Getting Your First Period: A How
Having your period is a very normal but nerve-wracking part of growing up. It’s totally understandable if you’re feeling worried or scared before you’ve had your first periodafter all, this is a brand new experience.
Consider talking to someone you trust to guide you through your questions. If you’re feeling shy, keep reading for some tips on how to handle your first period, and download our free period guide for even more information.
Is It Normal To Bleed During The First Month Of Pregnancy
Early pregnancy is characterized by light spotting . This is the stage at which the fertilized egg installs itself in the uterus. Bleeding that continues throughout the pregnancy, on the other hand, is unusual. If you are bleeding profusely, contact your doctor right away. A growing baby needs more nutrients than what you can provide yourself, so early pregnancy loss can be dangerous for your health.
During this time, your body is going through many changes to prepare for birth. Your uterus begins to shrink back down to its normal size after giving birth, but it will still be about the same size as before you were pregnant. This means that there’s room for another fetus if you should become pregnant again.
Some women may notice blood stains on their underwear around this time if they’re experiencing heavy bleeding. It’s not uncommon for women to feel anxious about possible problems with their pregnancies, so these stains help them know that their babies are doing fine.
The amount of bleeding you experience depends on how far along you are with your pregnancy. If you’re under the age of eighteen, have a history of heavy bleeding, or are pregnant with multiple embryos, then you should see your doctor right away if you experience bleeding beyond what is normal for you.
It is very important not to worry about whether your bleeding is normal or not during early pregnancy. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience excessive bleeding.
About Your Menstrual Period
Menstruation, or a womans period, is a period of bleeding that happens every month:
- The average age for girls to begin their periods is 12 years old, but some will begin menstruating earlier or later.
- Periods vary in length for every girl and can be anywhere from three to eight days.
- You may experience long cycles in the first few years of menstruation, but they tend to shorten and become more regular as you age .
Menstruating, commonly referred to as having a period, means that your body is preparing for pregnancy. This includes ovulating and preparing the uterine lining for a pregnancy. The uterus is the area of the body where a baby grows during pregnancy.
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How Long Does Your First Period Last
The average time to bleed is between four or five days, but your period could last from three to eight days. Again, everyones different. Your period is part of your menstrual cycle, which starts on day one of bleeding and ends the day before your next period begins. The average cycle is 28 days but it may be shorter or longer.
Do Other Mammals Also Have Periods
The answer is yes, but. All female mammals that produce offspring with a placenta, build up a uterine lining in the fertile phase of their cycle and dismantle it in the infertile phase. Some species have an estrous cycle, in which, if no conception takes place, the endometrium fluids are reabsorbed into the body . Other species, like the human have a menstrual cycle, where the body expels the endometrium lining . Primates, some bat species and elephants also experience overt menstruation. But, heres an inspiring detail: Before menstruating, humans do in fact also reabsorb two-thirds of the liquid in the endometrium .
Food for thought: If human beings actually do have the ability to reabsorb endometrial liquid, why do some women menstruate so much blood? Maybe there is something about human beings that can cause this? Could this possibly be a factor we can influence and reduce strong periods? Could we humans maybe also manage to live without menstrual products?
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Are There Other Period Symptoms
Besides tracking the timing of your cycle, some people also know a period is near when they develop certain symptoms that are caused by the menstrual cycle hormones. The most common symptoms reported before a period include bloating, moodiness, food cravings, breast tenderness, headache or menstrual cramps. Within a day or two after the period begins, the symptoms disappear naturally. If you experience some or all of these symptoms before most of your periods, itâs called Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS.
What Is A Normal Period
There is a range of normal bleeding some women have short, light periods and others have longer, heavy periods.
Normal menstrual bleeding has the following features:
- Your period lasts for 3-8 days
- Your period comes every 21-35 days
- The total blood loss over the course of the period is around 2-3 tablespoons
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Whats The Average Age To Start Your Period
The average age for starting periods is around 12 years of age, but that doesnt mean that if you start before or after this age that you should worry! It can be difficult, especially if your friends have already started their periods and you havent yet. Everyone starts when their own body is ready, and there is no way to change when you will start.
What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For My First Period
There is nothing in particular you need to do to prepare for your first period, besides having feminine hygiene products and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen on hand. If you happen to get your period with no access to menstrual products, toilet paper will work in an emergency. If you get your first period at school, your teacher or school nurse will have a pantiliner or pad on hand.
There are a variety of menstrual products available to you:
These absorbent pads have an adhesive backing that sticks to the inside of your underwear. They are available in different lengths and absorbencies, and some have adhesive wings that wrap around the sides of your underwear. Disposable pads should be changed every 4-6 hours and are thrown out after a single use.
These are small, thin, disposable absorbent pads that can be used on their own on days of light flow. They can also be used in combination with a tampon, in case of leaks or discharge.
These are usually made of cotton, bamboo, or other natural absorbent fibres, and are often available at health food stores. They can be washed with detergent and reused. Some have velcro tabs to secure them around your underwear.
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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.
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.
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The Normal Amount Of Human Period Blood
Normal can be a pretty difficult concept to handle and any deviation can make us feel abnormal and insecure about ourselves. This isnt necessary. While it is important to pay attention to be healthy, each woman has a different body: short, tall, big pelvis, small pelvis, age, puberty, mother of three or progressing to menopause, on birth control or hormones or not, and a different period! All such factors can have effect on the amount of period flow. Finally, what can be an issue for one woman can be absolutely normal for another woman. So lets refer to the concept of average which includes the full range of menstruating woman and find the middle.
Most women experience a blood flow between 10-80 ml, during 2 to 7 days and the average amount of blood that a womans body expels during her menstruation can be found to be 35 ml. That is about 2 3 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons . While that is the average, women have given varying reports from just a spot to over two cups in one menstruation .
So if you are somewhere within the range of 10-80 ml, you can probably feel yourself comfortably within the amount that most women bleed. If you feel unsure about your period you can consult a health practitioner. To learn more about heavy periods, check out this link.
These are the medical terms:
The Answer Lies In The Details: Menstrual Blood Vs Menstrual Fluid
I couldnt get the 30 to 50 ml of blood loss on average, equations and pad-washing as means to get to this result out of my head. I had to check the Alkaline-Haematin-Method again and discovered that I had missed a crucial detail: What if the method is only considering the quantity of menstrual blood and not all of the menstrual fluid?
Those menstruating may have realized that what menstrual cups, pads or actually any menstrual product collect isn’t just blood. In some cases, blood only makes up 36% of the menstrual flow. Although some publications mention this to be around 50-60%, it still shows that the period flow is not as simple as a nosebleed.
So of course, the menstrual flow is made up of blood and other substances , the other substances being uterine lining and other tissue, no wonder a menstrual cup fills up faster and my experience is far from the 30-50 ml norm. Just imagine a small shot glass of water and adding pebbles. Its physics!
Going forward from this theory, I made a very basic calculation with the NHS number of 40 ml of average blood loss during a period and came to a result of 111 ml of total menstrual fluid lost during a period. Heres how I calculated that:
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How Much Am I Supposed To Bleed During My Period
February 7, 2017 by Fertility Friday
If your menstrual cycle education was anything like mine, you were given precious little information about what a normal period is supposed to look like, and since your only experience of menstruation is your own, its easy to assume that your period is normal and everyone elses period must be kind of like yours. If so, youre not alone. This phenomenon actually shows up in the research since women who have heavy periods often report that their periods are light, and women with light periods often report that their periods are heavy.
Ultimately, your opinion of what a heavy or light period looks like is highly subjective, and very much based on your personal experience.
So whats normal anyways? And where do you fall on that spectrum?
A normal period lasts about 3-6 days, has a bleeding pattern that starts out moderate or heavy, gradually tapers off, and follows a crescendo/decrescendo type bleeding pattern.
You can expect that 90% of your total blood loss will take place within the first 3 days of your period with your second day of bleeding being the heaviest.
What colour should it be?
You can expect your period to be a variant of red. Bright red, deep wine, burgundy, or look something like beet juice. On your light and very light days you can expect to see light pink or brownish coloured bleeding.
Now for the big question
How much should I be bleeding?
Why do I bleed so much?
What if my period is way lighter than normal?
How Can You Tell How Much Youre Actually Bleeding
You expel more than just blood during menstruation. Your menstrual fluid also contains a mix of mucus and uterine tissues, which can add volume to your overall fluid loss. Thats what makes measuring blood loss tricky.
But its definitely possible. The hygiene products you use can help you get a rough estimate of your overall flow. And if you want an accurate account of pure blood loss, math is on your side.
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Is It Normal To Have Spotting In Early Pregnancy
However, in the early stages of pregnancy, some women have spotting or mild bleeding, which is normally normal. This is known as “implantation bleeding,” and it occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining.
Light bleeding or spotting does not always indicate pregnancy, however some women do have implantation bleeding in early pregnancy, shortly after conception. Here’s how to identify if your spotting is due to pregnancy, your menstruation, or something else.
When Will I Have Another One
After your first period, your second one can be pretty unpredictable, too. Most people expect it one month after the first period, but in reality, it’s pretty normal for it to happen anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months after your first period.
Once youâve had a few periods, the best way to predict future ones, is to write down the dates of every period you have and count how many days there are from the start of one period to the start of the next. That tells you your cycle length. Obviously youâll need to have a few periods before you can do this, but it is super helpful for staying aware and prepared!
When you keep track of your periods like that, itâs called âperiod trackingâ . There are lots of ways to track your periods. You can write them on a calendar, in a journal or notebook, or use a period tracker. Make sure you record the day you start and every day you have your flow. You might also want to note when your flow is heavy and when it is light. This is the best way to know your flow so you can be aware and prepared!
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Whats The Average Blood Loss During Your Period
The average amount of blood lost during your period is actually only 30 to 72 milliliters . Some research also suggests the average is closer to 60 milliliters . Either way, its definitely a lot less than it feels like.
But these are only averages, and your average blood loss during menstruation may be different.
The Period Math Word Problem You Never Asked For
Question: Say you collect 150 milliliters of period fluid. How much period fluid is blood, and how much is the other stuff? Is the total blood loss amount considered normal?
Answer: Multiply 150 by 0.36 to get a total blood loss of 54 milliliters. This is in the normal range. Then subtract 54 milliliters from 150 milliliters to find that your period contained 96 milliliters of other components like uterine tissues and mucus.
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Should I Use Pads Or Tampons
There are lots of different sizes of pads and tampons. Large sizes are good for heavier period flow. Smaller sizes are best for lighter flow.
A lot of people think you have to use pads with your first period, but thereâs no reason why you canât use a tampon if you want. Itâs your choice! Both pads and tampons are safe, even for your first period. The most important thing is to know how to use them properly and safely. You can learn how to insert a tampon here!
Why Have My Periods Not Started Yet
Your periods will start when your body is ready. This is usually between age 10 and 16, or 2 years after your first signs of puberty.
Possible reasons for delayed periods include being underweight, doing lots of exercise , stress and a hormone imbalance.
See a GP if your periods have not started by age 16 . Your GP may suggest a blood test to check your hormone levels.
You may be referred to a specialist to find out what’s causing your delayed periods and discuss any treatments that might help.
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How Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Treated
Treatment depends on what’s causing your bleeding, how severe your bleeding is, your health, age and medical history. Also, treatment depends on your response to certain medicines and your preferences. For instance, you may not want to have a period at all, or you may want to reduce your bleeding. In addition, your plans to get pregnant will affect your treatment options.
Talk with your provider about your health concerns and your goals for treatment.
Medications used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding
- Iron supplements improve your iron stores.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen® or Aspirin® can ease your cramps and reduce your bleeding.
- Birth control may help make your periods more regular and lighten your blood flow.
- Hormone therapy can help balance the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body so that your menstrual flow isn’t as heavy. HT is often recommended for heavy menstrual bleeding associated with perimenopause but comes with risks that you should discuss with your provider.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can temporarily stop or reduce bleeding by preventing ovulation.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists can manage heavy period bleeding related to fibroids.
- Desmopressin nasal spray can stop bleeding associated with von Willebrand disease by helping your blood clot.
- Antifibrinolytic medicines, like tranexamic acid, prevent clots from breaking down and causing excessive bleeding.
Procedures used to treat heavy period bleeding