Why Do Girls Get Periods
A period happens because of changes in hormones in the body. Hormones give messages to the body. These hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. This gets the uterus ready for an egg and sperm to attach and grow into a baby. If the woman does not get pregnant, the lining breaks down and bleeds. This same process happens every month. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
When Can I Get Pregnant During My Menstrual Cycle
You have the highest chance of getting pregnant on the days leading up to ovulation these are called fertile days.
Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your period starts but everyones body is different. You may ovulate earlier or later, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle.
Your egg lives for about 1 day after its released from your ovary, and sperm can live in your uterus and fallopian tubes for about 6 days after sex. So you can usually get pregnant for around 6 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or so after ovulation, but it’s less likely.
Many people track their menstrual cycles and other fertility signs to help them figure out when theyre ovulating. This is called fertility awareness some people use it to prevent pregnancy, and others use it to try to get pregnant. Check out our app, which makes it easy to chart your cycle and figure out your fertile days.
Some people have very regular cycles, and other peoples cycles vary from month to month. Its really common for young people to have irregular periods. Since your period can be unpredictable, its hard to know for sure when youll ovulate . So if you dont want to get pregnant, use birth control every time you have vaginal sex.
Determining Your Menopause Age
Theres no simple test that can tell you when youll reach menopause, but researchers are working on creating one.
Examining your family history may be the most accurate way to help you predict when you might experience the change. Youll likely reach menopause around the same age as your mother and, if you have any, sisters.
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At What Age Does A First Period Generally Happen
In the United States, a child may get their first period when theyre about 12. However, anytime between 10 and 15 is within the average range. Its not entirely unusual for a first period to happen as young as 8 or as old as 16.
Factors such as family history, race, diet, environment, and weight can all determine the time a first period occurs. Children who participate in intense athletics or are underweight might get their periods later.
It can be hard to predict when a first period will occur, but there are a few ways you might be able to estimate. As a rule, a first period will occur about 2 years after breasts start to develop. Additionally, a mucus-like vaginal discharge will often start 6 months to a year before the first period.
What Sort Of Menstrual Product Should I Use
There are so many options now that it can be overwhelming to choose which menstrual / period product is right for you. You may even need to experiment to determine which product is best for you. There are main categories of products.
- Internal Disposable – tampons
- External Reusable – period underwear or reusable pads
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Do Transgender Guys Get A Period
Not everybody who gets a period identifies as a girl or woman. Transgender men and genderqueer people who have uteruses, vaginas, fallopian tubes, and ovaries also get their periods.
Having a period can be a stressful experience for some trans folks because it’s a reminder that their bodies dont match their true gender identity this discomfort and anxiety is sometimes called gender dysphoria. Other trans people might not be too bothered by their periods. Either reaction is normal and okay.
Sometimes trans people who havent reached puberty yet take hormones to prevent all of the gendered body changes that happen during puberty, including periods. And people who already get periods can use certain types of birth control that help lighten or stop their periods. Hormone replacement therapy, like taking testosterone, may also stop your period.
If you start taking testosterone, your period will go away. But this is reversible if you stop taking testosterone, your period will come back. There can be some changes in your menstrual cycle before it stops for good. Periods get lighter and shorter over time, or come when you dont expect it. You may have spotting or cramping every once in a while until you stop getting your period, and sometimes even after it seems to have stopped this is normal. Testosterone injections make your periods go away faster than testosterone cream.
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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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
What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts Or When A Woman Reaches Menopause
New research published online on April 12 in Menopause, the journal of NAMS, looked at the various factors that may affect the age when natural menopause occurs.
They found that there are factors that do seem predictive of when a woman will approach menopause, such as higher estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which weve known for a while,” says Streicher. Irregular menstrual bleeding and hot flashes were also indicators of earlier menopause, she adds.
One new finding uncovered in the research was around alcohol consumption. The authors observed that participants tended to increase their alcohol consumption when approaching menopause, making it a potential clue that the change was coming.
That makes sense, says Streicher. This can be a time of added stress for women, and we know that any stressful situation can cause someone to drink more, she says.
Although this study didnt find a strong association with smoking, other research has indicated that smoking is related to early onset of menopause, says Streicher.
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How Do I Use A Tampon
Inserting a tampon for the first time can be a bit of a challenge. Its hard to know exactly how to position your body and at what angle to put the tampon in. After a few tries, you will figure out what works best for you. Its best to use slender size tampons when you are learning. If you arent exactly sure where your vaginal opening is, use a mirror to have a look at your vulva .
To insert a tampon that has an applicator:
To insert a tampon without an applicator:
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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What If Period Blood Leaks Through My Clothes
This can happen to many women. If it happens while you are asleep, then you will notice as soon as you wake up. Take any article of clothing or bedding that have blood in them rinse the blood out under cold water. You can then apply a stain remover detergent, or some hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let it soak in for 20-30 minutes before rinsing again and putting it in the washer. If you are using any chemicals, it is important to do so carefully and perhaps with a parent.
If it happens while you are away from home, go to the toilets. You may be able to dab some of the blood out onto some toilet tissue. Depending on the size of the stain, you may not feel comfortable walking around with it showing. In which case, you may want to go home, or go to a shop to buy a replacement article of clothing. If you have a jumper or a jacket, you can also tie it around your waist. But, if you wear period under, like WUKA, you wont have to worry about leaks coming through the underwear. We have a leak-proof layer that will stop any blood from getting on your clothing.
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.
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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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What Will It Be Like
Every females period is different. Periods can vary in duration, frequency, and heaviness. Some females have very light periods, while others have heavy periods.
For some, the first period is light, with a small amount of blood. It may begin gradually, starting with some spotting or brown discharge before becoming red.
For others, periods begin suddenly, with bright red blood appearing straight away. In either case, this is normal. Period blood can range in color from brown to dark red. Some people may also pass small blood clots.
Having a period can feel similar to having vaginal discharge, but some females do not feel much at all.
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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 Do Periods Stop
Women usually have periods until menopause. Menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, usually around age 50. Menopause means that a woman is no longer ovulating or having periods and can no longer get pregnant. Like menstruation, menopause can vary from woman to woman and these changes may occur over several years.
For the first few years after menstruation begins, longer cycles are common. A woman’s cycle tends to shorten and become more regular with age. Most of the time, periods will be in the range of 21 to 35 days apart.
Periods stop during pregnancy, and often while you are breastfeeding. Some women find their periods stop for a time because of long-term illness, low body weight, stress, lots of strenuous exercise and hormone problems. Some medications, such as contraceptives, might stop your period. This can be helpful for some women, especially if their periods are heavy or painful. Sometimes after stopping the pill or other contraceptive, it can take a while for your periods to come back. Periods stop altogether when women reach menopause – the average age is 51-52.
The menstrual cycle is the hormonal driven cycle. Day 1 is the first day of your period while day 14 is the approximate day you ovulate and if an egg is not fertilized, hormone levels eventually drop and at about day 25. The egg then begins to dissolve and the cycle begins again with the period at about day 30.
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