The average age a girl will have her first period is 12, but approximately 9% will start menstruating while still in primary school, and research carried out by the Sex Education Forum1 showed that 27% of those surveyed had not been taught about menstruation before they had their first cycle.
This is why organic cotton feminine care company Organ(y)c is calling for parents to start the conversation about changes that will happen in their children’s bodies earlier. This helps girls understand that having a period is just something that will happen naturally as they get older.
Chloe Case from Organ(y)c said:
“It’s sad that the word ‘period’ can still fill some people with dread, so the sooner we start talking to our children – boys and girls – the sooner any stigma will disappear. Girls need to know what is happening by the time they experience their first period and not be left to think there’s something wrong with them.
“Parents don’t need to make a big deal out of it. They can start with simply not hiding away boxes of tampons or sanitary towels, and if children ask what they are, not being afraid to say. Use factual and simple terms, such as explaining how women bleed from their vagina on a monthly basis and tampons and sanitary towels catch the blood.
“Children will generally associate blood with injury and pain so it is important to also talk about how it’s not because they are hurt, but something that happens naturally and means a girl’s body is changing so she can have children in the future.”
Instead of waiting for the ‘right time’, Organ(y)c suggests having conversations early and often, and talk about how:
Chloe is also urging parents to educate their daughters about the products that they use:
“Many young girls will purchase conventional sanitary products because this is what the older females in their family will use, but they don’t know about the negative health and environmental factors.”
Organ(y)c products do not contain conventional plastics, bleach, SAP’s or synthetic fragrances – just 100% certified organic cotton which is clinically proven to reduce intimate skin irritations and is also super absorbent and naturally soft against intimate skin.
Chloe continued: “As parents we always want the best for our children to ensure they are safe and do not come into contact with harsh chemicals be it in their food or everyday toiletries; but we don’t take into consideration the chemicals and plastics that are used in their sanitary products, we should educate girls more so that they know what they are using.”
The younger generation is becoming increasingly aware of plastic pollution from single use plastics and is actively seeking alternatives. Organ(y)c is dedicated to developing a range of sanitary products which use only bioplastics, sugar plastics and FSC paper in order to have a less harmful impact on the environment.
It’s not just girls that should be included in these conversations either, as Chole explains:
“Whilst girls should be aware of what a boy will go through during puberty, including boys in any conversation about periods reaffirms the fact that they are something which should be discussed openly.
“With boys it can help to get the conversation going by dismissing any myths they may have heard in the playground, such as, using a tampon means a girl has lost her virginity, periods are gross, or that girls can’t go swimming while menstruating.”
“We want parents to have open discussions and encourage questions. There is never going to be a right time to have these types of chats, but the earlier parents start the easier the conversations will be.”
For more information on Organ(y)c please visit www.organyc.uk.