No matter how old you were when you first got your period, chances are, it took some getting used to. But who, or what, did you lean on to get you through it? Menstrual cycle coach, educator and founder of Wellsome, Jema Lee, is on a mission to make period talk easier for families.
How old were you when you started menstruating? How did you learn about it, and how did you feel while you were learning about it: comfortable, confused, connected?
Surprisingly, many adult women never receive menstrual education, be it from their own parents, family, friends or even through school.
As women, our relationship with our bodies begins when we enter puberty. But when it can happen as early as age five, it’s worth asking yourself: how equipped do you feel, as a parent, to support your child through their transition?
Studies from all over the world have found many young girls aren’t receiving “proper” sex education. So, when you consider the fact that said sex education doesn’t even teach the four phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the lack of period-focused education is cause for concern. Should something that happens to roughly half the global population be missing from schools? As a parent, you may not even be aware that your child isn’t being taught the basics.
After seven years in female health, working one-on-one with women, I have noticed the percentage of women facing challenges with their endocrine system getting higher and higher – challenges that impact the menstrual cycle, either immediately or down the track. We are seeing more infertility challenges, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, painful periods, PMS… the list goes on. But why? Could it be a lack of education?
This thought sparked a fire inside me. I wished that I had been taught about the entire menstrual cycle – not just brief and basic sex education – as a young girl. Why was there sex-ed, but no period-ed? It’s something I still wonder about today.
It’s why I started the Blossom Project, an in- school education system that teaches girls their periods aren’t dirty, scary or gross – and, that it’s 100 per cent okay to talk about them openly.
The Blossom Project also educates both mums and dads about the core foundations of menstrual cycle awareness, guiding them to support their daughters through menses. Our mission at the Blossom Project is to educate, empower and connect girls with their bodies, taking the confusion, fear and overwhelm out of having a period.