Why Menstrual Education is Important

The first time I experienced my period is something that I will never forget. At the age of 14, I was completely caught off guard and overwhelmed by the range of emotions I felt – confusion, stress, frustration, and more. I had no menstrual education and was completely unprepared to handle it. It’s important for young girls to be prepared for when they start their periods and to not be caught off guard. Children should never have to feel confused or clueless about what is happening when they experience their first period.

Menstrual education is an important subject. It is imperative that youngsters understand what periods are, how they occur, why they occur when they occur, and what to do if they occur. It is the obligation and responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are well-educated both before and after their first menstruation cycle.

In India, periods are often stigmatized and surrounded by taboos, leading to a lack of open discussion about the topic in many parts of the country. In the past, women who experienced their periods were often isolated and banned from touching certain items or participating in certain activities, such as entering the kitchen or handling clothes, due to the belief that they were “dirty” or “impure” during this time. This practice is still followed in some households in India today.

Some studies suggest that around 71% of the girls in India do not know about menstruation and menstrual health until they get their first period. According to UNESCO, as many as 23 M girls in India stop their education once they start experiencing their periods. These numbers are alarming, as menstruation is a very natural biological process that should not prevent girls from receiving basic education.

It is vital to recognize menstrual education’s importance and break the myths, taboos, and stigmas surrounding menstruation. There are several ways in which parents and educators can support children in understanding and managing their period cycles. Listed here are 5 ways to help.

Menstrual Education:

In an era where education is key to success, it is important to educate children about the importance of the menstrual cycle and how it works. This can help them better understand the concept and feel more prepared when they start experiencing their periods.

Be Prepared:

Many girls start experiencing their periods at the age of 10 or earlier, so it is important to start preparing them beforehand. Educate them about the various sanitary products available and how each of them works and teach them about the changes that can occur in their body during their menstruation, such as cramps, premenstrual symptoms, and changes in mood.

Menstrual Education about Hygiene:

Proper menstrual hygiene is essential to avoid health risks such as vaginal infections, urethra tract infections, and reproductive tract infections. Educate children about the importance of good menstrual hygiene and how to properly manage their periods.

What to Do:

Even if young girls are prepared beforehand, it is still important to guide them through their first period. Teach them how to use sanitary products and how to dispose them off properly. Proper menstrual education can help people understand how to take care of their reproductive health, including how to use menstrual products safely and effectively and how to recognize and address any issues that may arise.

Break Myths and Taboos Through Menstrual Education:

Finally, it is important to normalize the concept of periods and menstruation by breaking taboos and destigmatizing them. This includes educating boys as well as girls about menstruation and periods. Let children know that menstruation is normal and is a beautiful process that helps bring new life into the world.

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