Further Reading For Girls
- “Susan’s Growing Up” is a picture book about periods that has been specially developed for people with learning disabilities. It’s from the Books Beyond Words series from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
- “The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask “ by Karen Gravelle, and published by Piatkus, is a well-known book for any girl approaching puberty. It explains what to expect and how to cope with periods.
Page last reviewed: 05 August 2019 Next review due: 05 August 2022
At What Age Do You Get Your First Period Top
Usually, girls get their periods between ages 12 and 14, but it can happen years before or after that. Dont worry if you get your period later or earlier than your friends get theirs that happens a lot. If you havent gotten your period by age 15 , talk to your parents or guardians, your doctor, or another adult you trust.
When To Call The Doctor
Check in with your practitioner if you begin bleeding again a few days after you miscarried, as you may have had an incomplete miscarriage. An incomplete miscarriage is totally normal and common.
Your practitioner, however, may recommend a D& C if its necessary to remove remaining placental fragments. He or she may also check your hCG levels to make sure they have returned to zero.
Having a miscarriage can cause intense feelings of loss and mourning. Try to remember that the uterus is incredibly adept at recovering, so you can begin trying for a baby again when you feel emotionally ready.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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When Do Periods Start
Most young people will have their first periods when theyre between 11 and 14½, but anywhere from 9-16 years is considered normal.
Periods are likely to start soon if your child has:
- had a major growth spurt
- grown some underarm and pubic hair
- developed breasts.
If your child hasnt started their period by the time they turn 16, its a good idea to talk with your childs GP. There can be many reasons why periods havent started by then, and the GP can help to rule out any serious problems.
Why Do Girls Get Periods
The whole reason people go through puberty is to be able to reproduce in the future . If you have a uterus and vagina, you have the potential to grow a baby. A period is a sign that your uterus is beginning to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy. It does that by forming a thick, lush lining where a baby could grow. If thereâs no pregnancy, the uterus releases the lining as a period, then it starts over creating a new, fresh lining over the next 3-5 weeks. If thereâs no pregnancy, thereâs another period, and it starts over. Periods happen this way from puberty until menopause which is when the menstrual cycle stops around age 50. Check out this guide to learn more about periods and the menstrual cycle.
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Phases Of Your Menstrual Cycle
Though menstruation only happens once a month, there is a lot that happens within a womans body leading up to that point. The menstrual cyclethe duration between the first day of one cycle and the first day of the nextis divided into several phases.
On average, the menstrual cycle lasts 21 to 35 days, while bleeding will typically last between 2 and 7 days. However, the length of your cycle can vary, as can the length of vaginal bleeding.
Treatment For Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy periods are definitely not fun. Teens who experiencethem might avoid activities like swimming or biking with friends. They mightfeel extra self-conscious about their clothes or embarrassed to carry a pursefull of pads everywhere they go.
The biggest issues for these young women are oftenquality-of-life challenges, Dr. Talati says. Luckily, hormonal treatment can make periods more manageable both for young womenwith bleeding disorders, and those who just have heavy periods.
If your adolescent daughter has heavy periods, schedule anappointment with her pediatrician or family physician. If she does have signsof a bleeding disorder, expect a referral to a hematologist. Those specialistscan diagnose and manage bleeding disorders and help your daughter startfeeling like herself again.
She might even be glad you started that awkwardconversation.
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How Do I Know If My Period Is Coming
Some people get signs that their periods are coming like bloating, pimples, sore breasts, and feeling emotional. Many people get cramps in their belly, lower back, or legs before their period. These symptoms are called PMS. Not everybody has signs that their periods are about to start. And sometimes the signs change month-to-month. As you get older, it usually gets easier to tell when your period is coming.
Many people mark the days they have their period on their calendar or on an app. Keeping track of your periods will help you know when your next period is coming. It can also tell you if your period is late or early. Its really common to have periods that dont come at the exact same time every month especially when youre a teenager.
Keeping a tampon, period underwear, or a pad in your bag can help you be prepared for your period, no matter when it shows up. If you start your period and don’t have a tampon or pad, you can ask a parent, friend, teacher, or the school nurse for a tampon or a pad. Some bathrooms also have vending machines where you can buy a tampon or pad. If youre REALLY stuck somewhere without a tampon or pad, you can fold up a bunch of toilet paper or a clean sock or washcloth and put it in your underwear to soak up the blood.
I Think I Had My First Period How Can I Be Sure
I had my first period a couple of days ago. At least I think it was my period because I had a red-brown smudge that lasted for a day and a half. The problem is, it lasted for such a short time that I’m not sure if it was my period or not. I am really confused!
Lots of girls expect their blood to be bright red during their periods. But it’s completely normal for menstrual blood to be brownish. It’s also perfectly normal for some girls to have their first period for just 2 or 3 days. Many girls will have a very light flow the first few times they get their period, while others have more.
How long your period lasts and how often it comes might change during the first couple of years of menstruation. Thats because your body might make different amounts of hormones from one menstrual cycle to the next. Other things can affect periods too, such as nutrition, exercise, and medicines. If you have any concerns about your period, talk to your doctor.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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Having An Idea Ahead Of Time How Long A First Period Lasts Can Put Your Mind At Ease As You Wait For The Big Day
How long does a first period last?
How long your first period lasts is individual just to you. But the general average is from 3 to 5 days. However, some girls get their period for just two days and some bleed for seven days. Neither is any cause for concern.
If your period is a little shorter or a little longer than average, donât worry! If your friendâs period is longer or shorter than yours â also, donât worry! Itâs all perfectly normal. These small differences between our bodies are part of what makes each of us an individual â kind of like having blue eyes or green eyes.
Will my period last for the same number of days every time?
When you start menstruating, your first periods might be irregular. Many girls have unpredictable periods for the first few cycles. So itâs hard to say exactly how many days your period should last, especially at the beginning.
However, your first few periods may be quite short and light. It may get somewhat heavier and longer as your body grows accustomed to this whole new menstruation thing.
Here are a few reasons for a short period:
And for a long period:
- Specific medications
- Medical condition
When will my period settle down?
Once your period becomes regular , youâll notice that your period tends to last the same number of days each month. Your menstrual cycle becomes more regular.
When to see a doctor?
How to get prepared?
How do I know that my first period is coming?
Will I Feel Different
Not only do hormones cause physical changes in your body, they can also affect how you feel. Emotions during puberty may feel a bit like a roller coaster. You may:
- Be afraid of the changes in your body one minute and excited about them the next.
- Feel awkward or confused.
- Laugh one moment and cry the next.
- Get along and fight with good friends all in the same day.
- Feel angry at times.
- Feel grown up one day and like a child the next.
Sometimes, these changes can be overwhelming. Youre not alone. Like other teens, youre going through a period of transition in your life. It can be both scary and exciting at the same time.
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What Will My First Period Feel Like
You may find your first period comes and goes with very little in the way of symptoms, or you may find you experience quite a bit of discomfort. Common symptoms include:
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Breast tenderness
- Diarrhea or nausea
Most of these symptoms do not last long, and can be treated with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relief medications. A heating pad or hot water bottle on the abdomen or lower back can help ease pain in these areas. More details on menstrual pain and other symptoms can be found here .
What If I Forget To Remove My Tampon
If you forget to remove your tampon, it can turn sideways or become compressed at the top of your vagina. This can make it difficult for you to pull it out. If you think you’ve left a tampon in and you can’t get it out, go to your GP or nearest sexual health clinic. They can remove it for you.
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Period Length And Perimenopause
In the years leading up to menopause, many women experience changes in their period flow and cycle length. This time of transition is called perimenopause. It can last a year or two or several years.
If youre in your 40s or 50s and your periods are suddenly unpredictable, perimenopause may be the reason. But play it safe and ask your doctor about any changes you notice.
Can You Get Pregnant Before You Have A Period
Yes! Yes! Yes! Once your cycle comes back, you will ovulate two weeks before you get your first period, so you will have no advance warning that youre fertile! If youre not ready to get pregnant again, check out your birth control options. Hormonal birth control wont hurt your baby, but if they contain estrogen they may cause your milk supply to dip. Ask your practitioner about non-hormonal birth control methods including diaphragms, condoms, certain versions of the pill , and some IUDs, that are totally compatible with breastfeeding.
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Lengthy Or Heavy Periods
Heavy bleeding is an indication to see your healthcare provider.
Signs of heavy bleeding include:
- Soaking through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row
- Wearing more than one pad at a time to absorb bleeding
- Changing pads or tampons at night
- Periods with blood clots that are the size of a quarter or larger
Its important to see your healthcare provider if your menstrual bleeding is lasting more than seven days.
Can You Use A Tampon On Your First Period
You will need to use either menstrual pads or tampons to protect your underwear on your first period.
Tampons are available in different sizes to suit the amount of blood lost during a period. Some tampons you insert using only your index finger, and other tampons have a cardboard or plastic applicator to help you to insert it into the vagina.
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How Will I Know When My Periods Are Going To Start
Signs that your period is on its way are if you’ve grown underarm and pubic hair. Typically, you’ll start your periods about 2 years after your breasts start growing and about a year after getting a white vaginal discharge. The average girl will get her first period around 12 years old, but it varies from person to person.
When Should You See A Doctor About Your Period
Though that first period after baby can be a doozy, the flow should not be so heavy that youre going through one pad per 1-2 hours. Call your doctor if youre experiencing any of the following:
Though you may wish your period would just stay away forever, remember that its a sign of your body functioning normally after pregnancy. Practice self-care by getting plenty of rest, taking walks to relieve cramps, and snacking on healthy fats and iron-rich lentils, prunes, meats, and foods cooked in a cast iron skillet.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.
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