Advanced search

To think girls should be taught more about their own body and menstruation?

(37 Posts)
PencilCaseBlue Mon 22-Aug-11 21:27:17

Schools teach a lot about sex, a lot about the biology of periods (in science), a lot about puberty (in primary school). But they seem to leave out periods in their curriculum (in PSHE etc)

Periods are a huge part of a teenage girl’s life; they can dictate whether you go out, whether you go swimming or whether you spend the entire week in bed with chocolate and a hot water bottle. But every so often I learn something new about my body, sometimes it is something I wish I knew earlier, such as a form of pain relief, or something that if I knew earlier, much hassle would have been saved.

Girls are taught the myths and facts of periods, but not anything else. Yes, you can swim whilst ‘on’, yes, you can get pregnant....Yes, and you are going to get cramps. (Why is it that no one ever says that cramps hurt like hell? In any literature about this they are uncomfortable?)

Why can’t girls be taught the truth? You can sweat buckets, changing your diet slightly can help; you get diarrhoea/constipation/flatulence, headaches, aching muscles. Don’t be a martyr, take pain relief, hot baths may be good but may make you feel faint (if you have them at near boiling point blush
). Sometimes, standing on one leg whilst leaning to the left 30 degrees is the ONLY way to stop pain.

Ohh, and don’t start me on the whole ‘4 tablespoons of blood’, like hell it is.

It just seems that girls are taught the warm and fuzzy side to periods and not the actual truth. Why can’t girls be told, periods are crap, but get use to it?

Rant over.

worraliberty Mon 22-Aug-11 21:30:34

Sorry I don't know where you got that idea from.....have you visited a lot of schools?

I only ask because by the kids (both male and female) in my son's school are taught most of those things about periods.

GypsyMoth Mon 22-Aug-11 21:31:36

is this lack of knowlege countrywide then op...

ChumleeIsMyHomeboy Mon 22-Aug-11 21:33:46

Having a cold can stop you going out ffs. I think, frankly, if a period stops you going out it's either time to up the painkillers or see the GP for help. See - they're periods. We have them. It comes with the gender and there's not a whole big lot we can do about them so rather just get the hell on with it than make a meal of the whole thing.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 22-Aug-11 21:34:59

Eh? confused

I don't get cramps mostly, and when I do they certainly don't hurt like hell. These are not universal facts of life, they are just symptoms some people experience.

Standing on one leg? Is this some kind of trick everyone else knows about and only I don't??

squeakytoy Mon 22-Aug-11 21:36:16

Why should schools be responsible for something a mother or other female family member can help with?

balia Mon 22-Aug-11 21:36:31

There's a warm and fuzzy side to periods? Fuzzy? Really?

Maybe you want to check out the National Curriculum. Schools can't teach kids everything. Your truth is your perspective and what your daughter is taught is your decision to make. I'd certainly rather my DD was not told that her period would entail a week in bed with chocolate, thanks.

Ishoos, methinks.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 22-Aug-11 21:36:33

yy chumlee

My period stops me doing.... precisely nothing. Still go running, swimming, everything.

I appreciate what you are saying about better education (never argue with that) but you do seem to be suggesting that periods are universally miserable. Most of the time I don't remember I have mine.

<mooncup love>

redexpat Mon 22-Aug-11 21:39:36

Probably for the same reason that no one ever tells you about childbirth. Or 'breaking' your hymen. The truth's a bitch. Also it varies massively from girl to girl. Bodies change so what works when you're 14 might not work when you're 40.

Oh and as the owner of a mooncup it is actually about 4 tbsps of blood.

Nagoo Mon 22-Aug-11 21:41:07

Why is it school's job?

Girls are taught facts about periods, good.

I want periods to be 'normal' not dictating every part of my life. And do you want to terrify young girls before they start their periods? I was scared enough without being told about agonising cramps and vast amounts of blood loss.


BeamReach Mon 22-Aug-11 21:45:12

hmm... not really such a great idea to teach a teenage girl her periods will be hell and the appropriate response is to retreat in defeat. Most people after a rocky couple of years at the beginning settle down to something they can cope with.... and if they don't there are somewhere in the region of 20 different ways of dealing with the pain and bleeding. Including making them stop all together...

In all seriousness, if your life is being so disrupted go and find a sympathetic GP, not least because you need to rule out something wrong which can be treated....

CrystalQueen Mon 22-Aug-11 21:47:21

YABU. I wish we had spent less time at school learning about periods, and more about finance.

(But on the other hand - my DH was on a course about a new way to manage his diabetes. The instructor mentioned that control can be more difficult when you are menstruating. My DH had to explain what that meant to the woman sitting next to him...)

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Mon 22-Aug-11 21:50:53

My dds, my responsibility


Sofabitch Mon 22-Aug-11 21:52:44

Because it's hardly fair to scare the crap out of a pre pubescent girl. They are going to learn it in their own time. Indent actually think it's always a schools job to teach these things. My dd is 10 and she already has a just in case bag that she takes out. Periods don't stop your life.

StopRainingPlease Mon 22-Aug-11 22:06:37

My mum didn't tell me a single thing about periods. Nor did school - I learnt what little I knew from friends. When I got my first one I told my mum I was bleeding and she just said, "You know what that is, yes?" Thanks mum hmm. Yes I do think schools should include it.

NonnoMum Mon 22-Aug-11 22:10:59

I think girls need to be taught that they DON'T need to retreat to bed for a week.
But that it can last for 5 days. Loads of them seem surprised at that.

Asmodeus Mon 22-Aug-11 22:29:45

Periods were talked about at school with me in P7.

In any cse I won't worry about what the school doesn't teach to my daughters about their body because I'm their Mum and they'll hear it from me first.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Mon 22-Aug-11 22:33:36

Hurrah for all the mothers saying that they are going to be teaching their DDs about periods (and possibly sex) instead of assuming that it is someone else's responsibility.

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 23:17:20

I don't know about schools now. I do know I wasn't taught nearly enough and I'm 26 so it wasn't that long ago. I had no idea you could get pregnant on your period as we were actually taught the opposite! And I had no idea your body temp. rises - wish we'd been told that!

I think there is a bit of a problem that if you are going to teach some of the biological information in schools, you should teach all of it. Teaching selective bits is quite odd and implies that some physical issues are less important or less normal than others, IMO. And teenage girls are not notoriously good at listening in a level-headed way to their mums telling them yes, they are normal even though they don't feel like it!

cat64 Mon 22-Aug-11 23:30:56

Message withdrawn

TheSmallClanger Mon 22-Aug-11 23:31:10

I made sure DD had all the facts I thought she needed, but it is a bit disconcerting when schools continue to propagate stuff like "you only lose a couple of teaspoonfuls of blood". It's all very well trying not to scare them, but I know that some of the girls in DD's class have been taken aback by their periods, in terms of blood loss, pain and so on, and have then panicked that there is something badly wrong with them.

I think schools should be backing us up by acknowledging more that periods can be quite painful and very messy, even at the beginning, but it's okay once you know how your body behaves, and there are many many ways of dealing with them these days.

TheMitfordsMaid Mon 22-Aug-11 23:35:56

If I had daughters I would buy them the Toni Weschler book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility.". It taught me, in my 30s, more than I'd ever been taught by anyone else about my fertility and menstrual cycle.

There is nothing more empowering than understanding your own body, and there is certainly no bollocks about retreating to bed with chocolate.

A1980 Mon 22-Aug-11 23:48:55

I'm with the OP on this. Not everyone has a mother who will tell their DD's and just have one who will assume you know things.

For example I knew that you know when you've got your period when you see a stain on your pants and that you get it every 28 days. That was well known but that's all I knew. So when I kept needing pads the day I got it, I asked why this was happening as I thought you only got it every 28 days. My mother actually fell about laughing and said mockingly "you don't think you only get a spot every month do you?". Umm YES I did think that but no one ever told me what to expect and I was only 12.

My mum was also the most neurotic sickly stupid person when it came to things like that. She wrote all in her diary, "my baby started menstruating: ah my poor little girl....!" Immedaitely implying it's something to be sorry about having. I would rather speak to the bloody school than my mother about it as she didn't help.

Also she was the kind of mother who forbade tampons as somethnig digsuting and unclean even when I was 16. she made me afraid of them by what she said. When i had enough money to buy them myself she kept taking them away and throwing the boxes out as she didn't want me using them.

It might only be a few tablespoons of blood but it sure doesn't feel like that when you're aware of it passing on to the pad. It feels like a hell of alot more.

Cramps: agonisingly painful. I used to have to go home from school as I would be incapcaitated with the worst pain imaginable and would throw up and have a bad tummy. I couldn't swallow pills until I was 16 and no one ever had the sense to buy me calpol or other liquid medicine.

My cramp calmed down alot when i was 16-17 but still had me unable to go out with it and manageable with a couple of tablets and a hot drink until I was into my 20's.

With the OP on this one. I knew shit all. Hoepfully things have improved in schools for this generation.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 22-Aug-11 23:53:18

I have never liked the way it's described as "bleeding"'re not bleeding but "shedding". Bleeding sounds scary.

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 23:57:45

A1980 that's so sad.

I think you are right too, lots of girls have worse craps than grown women.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: