Nearly One in Three Women Were Confused About Their First Periods, According To This Study

I felt like I knew absolutely nothing before I got my first period. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to have a Sex Ed class that really explained what the hell was going to happen to my body each month. I only received a total of two Sex Ed courses in my life, and they each lasted for a half a semester. In those course, no one explained to me what my period actually was. I really wasn’t prepared for what was to come. I never learned how to put pad on the right way. And I will admit this, I didn’t know how to put a tampon in. So you could say the first time Aunt Flo showed up, I was an absolute wreck. 

Unfortunately, I am not the only one who has felt this way. According to a study conducted by OnePoll and Dive International Inc., the makers of the DivaCup, 30 percent of women were “confused” the first time they got their periods. The two companies examined the first time menstrual experiences of 2,000 women and looked at the differences between generations. 

For the most part, the study found that more than half of women were completely unprepared for their period. I completely understand that feeling. The first time you get your period can be a shock, because you really never know when it will happen. But being confused is a major problem. The study also found that over 40 percent of women were actually “scared” by the situation, and more than half felt embarrassed. 

Getting your period can be scary, especially if you don’t understand what is going on. This feeling of anxiety or feeling scared over your first period is totally preventable. Unfortunately, one of the most natural functions of a woman’s body isn’t talked about enough. In school and in general.  According to the study, 48 percent of women never had a conversation about their period and what to expect, leaving so many feeling unprepared. 

Although the study found many women unprepared or unwilling to talk about their periods, the data also shows that this is changing for young women today. Over 70 percent of women felt more comfortable talking about their period now than the 44 percent of women who felt comfortable talking about it when it happened for the first time.  

“As parents, we can encourage positive change in menstrual discourse and lead in the education of what to expect, how to prepare and why the experience of menstruation is one to value and be proud of,” said Erik Kikuchi, president of Diva International Inc. to the New York Post

Eighty-two percent of older millennials have absolutely no issue talking about their menstruation with others. 

Sex education needs to be better, so that young girls can actually know what is going on with their bodies.  It is not “taboo” to have open and honest dialogue about on important issues like periods and safe sex. And we need to embrace these types of topics into our daily conversations so young girls can feel more comfortable in the future about their bodies.