Your First Period Guide: Age Symptoms Duration & More
If youâre looking to learn more about when to expect a first period or how to manage it, congratulations on being prepared! Knowing what to expect when getting your period and having accurate information can really increase confidence and decrease worries as puberty progresses and first periods arrive! So whether youâre preparing for your first period or youâve already started and just want to learn more about it, weâve got you covered.
What If I Bleed Through My Clothes Are They Ruined
Not necessarily! Before we get into the nitty-gritty, know that leaks happen to everyone.
When you first start your period, youre learning about how much you bleed, how much your menstrual product can hold, and when your flow is heaviest.
If you can, keep a couple of stain wipes in your bag. They can help get the worst of the stain out and hold things over until youre able to clean the fabric properly.
You can also tie a jacket or sweatshirt around your waist to help cover the stain until youre able to change.
When you get home, try this method to get blood stains off:
Your Daughters First Period: Help Them Be Ready
Many women probably remember when and where they got their first period. A lot of us probably also wish wed been a little more prepared.
If your daughter is approaching their first period, how can you help them be ready without embarrassing them — and yourself? Make an action plan so youre both ready.
Confront concerns. Your daughter is probably wondering what her period will feel like, how long it will last, and how she can take care of herself each month. Let her know that asking questions is OK, says pediatrician Cara Natterson, MD.
You can start with the basics: Explain that their first few periods will most likely be light, and they might not be regular in the beginning. The blood might be red, brown, or even blackish, and they should change their pad every 4 to 6 hours.
Dads, if this topic is outside your comfort zone, ask an older daughter or female relative to bring it up. Your daughter might be just as uncomfortable talking with you about their period as you are.
Make a period kit. Many girls fear theyll get their first period at school or when theyre away from home. To help your daughter feel ready, buy a small zippered pouch and stock it with a couple of teen-size sanitary pads and a clean pair of underwear, Natterson says. Tell your daughter to keep the pouch with them at all times, and keep one with you, too, just in case.
See a doctor sooner if:
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Practical Preparation For Periods
Your child will need a supply of sanitary pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and/or a menstrual cup.
Before your child gets their first period, its a good idea to show your child:
- what pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and cups look like
- how to use pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and cups
- how to dispose of pads and tampons, or rinse period-proof underpants
- how to clean a menstrual cup.
You might want to suggest your child carries pads, underpants, tampons or a cup. For example, they could keep some in a small bag in their school bag and sports bag.
Pads, underpants, tampons or a menstrual cup? Its probably easier for your child to start with pads or period-proof underpants before they try tampons or a menstrual cup.
Your child can use tampons and cups at any age, but it can take some time and practice to get used to them.
When your child is first starting with tampons or a menstrual cup, it might help to practise between periods, to get used to inserting and removing them. For tampons it can help to put a bit of lubricant or petroleum jelly on the tip of a tampon so it slides in more easily, or use water as a lubricant for a menstrual cup. Looking at diagrams of the slope and shape of the vagina can also help, as can using a mirror while practising.
Being comfortable with using tampons or a menstrual cup can be a big help in these busy and active years.
What Do I Need To Know About My Period
Menstruation is when blood from your uterus drips out of your vagina for a few days every month. You start getting your period during puberty, usually when youre around 12-15 years old.
Your menstrual cycle is what makes your period come every month. Its controlled by hormones in your body. The purpose of the menstrual cycle is to help your body get ready for pregnancy. Your menstrual cycle = the time from the 1st day of your period to the 1st day of your next period. Learn more about how your menstrual cycle works.
Most people get their period every 21-35 days around once a month . The bleeding lasts for 2-7 days its different for everyone. Your period might not always come at the same time each month, especially when you first start getting it. It can take a few years for your period to settle into its natural rhythm, and some people never get regular periods throughout their lives.
Missing your period can be a sign of pregnancy if youve had penis-in-vagina sex without using birth control. But there are other reasons your period might be late, too. Learn more about what to do if you miss your period.
There are lots of ways to deal with the blood that comes out of your vagina when you have your period. You can use pads, tampons, period underwear, or a menstrual cup to collect the blood, so it doesnt get on your clothes. Learn more about using tampons, period underwear, pads, and cups.
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What To Do When It Starts
When a period begins, try to find a way to absorb the blood. A female can do this by asking a friend or family member for a pad or tampon.
If it is not possible to use a pad or tampon, try to wrap something absorbent, such as toilet paper or a clean washcloth, around the crotch area of some underwear. This can absorb the blood and prevent leaks.
It can be helpful to prepare a period kit before the first period arrives. This can help with feeling ready. This period kit could consist of:
- an extra pair of underwear
- a variety of tampons and pads, so a female can choose what works best for them
- unscented baby wipes to clean any leakages
Most periods last for
The following sections will look at some absorption methods in more detail.
Period Symptoms And Pain
When your childs period is coming, they might have a range of physical symptoms, including sore breasts, pimples and greasy hair. Your child might also have a sore tummy, feel sick or have diarrhoea.
Period pain and these associated symptoms are common. If your child gets a sore tummy, back or legs before or during their period, your child could try:
- taking pain medication
- putting a hot water bottle on their lower stomach
- walking or other light exercise
- eating smaller meals more often
- resting and relaxing, particularly with their legs elevated, or lying on one side with knees bent
- lightly massaging the lower stomach
- having warm drinks like hot milk or herbal tea.
Very painful periods are common, as are symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. But if your child has period pain that disrupts everyday activities, they should see their GP. Hormone treatments that regulate periods or even turn them off for a while are safe and very effective.
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Mood Changes Before And During Periods
Many people will experience mood changes just before or during the first few days of their periods. These changes can include being a bit irritable or more sensitive, or feeling angry, anxious or even depressed.
This can be hard for your child and the rest of the family to cope with. Giving your child a bit more privacy and space around this time can make it easier for everyone, without making a big deal about it.
If your childs mood changes are upsetting or disrupting their everyday life, they might like to see a health professional, like the GP.
Keeping Track Of Periods
Its good for your child to keep track of their periods with an app, calendar or diary. If your childs periods are fairly regular, an app or calendar can help your child know when their period is likely to come. This way your child can prepare for things like sleepovers, school camps or swimming carnivals.
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When Do Most Girls Get Their Period
Most girls get their first period when they’re around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK. Every girl’s body has its own schedule.
There isn’t one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon:
- Most of the time, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop.
- Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
Menstruation And The First Period: What Girls Should Know
âWhat are these, Mommy?â asked the 7-year-old girl, reaching into their motherâs vanity drawer and pulling out a box of tampons. Caught unprepared to talk about puberty and menstruation, their mother improvised. âUmâ¦theyâre windshield wiper cleaners, honey.â
Will you be more ready than that when itâs time to talk to your daughter about their first period? That time may come sooner than you think.
Although a girlâs first period usually occurs at about age 12, some girls experience their first period much earlier. And even before they get their first period, your daughter will be noticing other changes in their body: Recent studies show that most girls start developing breast buds sometime between age 9 and 10.
When that happens, youâll know that their first period may not be far off: The development of breast buds usually precedes a girlsâ first period by about two years, while pubic and underarm hair usually begins to appear about six months before the onset of menstruation.
âA girlâs first period should actually be a milestone in a series of talks over many years about normal development — physical changes and psychological changes,â says Karen Zager, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in New York City and co-author of The Inside Story on Teen Girls: Experts Answer Parentsâ Questions. âAll of that should start when theyâre very young, in age-appropriate ways.â
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Pads And Panty Liners
Sanitary pads are rectangular pieces of absorbent material that you stick inside your underwear.
All pads have a sticky strip on the bottom. Thats what attaches the pad to your underwear.
Some have extra material on the sides, known as wings, that you fold over the edges of your underwear. This helps keep the pad in place.
Pads typically need to be changed every four to eight hours, but there isnt a set rule. Simply change it if the material feels sticky or wet.
They come in different sizes. Each size is made to accommodate a different level of bleeding.
Generally speaking, the smaller the pad, the less blood it can hold.
Youll probably use a more absorbent pad at the beginning of your period then switch to something lighter once the bleeding slows down.
You may also find it helpful to wear a heavier pad overnight so you dont have to worry about leakage.
Even the largest pads are still quite thin, so you shouldnt be able to see it through your clothes. If youre worried that people might be able to tell, stick to looser-fit bottoms.
Panty liners are smaller, thinner versions of a sanitary pad.
You may find it helpful to use them a couple of days before your period is supposed to start to prevent accidentally bleeding on your underwear.
You may also want to use panty liners toward the end of your period, as the bleeding may be spotty and unpredictable.
What Else Should I Do
- Puberty can cause you to have lots of different feelings and emotions. Talk to people you trust, including your parents who have been through this before. This can help you cope with the changes you are experiencing.
- Stay away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco. All of these can harm your body and are addictive.
- Talk to someone you trust about healthy relationships and attractions.
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Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
If these problems do not go away after treatment or if you cannot go to school or do your normal activities, you should talk to your doctor.
Amenorrhea means not having a period. It is normal for some girls not to start their periods until age 16 years. But you should see your doctor if you have not started your period by age 15 years. You also should see your doctor if you have started your period but it then stops for more than 3 months.
If you are bleeding so much that you need to change your pad or tampon every 12 hours or if your period lasts for more than 7 days, you should see your doctor. See your doctor right away if you are light-headed, dizzy, or have a racing pulse.
You should tell your doctor if your periods are usually regular but then become irregular for several months. You also should see your doctor if your period comes more often than every 21 days or less often than every 45 days.
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