Why It’s Important to Educate Our Daughters on Heavy Periods

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

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I thought I knew everything I needed to know about my body. Then I had kids. And it’s not just that my body changed once I had them (and boy did it), but these kids also ask way more questions than I ever thought I’d be comfortable answering. When you have three daughters, you have to get over that awkward feeling really quickly. And if you don’t teach them what they need to know, they are going to learn it from someone who will probably give them incorrect information. One added benefit to having an open dialogue – these talks also help you make your own health a priority, especially when it comes to period health.

So, let’s talk. Did you know that 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy periods,1and many don’t even realize that what they’re experiencing is not normal? Heavy periods can impact a woman’s health and wellbeing by causing nausea, cramping and in some cases, anemia. Still, many often avoid treatment because they don’t realize their periods are abnormal or they worry about side effects of treatment. All of these misconceptions and fears stem from low awareness of what is considered normal when it comes to our periods – something we can change if we just start talking about it.

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

I made the decision when our first daughter was born that I would be as open as possible with her. If I didn’t know the answer, I would find out. I would make those answers as age-appropriate and accurate as I possibly could. I can tell you that the first of those dreaded conversations were a mix of uncomfortable and hilarious. There was a lot of giggling, from both of us… ok, mostly me. But, since then, my oldest has had no problem asking me questions about her body and the changes that she’s going through. I still cringe a little on the inside, but I answer because I want her to be as educated as possible.

When she got her period for the first time this year, she was ready. We had discussed it in such detail that she knew what to do and what to expect. All women hate their period, but for some, heavy periods can impact their ability to live life to the fullest. And it’s important that all of us, including our daughters, feel empowered to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. In a recent survey, 85% of women agreed that heavy periods were “normal” and 69% agreed that pain is “something to be expected.”2 That means we have a lot of work to do in educating our friends and daughters about what is normal vs. when it’s time to see a doctor.

#AD It may be uncomfortable, but there is nothing more important than educating our daughters about common health issues like heavy periods. Lead by example and make your period health a priority, too! @ChangeTheCycle #WeHateHeavyPeriods

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

Believe it or not, just like many things on the internet, not everything you’ve heard about heavy periods is true. In fact, growing up, I have heard things from friends that I always believed to be true, but they were far from the truth!

For example, a heavy flow is NOT totally normal. While common, heavy periods do not have to be any woman’s version of normal, and could be indicative of a treatable gynecological condition. In fact, 1 in 5 women suffer from a condition called abnormal uterine bleeding,defined as heavy, excessive, or extended menstrual bleeding.1 So if your period is so heavy that you are doubling up on hygiene products or missing work or time with friends and family, you should talk to your doctor about your options.

I actually had a friend in middle school that always had to double-up. She was the only one in our group that was open about her period, so I thought that was normal! I always made sure to have extra pads in my bag, anticipating the day that I would need to double-up too.

change the cycle, period, menstruations, menstrual cycle, motherhood, below the belt health, we hate heavy periods, hologic, women's health, female empowerment, AUB, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometrial ablation, endometriosis, mother of daughters, girl mom

My experience is what pushed me to educate myself and my daughters about what actually is considered a normal amount of bleeding. I don’t want my daughters to go through life “doubling up,” when there are so many treatment options that can help women find relief from heavy periods. And empowering our daughters starts by leading by example – make your health a priority (I know us mommies forget that sometimes). Ask yourself: “Is my period normal?” “Is it keeping me from living life to the fullest?” You can also use the doctor discussion guideto discuss your symptoms with your physician, and use it as a guide to talk to your daughters about symptoms to look out for.

And don’t stop there. If you are experiencing heavy periods personally, do something about it! Show your daughters that they don’t have to live through painful, heavy periods. There are so many options ranging from lifestyle changes, to hormones, to minimally invasive procedures that can help. Women who are finished with childbearing should explore endometrial ablation with their doctor – a quick, 5-minute procedure that can reduce or eliminate your period. you can learn more at www.wehateheavyperiods.com. Feel empowered to be your own best health advocate – so your daughters will be too.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Hologic via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hologic or Momtrends.
REFERENCES
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/menorrhagia.html. Accessed July 05, 2017.

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. Great post! Very informative and your daughters are beautiful! I have a 3 year old daughter and this was a great reminder for me to prepare myself for the questions that she may have later on!

  2. I had friends who had heavy periods and I always thought that was normal. I’m glad that people are taking women’s health more seriously and talking about it!

  3. It’s so important we have these conversations! Knowledge is power. And no one should feel like they can’t ask questions about their health and well-being because of embarassment! Thank you for sharing such an important message ♡

  4. I think it’s SO important to educate your daughters about heavy periods. My mum never said anything about them to me so I thought there was something seriously wrong with me when I started having them and they were super heavy. It was one of the first things I spoke to my daughter, Stacey, about when we had ‘the chat’, but luckily she’s never experienced a heavy one (yet). I think she’ll be well prepared if she ever does, though 🙂

    Louise x

  5. Such a very relevant topic and a must read for all mothers. Unfortunately inhibitions still exist. I love the way you educate your children and your writing.

  6. I wish my mom has a lot of this information when I was younger. I went through all the pain of heavy periods before but we both do not know what to do. It’s really important to know these.

  7. I love this. It is so important to be open about female health, especially what is normal and abnormal in menstruation.

  8. I don’t have a daughter, but I definitely agree that discussing these things with them is very important! I wish I had more knowledge when I hit puberty and periods and such!

  9. It is important to talk about anything and everything when it comes to a person’s health. I love that these times are so much like that: moms can talk to their children about anything.

  10. Such an important topic! My daughter and I are going to have to discuss sooner rather than later…

  11. Such a great post! I also have two girls, they are still too little to ask questions, but I´m already thinking of all the things I should share with them! It´s so important to educate them properly and talk openly!

  12. This is most definitely something that needs talking about. My periods were and are hideous, I was put on the pill quite early due to them which was such a relief. I think we all need to talk about what is normal and what isn’t and make girls know it’s OK to talk about their periods!

  13. I agree, this is super important. I’m so grateful that my mum had me fully prepared for my period (which I got at the age of 9), allowing me to feel comfortable coming to her throughout my youth and teens to tell her when something was wrong. Because of this, I was able to get help for my fibroids, which are still being treated today, at the age of (almost) 25.

  14. Such an important yet uncomfortable topic, we should keep talking about it however so that it doesn’t feel that way anymore. Your kids are so cute!

  15. These are kind of information that girls should know from an early age. They should be prepared to this and the right person to give these info is always the mother!

  16. Thank you for sharing this. Great tips and will definitely practice this with my daughter when time comes.

  17. I had to have an ablation and it’s the best thing I ever did! I was anemic before now barely any period at all!

  18. I had a very heavy period when I was younger, now it’s getting much better…fortunally. Thanks for this interesting post x

  19. I love that you are open with your daughters about this! As a mama to a daughter, I am going to try to do the same. So important to educate them and be a safe place for them to go to in this changing time!

    Kileen

  20. Thankfully, I never had this problem. However, I was grateful that my mom warned me ahead of time what I might expect.

  21. My mom always had heavy periods, so by the time I got mine I thought they were totally normal. It wasn’t common to talk about such things back then, so she suffered through to menopause. Thankfully, I don’t have them, but it’s good that we’re more open to discussing these matters more openly these days so women no longer have to suffer.

  22. I’ve had a briefing on this for both of our daughters. I wanted to make sure they were aware. A great post! Thank you!

  23. I think this is a wonderful post. I also think this is really important. I have two daughters myself, and I’m sure in the next few years I’ll be talking more about this with them too.

  24. Thank you for sharing this post and the link to learn more. My youngest daughter is getting to the age of starting so this is helpful.

  25. My daughter is around the age where she could get hers. I feel it coming soon but I have also always been open with her since she was a toddler. She knows what a period is–actually, all my kids know!

  26. So far I have only had to have this conversation with one of my three daughters. It is never an easy thing to talk about but it is very important to be open with them. I love this post! Thank you!

  27. I like that you can be open to these conversations. I still have a hard time being personal with my kids.

  28. A few things can cause heavy menstruation, no one ever spoke to me about that when I got mine. I’ll be sure to tell my daughters everything and I hope they’ll be open with me in return when it comes to their bodies. Oh, parenthood! 🙂

  29. This is very helpful. Women should definitely be aware of these symptoms so they can find help. I can see how people could mistakenly think they’re normal period symptoms.

  30. This is something I really never thought about discussing with our girls, but I’m going to make sure I do! You’ve posted a great amount of information that will help make talking about it much more easier.

  31. I agree! I talk openly to my daughter about her period. She hasn’t started yet, but it’s coming, and I always talk about it like it’s a normal thing. Because it is. I never get when people want to be private about it.

  32. Thank you for sharing this information. I had no idea about a lot of this information. Sometimes it’s easy to think that it’s normal because it’s not discussed.

  33. Menstruation is a very sensitive topics and girls should know about it as early as possible. It’s a good thing to discuss so they can take care of themselves during heavy periods.

  34. This is a subject that my wife handles with our daughter, so that it’s more comfortable for her. I Can pass this on to my wife, in case they haven’t discussed this important subject.