I was 12 years old when I had my first period. I was not excited about it at all. I remember sitting thru sex education and learning about menstrual cycles and being in complete disbelief that the women in my life bled once a month. Well now was my turn. I had horrible cramps during my cycles and had to take Tylenol daily for the 5 days of my cycle. My asthma medication caused me to have clots so every month I would feel like I was giving birth at least one of the 5 days while the clot was passing.
My mom was great because she had prepared me so I knew where the sanitary napkins were when I saw the blood I was in shock but I quickly figured out I was really a BIG GIRL NOW!! My mother did not allow my sister and me to use tampons. I think she was worried about Toxic Shock Syndrome. I was usually the only Black girl in my class, most of the girls I went to school with used tampons and I always felt like I was wearing a diaper with sanitary napkins. I heard about other kids have celebrations when they got their first cycle. We didn’t do anything celebratory. I don’t remember ever really talking about it too much.
Five days a month I wished I wasn’t a girl because it came every month like clockwork. I was horrible about recording my cycle so it was usually a surprise when it came. I didn’t have any concept of it usually comes this date or late in the month. I never kept track like you are supposed to.
Fast forward at 42 years young I have an app on my phone that keeps track of my cycle and every month I am very excited to receive my period since I am 42 and I still want to have babies. I also figured out how to decrease the pain take the pain meds a few days prior (I call it pregaming).
Several years ago I learned about the cup and decided that did not work for me. I still wasn’t big on tampons unless I was going swimming. The idea of sticking something inside of me just didn’t sit well with me. A few years ago I learned about THINX period panties and I wasn’t convinced they were for me either. I bought one pair and tried them and I LOVED THEM!! I don’t feel like I have on a diaper. Since I have been able to minimize my cramps with my Thinx panties I don’t even think about my period. I am no longer ruining my clothes or underwear.
When I parent my future daughters I will teach them the way my mom taught me because she did a great job preparing us for becoming women. I will encourage them to use Thinx since they are so much easier to get used to than sanitary napkins and tampons.
Dr. Renee Matthews is the social media doctor, prescribing remedies to help you to live the life you deserve. She has appeared on television shows such as, The Oprah Winfrey Show and TVOne’s NewsOne Now with Roland Martin where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on SiriusXM/ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition, Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning and Café Mocha Radio with Loni Love and YoYo (syndicated radio show).
Dr. Renee hosts The Ask Dr. Renee Show, a weekly YouTube show to motivate and inspire viewers to “Live the life they deserve”. Dr. Renee is also the host of Out of Office with Dr. Renee which is apart of Outcome Health and seen in 45,0000+ doctors offices across the US. She is a regular correspondent for HuffPostLive.com and a regular writer for Good Enough Mother, and DiaryofaFirstTimeMom. Dr. Renee has been a contributing health writer for MadameNoire.com, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com, BlackDoctor.org, DiaryofaFirstTimemom.com and GoodEnoughMother.com. She is also a sought after speaker for various health organizations and schools. In addition to writing about health, Dr. Renee is a social media coach, conducts speaking engagements on social media, branding, motivation, and becoming an entrepreneur. Visit her at Ask Dr. Renee.