Periods and puberty are totally natural, but often totally confusing too. If you’re worried, curious, or questioning something in this area, we’ve got you. Nurse, midwife and all-round puberty expert Shelley is on hand to answer all your tricky questions.
Today’s question is about going on the pill.
“I want to go on the pill but I don’t know how to talk to my parents about it. I’m scared they’ll get mad or it’ll just be awkward and embarrassing. I don’t have a boyfriend yet, but I do get bad period cramps and I also want to be prepared for if I do start sleeping with someone.”
“Whether you want to try the pill to have protected consensual sex with your partner, or to try alleviate menstrual symptoms, you are completely within your right to!
Firstly, the pill cannot protect you from STIs or STDs, and so both condoms and the pill should be used in conjunction for safe, protected sex.
Unless you are sure that you and your partner are engaging in monogamous sex and having STI screening regularly, you should always use condoms! Secondly, the legal age of consent is 17 in Ireland, so bare that in mind!
Discussing sex with your parents can be difficult, and you may feel embarrassed or unsure how they may react. But, it is important you can discuss these things, and other things such as menstruating, puberty etc with an adult you trust.
Your parents love you and want the best for you, I’m sure your mum would rather you feel comfortable talking to her about something you want to do, than doing it behind her back or not at all!
Try approach her at a quiet time when you two are alone, and both have plenty of time to talk. Maybe write down what you want her to know and what you want to say to her, so you don’t get flustered when talking and feel like you haven’t gotten your point across afterward.
Make an appointment with the GP to discuss starting the pill further, as just because your mum may be ok with it, it may not medically be the best thing for you and your body. Good luck!”
Another reader recently asked about side effects of the pill, and you can read about that, here.
For more of Shelley’s expert advice on periods, puberty and body, check out the other questions she’s answered.
If you’ve got a question you want answered, DM us on Insta or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Ask Shelley’.