How to convince my mom to address my period issues?


Shortly before I got my first period, my mom stuffed everything about periods into one "The Talk" session that lasted about 10 minutes. She literally just told me that when a girl gets her first period, she has to use a pad to absorb all the blood, and showed me how to put a disposable pad on and how to dispose of  it. Then I was dismissed without being able to ask any questions. So my first period decided to come along- DURING A STATE TEST! At first I had no problem with pads because I was never told that they had bulk and could leak, and the only thing I felt was that "gushing" feeling, which was very uncomfortable and distracting, but I ignored it. So after my first leak (at school, very embarrassing) I researched periods a bit more by myself on the internet and found out about tampons, glorious tampons. I never used one, thank goodness. However, I decided to test my mom a bit to see how much she'll really tell me about periods. I asked, "So, you know, when that time of month comes along..." and my mom simply said you must use a pad. I asked specifically if there was anything else I could use, and she said no. I proved her wrong when we went to get pads at the store and I pointed out the tampons. I could tell she was feeling awkward explaining tampons. But by then I found out about TSS and didn't wanna risk it so I researched more and found cups. 

The thought of not feeling disgusting, like I'm constantly going number 1 on myself during my period, STILL feels foreign. Pads are worse than ever. They leak all the time, and I hate the fact that I can never get a good nights sleep because they leak even on my lightest days and ruined my mattress. They give me rashes ALL THE TIME, but everyone says that it's because I don't take good care of myself. And to top it off, everyone gets disgusted when they see my used pads overflowing the garbage and tell me to stop using so many, even though I have to wear 2 at once to reduce the chance of leaking. When I showed my mom cups for the first time, even though the concept was new to her, she automatically said they were too large and told me they were for adults. She tried brushing it off, but I wasn't going down without a fight and showed her the softcup website, highliting the quote that said "teens can enjoy the benefits of softcup too!". Then she brought up the virginity and hymen argument, but I came prepared. I showed her several websites, including the Lunette site that said "Virginity is not an obstacle" and showed her the sites that said that if a hymen really covered our openings, it would be impossible to have a period, and another article that stated some girls are born without a hymen, so the hymen is not a sign of virginity. I deflected many more of her other arguments too (being in the Debate Team has its perks!)

Now, if I bring up the topic of periods to my mom, she pretends that she's thinking and never brings up the topic again. Its been almost 7 months since we last talked about periods, which was basically my questions being interupted by her "I'm thinking about it" and leaving. I'm guessing she wanted me to turn out like my older sister, because she was able to get my sister to think periods are something to just cope with and not talk about. I just really want my mom to stop acting so immature and afraid of this topic, but I don't know how to get her if she won't LISTEN! How do I get her to listen?!

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2 Answers


If you don't feel comfortable talking to your mom, talk to another woman you trust. Tell them you want to talk to your mom about how pads feel gross when you're on your period. Tell them, "I want to talk to my mom about how I don't like to use pads when I'm on my period, but she doesn't seem to want to talk about this stuff with me. Can you help me talk to her?" I'm comfortable talking with my mom about this stuff, and she seems like she doesn't mind talking about it with me.

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Posted by

Leanne Strong


Hi Brittany,

Maybe your mom feels uncomfortable talking with you about your period because she doesn't have answers to the questions you ask or doesn't feel comfortable sharing because her knowledge is incomplete.

Sometimes Mom's just don't know how to talk about periods and puberty and such. Most likely no one talked to your mom about her period when she was younger.

To start the conversation, ask her what it was like when she first started having periods.  And, ask if she's comfortable talking about menstruation. If you suspect that she's not comfortable, or not knowledgeable, assure her that it's okay and that it would be great to learn together. 

It's awesome that you're open to talking about your period and to trying alternative products. If your attempts to engage your mom in conversation don't achieve what you want and need, try talking with one of your mom's friends (or sister/family member) who you know to be open about menstruation and share how you feel and the open relationship you would like with your mom and ask for her help.

And, you can always give your mom the link to this and ask her to read what you've written.

If your mom is uncomfortable talking, or doesn't know how to talk with you about your experience and help you resolve the menstrual issues you are facing, ask her for a book entitled Cycle Savvy by Laura Weschler and suggest you and she review it together.

I hope this helps, Brittany. 


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Posted by

Suzan Hutchinson

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