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Do you think your first period is coming soon? Or are you a parent who thinks their daughter is ready to have her period? Don’t fear, we have gathered up the most asked period questions and all the products you need to survive your first period.
Having your period is VERY normal. It is totally understandable if you are worried or scared, but there is nothing to be afraid of. The best thing you can do is talk to someone you are comfortable with and ask for help. Periods are a natural part of being a teenage girl and growing up.
What is a period?!
Menstrual cycles happen because they are part of the natural process of a woman’s body preparing for pregnancy. Your ovaries release an egg each month and if that egg isn’t fertilized, the lining of your uterus will shed and that is why you bleed.
You’re first period is called “menarche” from the Greek word ‘men’ meaning month and ‘arkhe’ meaning beginning, but there are many different names and phrases for your period. Here are a few: menstrual cycle, menstruation, time of the month, shark week, visit from aunt flo, on the rag, girl flu...and many, many more! Click here for other period slang and euphemisms.
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Signs and symptoms of your period
Girls bodies go through some major changes when puberty hits. Here are a few simple signs and symptoms to look out for when your body is gearing up to start menstruating!
1) Breasts - Girls will start developing breasts, which can take up to 4 years to fully develop, when they start puberty. Periods usually happen 1-2 years after they begin developing breasts.
2) Pubic Hair - Around the same time as your breasts developing, you will most likely start to grow pubic hair. Your period comes 1-2 years after you grow pubic hair.
3) Discharge - Vaginal discharge (white or yellowish in color) means your period is on its way! Your period will most likely start in a few months.
Ugh, these can sometimes be a tad unpleasant and everyone’s symptoms are different.
Lots of teen girls get mild to intense cramps in their low abdomen or back. If you do experience them, there are many ways of relieving the pain. Try exercising, take ibuprofen or Motrin (talk to your parent/guardian before doing this), OR fun tip: Our ‘Oh No’ Proof Underwear pouch doubles as a heating pad. All you have to do it run a face towel under hot water, squeeze the water out and insert it into the pouch!
Welcome to the wonderful world of PMS (not really though)! Again, every girls experience is different and you might not even PMS until well into your teen years. Uncomfortable bloating and tender breasts are totally normal, but will go away once your period starts or it’s done. You might become very irritated...like EVERYTHING will bug you and experience mood swings.
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When do teenage girls get their first period?
Everyone is different, so it won’t be the same for everyone. After you have all the signs (breasts, pubic hair and discharge), it is normal for your period to start. Girls can get it as early as 8 years old and as late as 16 years old, but the average age for starting your period is around 11 to 14 years old. If you're interested in getting more info about this, click here!
What will it look like?
When you first get your period, it will most likely be brownish-red. It might come as a shock to see that, but it is totally normal! Your flow won’t be very heavy at this time, so a light period or spotting is very common. Click here for more info on the color of period blood and what it means.
How long will it last and how much blood do I lose?
A girls first period doesn’t usually last very long. It can be very light and maybe even only spotting or very little blood. The first year of menstruating can be a little tricky, as one month it can last 2 days, when the next lasts 7 days.
After the first 1-2 years, your period will become more regular and you will learn how your body works. Once that happens, periods are usually 3-7 days!
It might look like you’re losing a lot of blood, but it’s usually only a few teaspoons at the beginning and 3-5 tablespoons once you’ve been menstruating for a few years. This is your uterine wall shedding, so it’s very normal to find blood clots too.
How often will I get my period?
A typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but it is normal for them to be irregular the first few years of menstruating. There are many ways of tracking your period. You can mark it on your calendar, or use a period tracker app. Click here for our blog post all about the best tracking apps!
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Will anyone know I am on my period?
Nope! That is, unless you tell them. Make sure you have all the protection you need, so you don’t have any leaks. Look below for all the information on that!
Period Emergency Kit: All the products you need!
Okay, this is something every teenage girl (even every woman) needs! Your first period can be an overwhelming experience, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Our underwear and bra pouches are also great for storing all your products and can easily be thrown into your school bag too.
The must have products for your Period Emergency Kit:
1) Pads, tampons, pantyliners or mentrual cup - Girls usually started with pads, as they come in various sizes and easy to use. If you are interested in knowing how to insert a tampon, click here!
2) Period underwear - Our ‘Oh No’ Proof Underwear are the perfect underwear if you think you are going to get your period, or have it already. They are leak proof period panties and can save you from an embarrassing period moment. We recommend wearing them with a pad, tampon or cup when you are on a heavier day, but great for medium to light days.
Parents, if you think your daughters period is coming soon, we highly recommend getting this little period kit together. It can be a little scary for girls to talk to anyone (even you!) about periods, so if you already have this together, they will FOR SURE thank you! Cue majorly cute mother/father daughter moment.
We hope this makes your first period a little less intimidating and you can feel confident and ready to start menstruating. And you will get to know your ‘Aunt Flo’ more and more over the years, so don’t worry, you two will become the best of friends!
*Disclaimer* Everyone is different, so this might not be common for every girl. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your doctor.