Upon receiving the invitation from the lyceum “Intellect” of the Lviv city council Feminist Workshop has organized two-hour lectures for grade 6 called “Physiological aspects and adolescent reproductive health”. At the lecture based on the UN standards, almost 40 school students improved their knowledge about growing up. It is around the age of 11-12 years that hormonal changes occur, and the first signs of puberty begin to show.

The event was led by Liliya Mineralova, board-certified OB-GYN, who has spent years holding educational events in the local schools. The first part of the lesson defined biological sex and explored the effect of hormones on the body. The students have also discussed the signs of puberty.

The second part focused on the ways stress affects the growing body.

 


“During the war, this becomes even more relevant. You need to get enough sleep, have a healthy diet, and stay active. Stay away from junk food: fast food, lots of sweets, and sweet carbonated drinks. Exposure to blue light from gadgets before sleep negatively affects sexual development. Remember: a healthy lifestyle will help you to cope with the stress and secure proper sexual development!” the lecturer emphasized.



At the end of the lecture, students learned about the genital structure, nocturnal emissions, and childbirth. The topics of conception and pregnancy were particularly interesting for teenagers who asked lots of questions. We also discussed menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

“We are sincerely grateful to the lyceum staff for the invitation and for the opportunity to organize joint lectures for boys and girls. Myth claiming that physiological topics need to be taught separately prevents school students from learning about the bodies of people of the opposite sex. For instance, the topic of menstruation is still considered taboo. Why does everyone need to learn of it and what makes the stigmatization of menstruation so harmful?


It is sad to realize that, according to the statistics, 41% of women are afraid to be called oversharing and too obsessive, were they to share their period-related worries. 

 

We encourage schools to organize more similar events!” says Tamara, the coordinator of the teenage needs advocacy department. 

“Children found the event really exciting and educational. They learned about what happens to their body during puberty, when do they need to go to the doctor, why acne appears and what is the ideal daily routine. They also got some useful advice about taking care of their body,” the school staff adds.