We have answers for girls and ideas for parents. Don’t be afraid of talking about periods, sharing information and advice is the best way to understand your period and have a happy month!
A Girls’ period: what you need to know
Have you just started your period? Or want to know what to expect? Your period is a natural part of growing up, it is nothing to worry about – it is an important part of growing up.
Your period is blood passing out of your womb as part of a natural process to prepare your body for pregnancy. Now that your body is changing you can get pregnant, (and just before your first period too).
Your period happens once a month, and usually lasts between 2-7 days, but it may take a few months for your period to be regular and predictable, the first few may be light and irregular. You may find it useful to keep track of your period each month, to see when it is due and when it arrives. You can use an easy Period App.
Signs of getting your period
Around the time of your first period, your body shape will become curvier, your hips and breasts will get bigger. You will also notice more hair growing in new places, under your arms and around your vulva. These are all normal changes and part of growing up.
Your first questions
Your period doesn’t have to get in the way of your life. It is normal and natural, and nothing to be embarrassed or worried about. Here are some of the most common questions:
When will I get my first period?
Many girls get their period between ages 12- 14, but it can also start earlier or later.
My period just started, what should I do?
Don’t worry! Tell a parent, friend or teacher. Adults or older siblings can help you to get the right information and products that you need. You can buy a great illustrated book that explains the changes in your body. Check it out here.
How long will my period last?
Periods usually last between 2 – 7 days but each body is different. If your period often lasts longer than 7 days, talk to a parent or a doctor.
How much blood will I lose?
It may look like a lot, but it is only around 3-5 tablespoons. It might also be interesting to know that it’s not just blood that comes out of your vagina during your period, but also the shed uterine wall. Also, it’s quite common to find blood clots in your period, so don’t panic.
Will anyone know I am on my period?
Unless you decide to tell, it’s very unlikely anybody else will know that you are on your period. There are a few signs that might hint at the phase of the menstrual cycle you’re currently in, such as monthly pimples or period-acne, but probably nobody will notice or be keeping track apart from you. Be sure to wear a safe menstrual product, like a menstrual cup, and no one will be able to tell you’re menstruating. However, it is a good idea to ask a family or a friend for help if you feel worried. Never feel ashamed of your period.
Which product should I use?
You have a choice of products, take your time finding the right one, we explain more about products below.
Can I go swimming or play sports?
Yes! Some menstrual products let you exercise, swim and play sports as usual. One of the products becoming more and more popular among active menstruating people are menstrual cups. Here are also some good reasons you should actually get some exercise during your period.
How do I manage my period?
There are different menstrual products available. Find the right period solution for you, and take time to practice until you feel comfortable and confident. Always wash your hands before and after changing your period product.
Pads or towels are worn inside your underwear and stick down to hold in place. They absorb your menstrual flow as it leaves your body. Change your pad every 4-6 hours and dispose of in the rubbish bin.
Tampons are made from a cotton material and are carefully inserted into your vagina where they absorb your menstrual blood. They must be removed and changed every 4-6 hours. Dispose of in the rubbish bin.
Menstrual cups are small cups that are inserted into your vagina, like tampons. They collect your flow and can be worn risk-free for up to 12 hours. They are made from a very healthy material and are washable and reusable – so they are good for the environment too! Check Get Started With a Menstrual Cup to find out more or order yours here.
A first period (also known as menarch) is a special event! Spend time with your kid to celebrate the start of a new chapter in their life. Sharing knowledge and experience is important to help your them feel comfortable and confident about the changes that are happening to their body.
Preparing with correct and updated information for the first period can prevent worry. Let them know it is normal and natural and that they can still enjoy their childhood if they want to. Just because their period arrived, does not mean they want to be rushed into becoming an adult.
Talk from experience, let them know that all menstruating teenagers go through it, and you did too. Show her the menstrual health products available, how to use them and let her choose the one she feels most comfortable with.
Know the facts
If you have just started your period, you may have lots of new questions. We have put together some useful pages with the information you need to be confident and comfortable every day of the month. Have a look: