4woman Ladies

The Talk

When parents, teachers and health workers explain the menstrual cycleto you, they will often talk in very scientific terms, or talk about itin a removed way so that it all seems to be about the egg. For example,they will explain that every month your body gets ready to have a baby,an egg is formed and moves to your uterus, but when you don't get pregnant,your body expels the unused egg and the material saved up to nourish thategg, and that is your period.

I used to say "But what about me?" when I thought about myperiod. Even though I knew that this egg stuff was going on inside of mybody, it didn't explain my moods, my pain, or the nightmares I was havingabout bleeding all over the place in the middle of history class.

An uncomfortable subject

Adults hide behind scientific explanations when they are embarrassedto talk to you about menstruation. Yes, they may be almost as embarrassedas you are! And if both of you are embarrassed, it just makes it all themore embarrassing.

When your mother was a girl, her mother might not have explained muchto her about what to expect. Not so long ago, menstruation was pretty muchunmentionable. Napkins and tampons and douches could not be advertisedon TV until the 1970's. My mother didn't even know what a periodwas when she started - she thought she had cancer. So even if your motherwants to make sure that you know more than she did, she might have troublefiguring out how to tell you, because no one ever explained it to her verywell.

Also, menstruation is not something adults talk about among themselvesvery often. Women usually only talk to their close friends about theirperiod. It is not something brought up in public, especially with men around.So menstruation is mysterious to most men, a "woman thing" thatthey only know about as far as effects them. This secrecy may cause a lotof awkwardness when it comes time to sit down with you and have "TheTalk," no matter how determined they are to be as open and honestwith you as they can.

Part of this is because menstruation is not just about bleeding, orit might be as easy to discuss as flossing. Menstruation is also signal,a red flag, that you are growing up and becoming a sexual being and thatis a little weird for them. They'll get used to it, though.

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