What Happens When You Get Your First Period Overnight

Worried about bleeding on your sheets? We’ve got you covered.

It’s hard to know what to expect before you get your first period. Will it hurt? How much blood flow is there? What does it feel like?

If you're reading this, it's likely that you're expecting your first period to come soon. While this is exciting, getting your first period can also be scary and confusing. If you’re worried about getting your first period overnight you might be envisioning waking up to sheets covered in blood. Or maybe you don't know what will happen at all!

This article will go over what happens when you get your first period overnight in order to help prepare you for what to expect and how best to handle the changes that come with your menstrual cycle for the rest of your life.

young woman with eyes closed wearing leakproof high rise underwear

Can you get your first period overnight?

Let’s get this out of the way: yes, you absolutely can. Your first period could arrive any time, but you cannot make your period come. Some people happen to get an early period in life and some have delayed periods. We are all different and so are our menstrual cycles! It doesn’t matter whether you’re at a movie, sitting in math class, karate practice or at a music lesson. Your first period happens when it happens!

You start your menstrual cycle when your uterine lining sheds out of your vagina, signalling that your reproductive system is ready to function. That means technically if you have unprotected sex, you could get pregnant. There are no rules on when it will arrive; you cannot induce periods. Most menstruators get their first period between the age of 9 and 14 and it could come at any time - even in the middle of the night.

If you want to know more about what it’s like to get your first period, download Kt by Knix’s Free Period Guide, which is packed with information answering any questions you may have about the upcoming changes in your body. If you don’t have someone you trust to talk to about your monthly cycle, ask your parents or doctor for advice. They can help you understand what's happening so you don't feel alone during this time.

Blood Celebrate GIF by Halfsquare Designs

The first day of your period can come as a surprise.

No matter how much you plan or prepare, the first time your period arrives will always be a surprise. You may not feel anything and then notice a streak of blood in your underwear when you go to the bathroom. Or you feel an unfamiliar wetness in your underwear which you need to go check out. Your period may not even look like a period - oftentimes the blood that comes out is brown instead of red, which can be confusing. The only way it won’t be a surprise is if you monitor it over time. Download a period tracking app, or the Kt by Knix downloadable period tracker to learn more about your regular menstrual cycle and to be able to figure out when it’s coming next.

Periods can be unpredictable from start to finish.

It’s normal for periods to be unpredictable. Just like you can never be sure exactly when your first period will come, you never know how long it will stay around for. Most periods typically last a week, but timing varies and many people can experience irregular periods. Read on to learn more about what to do if you are starting and stopping your period, or if your period lasts longer than two weeks.

Another element of unpredictability when it comes to your menstrual cycle is the flow. It might be heavy, medium or light blood flow, or even a combination of all three over the course of a few days. Periods tend to be heaviest on the first few days and then taper off over time. If you are on birth control pills, this will affect the flow, making it much lighter than normal. If you’re worried about irregular periods or suspect your flow is too heavy and there might be something wrong, click here to learn more about what you should do.

cartoon woman sitting, surrounded by period products

Ways to prepare for your first period.

Even though your period is always going to be unpredictable (irregular menstrual cycles definitely happen!), there are a few things you can do to help yourself feel prepared and in control. Here are some ways to expect the unexpected.

Make a period emergency kit.

If you know that your period is on its way, put together a bag of supplies that includes your preferred menstrual products (e.g. pads, tampons, period underwear, menstrual cup) and keep it in a handy place so you have access to it when you need it most. For example, store it in your locker at school. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make a period emergency kit.

Take care of yourself

It can be hard to focus on anything besides the emotional stress about the fact that your body is changing and growing up quickly, but don't forget about taking care of yourself during this time. Learning how to relieve stress while on your period can also help reduce period cramps.

Make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep. Those two things will help keep your mind clear during the changes happening in your life right now. Read on to learn more about what foods you should be eating when you’re on your period. 

How to get your first period overnight

Feeling the emotional stress of getting your period can make you really want to hurry the process along. But you can't make your period come. Everyone is on their own journey when it comes to getting their first period, so if it hasn't come yet, that's okay! Be patient.

Although you can't control the time or place of your menstrual flow, if you do suspect your period may be coming, (for example, feeling crampy in your stomach) there are a couple natural remedies that sometimes help with inducing periods. Doing something that helps you relax, or using a warm compress such as a hot water bottle on your belly can be helpful. If you're feeling crampy, be sure to also drink lots of water, or even a ginger tea!

What happens if I get my period overnight?

If you get your periods overnight, don’t worry. There’s a pretty good chance that you won’t notice until you wake up and there isn’t anything you can do. You might notice a dark streak of blood in your underwear. If that is the case, put a dab of stain remover on the underwear and change into a new pair immediately. If there is more blood than expected and it’s all over your sheets, that’s okay. Go talk to a parent or trusted adult and they will help you take the sheets off the bed and get them ready for the washing machine. If you have bled all the way through to the mattress, that’s also okay. It will eventually dry out and it won’t affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Do not insert a tampon or menstrual cup before having a period.

Although it’s completely understandable that you want to avoid any embarrassing leaks, under no circumstances should you ever insert a tampon or a menstrual cup before your first period. Inserting a tampon or cup before you have started bleeding can cause problems such as toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is very serious and even life-threatening.

If you're that stressed out about leaks, consider wearing period underwear instead. Kt by Knix's super leakproof sleepover shorts can hold up to 12 tampons or pads worth of blood.

Kt by Knix Super Leakproof Sleepover Short

Remember that every person's experience is different.

The menstrual cycle is a huge topic and there are rarely easy answers. Every person’s body is different and there really is no normal. One thing that's important to remember is that every person has their own experience, their own regular menstrual cycle, and yours will probably be different from other people’s. Your body will react differently depending on how old you are and what kind of body you have. You may also experience things differently each month. For example, some people get menstrual pain such as cramps every single month during their period, and some don't get them at all.

You can always talk to a doctor or nurse about any concerns that come up when it comes to your menstrual cycle—they'll be happy to answer any questions.

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