As your eight- or nine-year-old daughter enters puberty, it is time to start teaching her about her ovaries. A good place to begin is to show her where the ovaries are located in her body. This is a great illustration that you can use to describe the location to her. Notice the ovaries are tucked deep inside her pelvis. They are an oval-shaped structure that is bumpy because it is filled with eggs.
She Starts With 2 Million Eggs in Her Ovaries
When your daughter was born, her two ovaries contained about 2 million immature eggs. By the time she enters puberty, there are only 400,000 immature eggs remaining. The other eggs did not make it to this landmark time, and simply fade away.
After your daughter begins to have her period, about 10-20 eggs will mature inside her two ovaries each menstrual cycle. Only one of this small number of maturing eggs will be selected to be released from one of her ovaries. This event is called ovulation.
The one mature egg that is released is swept into the fallopian tube nearby and waits there to see if a sperm comes along. If a sperm does not appear within a day, the egg continues to travel to the uterus and then disappears. The next 10-20 eggs are already starting to mature in her ovaries for the next ovulation.
The Cycle Continues Until There Are No More Eggs
This process of losing eggs goes on year after year until she is about 51 years old. At that point, there are no longer any more eggs for ovulation. Her periods will stop, signaling that she has entered menopause.
This conversation can happen over time, perhaps first opening her to the idea about her reproductive system and the changes that will come during puberty. Then, get into more detail as time goes on and she’s ready for it.
I believe that the more information that we can teach our young daughters, the better they will be able to handle the exciting changes that come with puberty and make healthy choices for their body.
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