Becoming a woman is a whole journey, a painful and uncomfortable one at that. The rite passage to womanhood is a painful occurrence called the Menstrual cycle which comes without a prior notice or warning and is  mostly common in females between the ages of 10 and 16.Menstruation is the monthly  bleeding of the vagina whereby the womb or uterus sheds its lining. Menstruation has four cycles namely; menstruation, the follicular stage, ovulation and the luteal phase. A typical period should last 3 to 8 days maximum anything more than this might require medical help.

Periods can be a pain  especially when you’re still in grade school, sitting in class one day unaware of what a menarche is or what it entails and all of a sudden you are bleeding, embarrassed and confused. Till date, periods still seem like a plague to some; not being able to purchase a pad in public as if menstruation is some sort of sin rather than a gift from mother nature. Getting a little blood stain on your clothes because you’re on our period should be as normal as bleeding from a cut even after cleaning it up.

Menstrual hygiene should be taught not just in schools but equally at home. Menstrual pep talks should be normalised like sex education because they are just as important. In African society, most parents do not even know when their daughters get their first periods, they let them figure it out on their own, never even inquiring. It is important for young girls to know how to properly insert their pad or tampons as per preference. Let them know how long they need to go with a pad before changing to avoid vaginal bacteria and other infections that may occur if a pad is worn for a long period of time and most importantly let them know that getting a menarche before their peers is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Research shows that a period is as painful as a heart attack and yet a 10 year old is expected to navigate through it with nothing but a pad and common sense. As much as mothers should be more involved as they have more experience in the field,  fathers shouldn’t be left out either. Google about periods, get her pain killers, get her a hot water bag and why not some chocolates too, let her know that you understand her pain and discomfort. It might take a village to raise a child but there are somethings you need to do on your own so help that little girl navigate the journey that is womanhood.

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