FX hopes that your mother will be able to respond in a helpful way, but if she doesn’t you do have other options.

 

If you find it too difficult to talk with your mother about this, talk with your friends. Your peers are going through the same changes in their bodies as you are and they are probably feeling a lot of the same emotions that you are: confusion, embarrassment and fright. You and your girl friends can compare experiences and comfort each other. You can also speak with another trusted adult, such as your doctor or school nurse, the parent of a friend, an adult neighbor you are close to, or an aunt or older sister. Any of these people should be able to help you to get the information you need.

 

Regardless of who is helping you through this confusing time it is a good idea to go to certain measures so that when your period does come you are prepared. First you should purchase some pads. Make sure to get some overnight pads as well. The first time you get your period you will not want to use a tampon right away. Tampons can seem scary and intense for young girls. (It is a good idea to talk about tampons with your mother and/or your friends. They can help you make good decisions about tampon use). If you carry a purse you should keep your precautionary pads in a pocket in your purse otherwise store the pads in your backpack or your locker. When you think your period has arrived, if you are in class, ask you teacher to use the bathroom. Take your purse with you if you use a purse. If you do not use a purse stop at your locker on the way to the bathroom and retrieve your pad. It is natural to have false alarms before you finally get your first period as sometimes girls confuse a normal vaginal discharge for their period.

 

To get more information on these issues, you can also read the questions/answers on the website under the categories “Female Puberty Issues,” Females: Your Period,” and “Breast Size, Shape and Concerns.”

 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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