How teens today are immensely misinformed on the discussion of periods
I hated sex-ed. For one, I was a young, immature and oblivious middle-schooler who wanted nothing to do with discussions about genitals. However, I also didn’t understand much, especially when it came to menstruation.
I remember sitting in my fifth grade class as my teacher fake-demonstrated how to use a pad and tampon. My jaw was on the floor. I could not wrap my head around the notion of blood exiting my body every month whilst being in immense amounts of pain. Luckily, I got my first period the following year.
Learning about periods for the first time was immensely confusing and overwhelming for me. That’s the case for many others as well. To this day, my friends and I laugh about how confusing and scary periods used to be.
These experiences are why I feel that our sex-ed curriculm needs a lot of work. Unfortunately, 44 per cent of women do not know what is happening to them when they have their first period.
Many young women feel confused and lost on the topic of periods, but it’s even worse when there is a lack of discussion around other health issues that women can face. Women can deal with different uterine health issues such as endometriosis and deadly sicknesses such as toxic shock syndrome that can be caused by menstrual products.
I remember all the times I felt lost, confused and embarrassed about my period, especially when I was one of the earliest out of all my friends.
It was so taboo and awkward. When I needed to grab a tampon or pad out of my locker, I felt so embarrassed. Sometimes, even teachers would be of no help, considering the amount of times I would hide a tampon in my pocket, urgently needing to go to the washroom and my teacher would say no.
I longed to feel comfortable in simply telling them the truth.
Even growing up, I realised I had to discover these things myself. I would constantly ask my sister, my mom and my friends questions on things about the female body that I was confused about. And there were times where I was that helping hand for my friends, especially as an early bloomer.
Although teens today are lucky to have accesss to any information through their devices, it is still so important to have someone to guide them. We need to first create a better sex-ed curriculm where teens feel comfortable and where we do not split the class based on sex.
We need to teach girls about periods. About what and what not to do. About odors, about pleasure, sex, how to say no, about illnesses and about hygiene.
It is important that teens realise that it is one’s own journey and process, but that they can still speak to
anyone about it.