Preparing Your Daughter For Her First Period
Your little girl is growing up! Signs of her age are apparent from simply observing changes that begin to happen before she even gets her first period. Most girls start to menstruate between ages 10 and 15 years old, with an average age of 12. But, changes often start a couple of years sooner. Talking with your daughter about what to expect and reassuring her these changes are normal is key. Here are some signs and symptoms of puberty that you and your daughter will notice before menstruation begins:
- Breast buds She may experience pain or firm bumps in or behind her nipples, signaling the first signs that breast buds are developing. The areola may look bigger or puffy. You can expect her period to start about two years after her breast buds develop.
- Pubic hair Once her pubic hair starts growing, you can expect her period to develop in one to two years. It may begin soft and thin but it will become courser and thicker towards the end of puberty.
- Vaginal discharge She may notice white or yellowish fluid in her underwear which usually means her period is going to start in next few months. Depending on the amount, you may want to offer her a panty liner.
When should you take your daughter to see a doctor?If your daughter hasnt gotten her period by age 16 or if she has bleeding that occurs more frequently than every 21 days or is lasting longer than 7 days, you should make an appointment with one of our OBGYNs.
Teach Her About Hygienic Menstrual Practices
Also, teach your daughter about the various stringent hygienic practices that she must resort to during her periods.
You can let her know about the various menstrual hygiene products like feminine washes, menstrual sponges, and sanitary napkins that are available in the market and describe the pros and cons of each.
Now, let her choose her comfort zone. You are comfortable with tampons does not imply that she will also have similar preferences.
If there occur issues regarding schedules and regularities with the periods, it is always better to consult a gynecologist.
You as a parent should never try the medications that you take on your daughter. It is not at all a good practice.
Watch Your Menstrual Cycle & Periods
How to prepare for my first period
Since you never know when youâll get your first period, itâs a good idea to be prepared.
Here are some ideas:
- Prepare an emergency period kit containing a panty liner, pad and clean underwear in a discreet bag
- Keep a pantyliner or pad in your book bag or purse
- In an emergency, toilet paper can work until you can get a pantyliner or pad
- Ask a friend, school nurse or teacher for help â most schools keep extra pantyliners or pads for exactly this reason!
Common questions about your first period When should I see a doctor about not getting my period?
If you have missed three periods in a row or have not started menstruating by the age of 15, you may have a condition called primary amenorrhea. This affects some women who produce lower levels of oestrogen. You should see a doctor if you think you may have primary amenorrhea if breast growth has not started by age 13, or if your period has not started three years after breast growth.
Possible causes of a missed period are:
- Youâve just started menstruating
Menstrual cramps are a widespread symptom before periods start. Its the first and one of the most noticeable signs your period is coming tomorrow. Menstrual cramps typically occur in the lower part of the abdomen. They can also occur closer to your back and upper thighs.
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How Early Is Too Early To Start Menstruating When Is Too Old
While the average adolescent will get their first period sometime between the ages of 10 and 15, having an earlier or later first period is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong. Some children may have their first period when they are just 8 or 9 years old. Similarly, some people might not get their period until they are 15 or 16, especially if other female family members were late bloomers. Children usually have their first periods about two to three years after their breasts begin to develop and between six to 12 months after they begin to experience vaginal discharge these can be helpful signs to watch out for if you are concerned whether your child is too old or too young to be experiencing their first period.
If your child begins to show signs of puberty before about the age of 8, such as developing breast buds, make sure you help them understand the changes in their body, and consider making a visit to your pediatrician. Your child may be experiencing early puberty, and a healthcare provider can help you determine whether or not there is anything to be concerned about. Similarly, if your child has reached age 15 and has not yet begun their period, consider making an appointment. Factors such as weight , stress levels and exercise frequency and intensity can influence when a child begins their menstrual cycle.
Periods And Additional Needs
Periods can be especially challenging for young people with additional needs and their parents. If your child has moderate to severe intellectual disability, they might not understand why theyre experiencing changes to their body and mood.
Your child still needs to know about periods and the menstrual cycle at a level they can understand. Your GP, or other health professionals involved in your childs care, can recommend resources you can use with your child, like books and visual aids. You could also speak to your childs school about support.
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Can A Girl Get Her Period At 7 Years Old
Now the average age of a girl to get her first period is 12 years. But it is a natural process that can also take place sooner or later. Some girls do hit puberty at the age of 7 and this phenomenon is known as precocious puberty. But there is no need to worry about it as there is nothing dangerous in it. Some signs that can help her know that she is going to get her first period are growing nipples, pubic hairs, and vaginal discharges. With these symptoms, a girl can get to know that she is going to have periods soon.
Should I Use A Pad Tampon Or Menstrual Cup
You have many choices about how to deal with period blood. You may need to experiment a bit to find which works best for you. Some girls use only one method and others switch between different methods.
- Most girls use pads when they first get their period. Pads are made of cotton and come in lots of different sizes and shapes. They have sticky strips that attach to the underwear.
- Many girls find tampons more convenient than pads, especially when playing sports or swimming. A tampon is a cotton plug that a girl puts into her vagina. Most tampons come with an applicator that guides the tampon into place. The tampon absorbs the blood. Don’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours because this can increase your risk of a serious infection called toxic shock syndrome.
- Some girls prefer a menstrual cup. Most menstrual cups are made of silicone. To use a menstrual cup, a girl inserts it into her vagina. It holds the blood until she empties it.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Although it is normal for periods to be somewhat irregular to begin with, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor if they do not settle into a regular rhythm or if they cause symptoms that disrupt daily life.
The frequency and heaviness of periods, and any symptoms that accompany them, can be an important indicator of a females health.
It is a good idea for a person to talk with a doctor if they or a young female in their care experiences:
- a heavy flow that requires pad or tampon changes every 12 hours
- severe pain or mood changes that prevent normal activities
- no periods for 3 months or longer after the first period
- periods that occur sooner than 21 days apart or longer than 35 days apart
- periods that last for 7 days or longer
- no period by the age of 15 years old
Emergency medical help is necessary if someone develops any symptoms of TSS, which
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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When Should I Call The Doctor
If your PMS is severe, your doctor can help with treatments, including medicine. Call the doctor if you:
- dont feel better after trying home treatments
- feel very sad or hopeless
- ever think about hurting or killing yourself
- cant do your usual activities because of your PMS symptoms
- have PMS symptoms that dont go away after the first few days of your period
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Will I Have Periods Forever
You wont have a period for the rest of your life, but youll probably have it for quite some time.
Most people will have a menstrual period until they go through menopause. Menopause occurs when the hormones that increased to trigger your first period begin to decrease.
Menopause typically begins between ages 45 to 55.
Stress and other underlying conditions can also cause your period to stop.
If you begin experiencing any unusual symptoms alongside a missed period, talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider.
If you want to stop having a period, you may consider talking to your healthcare provider about hormonal birth control.
Certain forms allow you to skip your period whenever you like or stop it entirely.
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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.
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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Your Breasts Feel Tender
Its common for breasts to feel extra sensitive, or even sore, on the days leading upto a period. Breasts can feel sore and swollen due to the fluctuating levels of hormones, explains Dr. Kallen. Why? Estrogen enlarges breast ducts, and progesterone causes milk glands to swell. Both combined can make your breasts feel pretty tender.
Remember, its important to get to know how your breasts normally look and feel. Ideally, examine them in the days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. Bear in mind that breast tenderness before your period is normal, but if you have other concerns about your breasts or notice a change, you should see a health care professional.
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 .
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Can A Girl Grow 4 Inches After Her Period
Yes! A girl can grow from 3 to 5 inches after her first period. This height varies but average girls can grow 4 inches easily. But if the periods of a girl start at an early age then she can expect to grow more than 5 inches. Some girls do not grow more than three inches after their periods but this is because of some hormonal effect and there is nothing to be worried about.