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Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

It’s the PPEP talk students don’t know they need, but parents will be thanking Polly Levinson for giving it.

This Wednesday, Senior Clinical Educator for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP Talk) with the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia (PPFA), Polly Levinson, will be in the New England giving students the tools to navigate an essential part of life.

“This is our third year coming to the New England, and I feel like each year we are visiting more areas, more schools and giving more depth to our presentation,” said Polly.

Alongside the flagship pelvic pain program targeting year 10 students, this year boasts a new menstrual education program, which has been highlighted in recent studies as an area missing for many adolescents .

“Aimed at younger students in year 5, 6, 7 and 8, we talk about the ins and outs of menstruation, the fear of leaking and all of the different symptoms that might be associated with periods – it’s not just about blood.

“We want to promote positive talk around periods and smash through that shame and stigma.”

“A regular menstrual cycle is a good indicator of your overall health.”

“We talk about all the different kinds of period products, how to use them, how to wash them, how to dispose of them and about period hygiene.”

The talk even targets our biggest fears.

“Fear of leaking leads to young people missing out on doing things with their friends, playing sports and potentially going to school.”

“We encourage young people to think about how they can support their friends, asking what would you do if you saw someone with a stain on their uniform?”

And provides the confidence to handle it.

“We talk about other symptoms like bloating, nausea, headaches, mood changes, changes to energy and sleep, and simple strategies to alleviate those.”

“And also saying, even though they aren’t comfortable you don’t always have to do something and that is okay to not be on our A-game all the time.”

The facts are, 1 in 5 teens regularly miss school, work or sport because of their period and in regional areas that grows to 1 in 4.

The pain program targeted at older students also captures the big E, Endometriosis, and what to look out for.

“It’s more common than asthma, it’s more common than diabetes and still poorly understood and often poorly managed,” said Polly.

“We want to build that awareness, so people can get the help they need sooner.”

“We talk about what is normal and what is not normal.”

It’s not all about the girls

While the core business is delivering to female students, the program does target teen males as well, providing tools and tips to help make life easier, living together.

“Pelvic pain is a massive problem facing women and girls, but it shouldn’t just be their problem,” said Polly.

“They go to school with people who experience this, they might have a sister or a mum, and down the track they might have a wife or a daughter, so it makes sense to explain why it’s important.”

“We try and give them the tools to be a supportive friend, partner, son, sibling, whether that be get a hot water bottle, offer to help out or just being a kind person.”

The program will kick off on Wednesday and make its way around several schools throughout the week, in Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah and Tamworth.

If you would like further information or if you are interested in booking a talk for your community, head to the website: www.pelvicpain.org.au