Premières règles : comment aborder le sujet avec votre ado ?

First rules: how to broach the subject with your teenager?

The arrival of the first period is an important stage in the life of a young adolescent. It can raise questions but also worries.

1 in 3 young girls felt "lost" when their first period arrived, 40% of them were afraid and more than half said they were embarrassed. 😔

Do you want to know how to best accompany your daughter during this transition period, give her your support and the information she needs?

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. In this article, we address the various questions that teens and their parents may ask about the first period and try to provide as many answers as possible.

1/ When does the first period occur?

The first periods, also called MENARCHES, appear at the time of puberty, generally between the ages of 10 and 15 years. The average age of first menstruation is 12.6 years .

However, each girl is different and it is possible that the period comes a little earlier or later. It is important to remind your daughter that the age of onset of menstruation can vary from person to person and that there is no absolute standard.

⚠️ In case of early or late puberty, however, a medical consultation is still necessary. It is the doctor who determines whether a check-up is necessary or not. In France, follow-up medical examinations are offered at ages 11-13 and 15-16.

2/ How to prepare for the arrival of the first period?

Preparing your daughter for the arrival of her FIRST PERIOD means allowing her to know what to expect so that she can feel confident.

To find one day his panties stained with blood, it can be impressive especially for a little girl of sometimes 9 or 10 years old. 😰 Talking about it beforehand means avoiding bad surprises!

Here are some practical tips to help her prepare:

Bring up the topic of menstrual periods early

No need to wait for the rules to appear to talk about it. The earlier, the better, as long as the words chosen are adapted to the child's age and concerns.

Some specialized works such as " The Little Illustrated of Intimacy " by Tiphaine Dieumegard and Mathilde Baudy accurately address the female anatomy and are aimed at children from 5 years old. 🫶

Lift the taboo on menstruation

It is essential to remind your daughter that menstruation is a natural process and that there is nothing shameful or taboo about it. It is a blood flow from the lining (inner wall) of the uterus.🩸

"The rules: it's not dirty, it's staining. It's not the same thing", as Anna Roy, midwife, author and columnist at La Maison des Maternelles reminds us.

Prepare a "first period" survival kit

For your daughter to feel confident, it may be useful to prepare a small repair kit containing sanitary protection (towel or panty liner) preferably in organic cotton and without toxic substances, as well as spare panties. 🏥

You can also take the opportunity to explain to her how to use all the different types of protection, including menstrual panties, and help her choose the ones that best suit her lifestyle.

You know our opinion, at TEENFLO we believe that period panties are the ideal intimate protection for teenagers and especially the youngest. We explain why here !

Show her how to take care of her intimate hygiene

It is important to teach your daughter to take care of her body. During menstruation, an intimate toilet is recommended once or twice a day. Warm water, mild soap, no scented or irritating products or washcloths, which are breeding grounds for bacteria.

And above all, no vaginal shower or intimate deodorant, no offense to influencers on social networks. 😱

Explain to her what are the potential symptoms associated with menstruation

The first period may be accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest, abdominal pain, nervousness or mood changes. In this case, we speak of “ PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME ”.

It is recommended that you discuss this with your daughter and explain to her how to manage these symptoms if she ever experiences them. These signs usually disappear when menstruation begins.

⚠️ However, if these problems are important, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor: treatments are possible.

    3/ How to manage the first period?

    FIRST PERIOD can be a difficult time for teens, who may feel uncomfortable or anxious about having this experience for the first time.

    It is therefore important to accompany them to help them manage this period in a serene and confident way.

    Here are some practical tips to help your daughter manage her first menstrual cycles:

    Make sure your daughter has enough sanitary protection

    In adolescents, cycles can be irregular from month to month and the date of onset of menstruation is often unpredictable. They can happen without a warning sign, at any time of the day.

    That's why it's best if your daughter always has sanitary pads on her or wears absorbent panties .

    Disposable sanitary protection (panty liners, pads and tampons) is changed on average every 4 to 6 hours. As for period panties, they can guarantee up to 12 hours of use.

    ⚠️ For the night, ANSES recommends the use of external protection (such as towels or menstrual panties) in order to reduce the risk of developing TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME.

    Advise him to take time to rest

    During menstruation, teenage girls may experience fatigue or pain. Getting enough rest, taking a warm bath or shower, or using hot water bottles can help ease the pain .

    Remind him of the importance of intimate hygiene 🛁

    Wash regularly, change protections and avoid wearing too tight or synthetic clothes which could aggravate the symptoms.

    Encourage her to talk

    If she is in pain, has questions or needs additional support.

    Encourage her to continue her activities

    Although periods can be uncomfortable at times, it's important that your daughter can continue to do activities that she enjoys and makes her feel good about herself.

      4/ How to help your daughter take care of her menstrual health?

      Along with practical advice to help your daughter manage her first period, it's also essential to teach her how to take care of her long-term period health.

      But what is MENSTRUAL HEALTH, anyway? 🤔

      According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in relation to the menstrual cycle and not the mere absence of pathology or infirmity. related to the menstrual cycle.

      Here are some tips to help your daughter take care of her period health:

      Eating well during puberty

      It cannot be repeated enough, a healthy and balanced diet can help regulate hormones and reduce menstrual symptoms.

      Encourage your daughter to eat foods high in fibre, protein and vitamins 🥑🥦🥕🌽🫘🍳🥝 and avoid processed foods and refined sugars.

      During puberty, growth accelerates. Suddenly the appetite increases and certain nutritional needs become more important, in particular in iron, calcium and vitamin D.

      Encourage regular physical activity

      Physical activity has a proven beneficial effect on health, balance and form as well as morale.

      It is recommended to practice at least one hour of physical exercise per day, in sequences of at least twenty minutes. Walking to college, for example, is an easy activity to integrate into your daily life.

      Physical activity can also help reduce menstrual symptoms and improve mood. Encourage your daughter to engage in regular exercise, whether it's dancing, yoga, or swimming. 🤸‍♀️

      Learn to identify unusual symptoms

      Cycle disorders (also called cycle abnormalities) are irregularities in the menstrual cycle. They can affect both the frequency and intensity of bleeding.

      Periods can be irregular, painful (dysmenorrhea), too abundant or too prolonged (menorrhagia) or simply absent (amenorrhea).

      It's important to explain to your daughter how to identify these unusual symptoms that could indicate a health problem.

      However, you should know that the first cycles following menarche are frequently manifested by irregular and/or heavy bleeding , which can be a source of concern for the adolescent girl, even though it is completely normal.

      ⚠️ However, do not hesitate to consult in the event of severe menstrual pain, very heavy bleeding or any other unusual symptom that would have significant repercussions in your child's daily life.

      As you will have understood, by showing openness, support and communication, you will be able to help your daughter get through this period with confidence and serenity.

      Want to know more ? There are mother-daughter workshops organized throughout France by the CycloShow association or dedicated online programs " Kiffe tes première Rules ".

      Finally, if your daughter is old enough to have her first period and you are considering giving her MENSTRUAL PANTIES, take a look at our collection. ➡️ It's over here !


      Sources :

      • "American women are unprepared for their period", Poll - OnePoll Diva Cup International Inc - May 2018
      • "Age at menarche: French results of the Health Behavior in School-aged Children study" - A. Gaudineau - Gynecology, obstetrics & fertility - June 2010
      • "Puberty and adolescence" -
      • "Contrary to popular belief, sport helps women better tolerate their periods" - Study - Strava FitrWoman - March 2019
      • "Menstrual health and its alterations" - Comic strip - Campaign 2022 "Blood blush"
      • "Cycle disorders in adolescence: a banality?" - M. Jacot-Guillarmod, SC Renteria - Swiss Medical Journal - June 2010



        Photo credits: Freepik

        [ This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. ]

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