Girls would rather be bullied than talk to their parents about periods

Girls avoid talking about their period with parents.
Girls avoid talking about their period with parents. Photo: Shutterstock

Having to talk about periods with your parents can be mortifying, but the extent to which girls shy away from the subject is alarming.

According to a recent survey, 50 per cent of girls would rather be bullied at school than talk to their parents about their period. And 43 per cent of girls said the topic was "off limits" for discussion.

Even more surprising, 87 per cent said they have "gone to great lengths" to hide their period from their parents.

UK sanitary products company Bodyform surveyed 1,000 girls and confirmed what many already know, periods are embarrassing for young girls.

It's evidence more needs to be done to make young girls, and boys, feel more comfortable to discuss openly the natural changes that occur while growing older.

Puberty should not be a source of shame.

"Historically women's health and women's issues have been hidden or traditionally not spoken about," Dr Radha Modgil told the HuffPost UK.

"Things are improving in this regard but it does seem like not talking about periods is still an issue that we need to break."

It's also vital we talk to boys about periods so they have a better understanding.


"There needs to be more focus on boys learning about periods and more holistic coverage of periods at school," she said.

"For parents, talking about periods in a way that is similar to boy's puberty stages can help everyone understand it's just a normal part of growing up and that there is no need to feel embarrassed."

Nadia Mendoza from The Self-Esteem Team said many parents find it hard to talk to girls about periods.

"It's no wonder it's not an easy topic to talk about – periods are a bit gross," she said.

"They are unpredictable, leak through underwear, pass in clots, can be every shade of black-red to brown, cause chronic cramps, affect mood, and leave you wandering around with something that resembles an adult nappy or a piece of string dangling between your legs. They ain't pretty.

"What isn't okay, is the fact periods are entrenched in shame.

"We cannot break taboos unless we're willing to take the reins and have open dialogue."