Culled from Hi! I'm A School Girlby Jadesola Adepeju

A lot of things are special about a growing girl. One of it is that at a point in time she begins to experience menstruation. Some girls have been scared by it, but there is no reason to be. You only need to understand what menstruation is all about. The onset of menstruation signifies that you have come to a reproductive age.

Here are things to know and to do about menstruation:

  1. COLLECT THE FLOW: A girl that is having her menstrual flow should put sanitary pad/towel in her underpants to receive the blood flow. The girl should sit in such a way that the sanitary pad does not get out of position (it should always be flat on the underpants directly facing the vulva), this is to avoid getting the underpants stained. If the underpants is stained, it will stain the clothes and it will be obvious to anyone who sees the girl’s dress that she is menstruating.
  3. CHANGE YOUR PADS: Apart from this, a girl should change her pad frequently to avoid bad odour from emanating from her and also to avoid infection. Changing the sanitary pads often too will not allow the pad to be soaked to the extent that it will stain the underpants. Meanwhile, menstruation should be a private matter with the girl, she should not be telling everyone that comes her way that she is menstruating.
  5. PREPARE AHEAD: A girl should prepare for her menses ahead so that it will not catch her unawares. To do this, you should calculate the first day of your next menstrual cycle ahead. Averagely, every menstrual cycle has a pattern. It is a good thing for you to keep a diary. Write down the exact date your menstruation starts for this month and the exact date it starts for next month. Count the number of days between the two dates. Do this for a couple of months and compare the results. The number of days between the two dates is likely to be the same or just slightly different. This gives you a rough idea of how many days make up your menstrual cycle. With this information, you can calculate the date of the next menstruation ahead. That will give you a clue of when to expect the next one, and so, prepare ahead by having your sanitary materials with you.
  7. MAINTAIN SEXUAL PURITY: Some girls have intense pains during their menstruation. Such girls should discuss with appropriate medical personnel who is likely to give them analgesics. This will relieve them of the pains. I have heard some girls come up with a strange notion that if they have sexual intercourse, the menstrual pain would go. This is not true. There are several married women who have menstrual pains. If married women who have sex with their husbands still have menstrual pains, you can see that having sex is not a cure for menstrual pains. The start of menstruation signifies that you are now physically capable to get pregnant and bear children. But the truth is that you are not yet emotionally mature to bear the responsibility that comes with being a mother. You need to grow and mature before you can nurture another life. The way God arranged it, sexual relationship is a blessing from God for married couples. As they enjoy this blessing, it is also a gateway to the bringing forth of another life into the family for the father and mother to cherish. So for a married couple, getting pregnant is a further blessing to the blessing of sexual intercourse. However, any girl or woman who fulfils the condition for getting pregnant will get pregnant: she could be eleven years old, thirteen years old or thirty years old. In fact the youngest mother in the world was less than ten years old when she got pregnant. Remember that the condition for getting pregnant is simple: when a healthy sperm meets with a healthy ovum under healthy conditions, a baby is formed and implanted inside the womb. When this happens to a girl, she is pregnant. It does not matter if the girl is willing to mother a child or not.
  9. BE RESPONSIBLE: All the changes that you experience during puberty should let you know that you are no longer a child. You are gradually growing up into womanhood and you should begin to drop childish behaviour and start acting like a responsible growing girl. Carry yourself with dignity as you walk, sit, talk, work or play. Wear clean clothes, sit properly with your knees together when you are in skirts, don’t wear clothes that reveal the sensitive parts of your body like your breast, your thighs, your navel and so on. It is also important that you keep yourself sexually pure.