Puberty education varies widely. Here’s a science-based ‘period talk’ to inform both kids and adults – MindShift


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When and how people receive puberty education varies greatly. Some are taught according to thorough curricula; others spend hours searching for answers to their questions online.

Short Wave co-host Emily Kwong is in the first category. When 10-year-old Emily first learned about periods, she asked her mom for diagrams and procedures — because information is comforting. On the other hand, when 10-year old Short Wave producer Margaret Cirino first learned about periods, she was confused and a little scared.

Fast forward a decade or so … and there is a lot that adult Emily and adult Marge still don’t know about their periods!

That’s why today Emily and Marge team up to provide a new and improved period talk. They chat with Kristyn Brandi, an OB/GYN and family planning doctor, and Mandi Tembo, a menstrual health PhD candidate, about everything they wish they knew about their periods. Consider this episode a period manual, complete with an overview of the menstrual cycle, the science of how periods work, how to know when something is abnormal — and whether to have a period in the first place.



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