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Most of our questions come from very, VERY young girls, aged 8-12. They are either SCARED to death of getting their first period, or they haven’t gotten it yet and want to ‘accelerate the process’. Well, this blog is for YOU. If you are a young girl or a sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, friend, you will appreciate this blog.
When will my FIRST period arrive?
Most girls get their first period between the ages of 10 and 16, with the most common being around 12. Keep in mind that these are just statistics. It's completely normal (and nothing to worry about) if you get your first period before or after your friends or siblings. Our bodies are different and they follow their own schedule. This is what makes us unique, which is quite wonderful😊 If you are the first in your group of friends to have your period, you will be in a good position to give them advice when their turn comes. If, however, you are the last one to get them, no need to worry. See it as an advantage! Your friends can tell you what to expect and how to prepare for it. When you will get your first period has a lot to do with your family history. If you want to know more about when you might get your first period, trust genetics: ask your Mom how old she was when she got hers. Most girls have their first period around the same age as their mother. This means that there is no direct method to speed up the arrival of the first period. While there are Old Wives tales claiming that you can actually speed this up by consuming parsley, ginger or pineapple, this is not scientifically proven and it is highly unlikely to give you expected results. The bad news is that there is no sure way to get your period faster. So… you just have to be patient and let your body do the rest!
What are the signs and symptoms that your first period is coming?
Several physical signs can tell you if your first period is coming soon. Paying attention to changes in your body is one of the most accurate methods of predicting the arrival of your first period. So, what are the warning signs of the first periods? -Your breasts start to grow and form breast buds (small swellings under the nipples). You can expect to get your first period about two years after they start. -You're starting to have pubic hair. Pubic hair usually appears shortly after the development of breast buds.-You start having vaginal discharge (a clear or milky-looking fluid that you may notice in your underwear). Vaginal discharge is your body's response to hormonal changes and indicates that your body is preparing for the very next period.
How do I prepare for my FIRST period?
Luckily, today, there are SO many options available to you when it comes to period protection: disposables, diva cups, reusable period panties and pads. The choice is yours! Take this time to do your research😊. Go shopping with your mother or your big sister. Try these out (yes, that’s right, even if you do not have a period, you can try it out and see how you feel.) This way you'll be ready when your period arrives. Please note that we do not recommend using Tampons, for more information, please read this blog.
If you feel like your period could be coming any day, wear period panties to bed at night and maybe a liner at school, this way, there is NO chance that you will have ‘an accident’ and you will actually be telling your friends how positive your first experience was😊.
How do we feel? Will it hurt?
Let's be honest, it can be a bit strange at first. When the time comes, you will feel dampness in your underwear. You may even feel the flow of your period, but after your first or second period, you will get used to it. Menstrual cramps are like cramps elsewhere in your body. A muscle that contracts too quickly or too hard affect your blood’s circulation and sometimes causes pain. Good posture, exercise, and a good diet can help ease this pain. You can also use a heating pad to relieve cramping.
How long will my period last?
The duration of the first period is different for each girl. Some girls' periods last three days, others up to eight days. The average duration of the first period is four to five days, but it would be perfectly normal for your flow to last longer or shorter. It can be upsetting, but your first, second or third period can vary. Irregular periods are very common in the first year. Do not worry! The best way to know what to expect is to use a period tracking app. (Strongly recommend this!) Over time, you will see a pattern develop and you will recognize the symptoms of your period. You will almost be able to set your watch to it!
What does the first period look like?
You might be surprised to see that your first period is only a few brown spots in your underwear and is nothing like the heavy first period you’ve heard about. The blood is brown for the sole reason that it is not fresh. When the menstrual flow is very light, the blood often takes a little longer to flow and turns brown before it even leaves your body. That's why your first period won't necessarily be bright red like you might have imagined. That first period will last 3 to 7 days. When periods become regular (which can take up to a year or two while your body adjusts to the new hormones that control menstruation), they will occur about every 28 days. Make sure to note down the date of your first period in your tracker app! Your first period may be heavy (or at least heavier) for the first day or two, before starting to taper off in the last few days. It's normal. For those first few days, when your first period will be heavy, all you need to do is change pad more often. There is nothing to worry about😊
Which is better protection?
When you research the different types of protection, you will come across many of them. They vary in price, efficiency, sustainability, convenience, etc. Ask people close to you. Check reviews on the internet. Better yet: try them out. You may start out with disposables and realize that you don’t like running to the drug store each month and want to use reusable, washable pads and underwear. Do not put your nice clothing and bedding at risk and make sure that you are always well protected; both while on your period, but also the day before it arrives😊 The most important factor here is: how YOU FEEL😊
Can I still do sports and other activities during my period?
Of course! It’s another Old Wives tale that your life has to be on hold 5 days a month! Play sports, move around, swim, have sleepovers and keep doing all your favorite activities! However, do not forget to use adequate protection😊 My period is late, should I be worried? Here comes the time of the month… or so you thought… so why aren't you on your period? Or why are your periods late?
Your friends brag about the regularity of their periods, which come every four weeks. But for many young girls, this just doesn’t happen. This can make a girl feel really bad. Is there something wrong with me? Before you overreact and start worrying, keep in mind that you are not abnormal at all. To better understand when your period starts and ends, you just need more information. It shouldn't surprise you that you're different from the others. Your periods and your menstrual cycle are also different. Some of your friends feel the start of their periods days before they start. Others barely know they’re coming. Some will lose blood for 2 days during a cycle while the following month, they will lose blood for a week.
Most women don't get their period exactly the same number of days after the previous period. Periods are often late, especially with teen girls. Just as the age at which menstruation begins varies, so does the length of each period. A cycle can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. If you are in overall good health, you do not need to worry about this. (But DO track your cycle using an app.)
When should see a doctor?
Body weight can have a significant effect on the hormones in your body to the point of changing when you should have your first period. Many girls who are severely underweight due to an eating disorder, for example, will not start menstruating. If you think you fall into this category, see a doctor for help and advice. If you are16, you still haven't had your first period, you may be suffering from what is called delayed puberty. If so, you should also discuss this with a doctor. Otherwise, the best advice on how to get your period for the first time is to take the best possible care of your body. Eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid strict diets and intense exercise. Also avoid stress (which can be very hard to do when you are a Teenager, we know😊)
The rest is up to your body and its internal clock. Although we recommend that EVERY girl see an OB-GYN in the first year she gets a period, just for a first visit, that is not always possible. If you fall into any of these categories, however, do not wait: -You're 16 and you haven't gotten your period yet.-Your period consistently lasts more than seven days.
- You notice a significant change to your usual cycle
- You miss your period for six months in a row
- You notice large clots-You have to change pads every hour for two hours or more-You have bleeding between periods
- You have pelvic pain for more than a day that does not seem to be related to your period
- You experience severe pain during your period that is not relieved by over-the-counter medications
- You have an active sex life and your period is late We hope that this will help many, many young girls out there. If you have benefited from this article, please share it with a friend who can use this information.
Got a Period Question? Contact us and we may feature the answer in an upcoming blog.
Be safe, be well, Justine 😊
Have a Happy Period 😊