I interchange the terms first period and menarche quite a bit nowadays, but I am well-aware that for most, the term Menarche is not used in general speaking terms. This is a shame, because just as we have forgotten to recognise our bodies as sacred and a part of our great mother nature, so we have forgotten to see menarche as a special and important moment in the cycle of womanhood.
Menarche is a girls first bleed. The very first time she menstruates and begins her monthly cycles, her menstruation.
Menarche comes from the greek work 'Men' - meaning Month" and 'Arkhe' - meaning beginning. 'First month'. People pronounce it a few ways: "Men - Arch", "Men-Ark", "Men-Arkey", "Menarche" (soft french-sounding 'che'). All of these pronunciations are fine (as far as I'm aware) - so pick your favourite! I usually go with "Men-Arkey".
Language is SO important. What we speak about, what we value matters!
I want to set our girls up to think positively about their bodies, their periods and their monthly cycles, knowing what is normal and what isn't and being confident and connected in themselves and their female care-givers enough to talk about it openly and get help or further support when needed.
Bringing the word menarche into our vocabulary. Recognising that moment in our girls lives as special and WORTH honouring is a great step towards period positivity for our girls.
You can find out more about how to prepare, honour and celebrate puberty and menarche in these blogs.