What Does It Mean To Get Your First Period
Your body begins to produce adult levels of hormones during puberty. A period happens when your brain sends a signal to your ovaries to release hormones called estrogen and progesterone.
Every month, starting around the first period, estrogen and progesterone hormones prepare your body for a possible pregnancy. This causes the lining of your uterus to build up. This buildup is to prepare for a fertilized egg to attach and begin development.
After about a month of buildup without an egg attaching, the buildup will break down and bleed. This blood is what is seen during a period. This cycle repeats every month and is called a menstrual cycle.
Its common for a cycle not to be regular after a first period. Periods may be hard to predict occurring every 3 weeks, every 2 months apart. This often lasts for the first 1 or 2 years after a first period.
There are apps that can help track periods. Using an app to track in the first couple of years can help spot if anything is very irregular. You can use information from the app to start a conversation with a doctor.
Whats A Normal Period
Normal periods are different from person to person. They can also change over your lifetime. Periods usually come about once a month. When you first start having your period, the bleeding may last only a few days or be really light .
During your period, its normal to bleed anywhere from 2 to 7 days. It may seem like a lot of blood comes out, but most people only lose about 1-6 tablespoons of blood and tissue during each period. Period blood can be red, brown, or pink. Its also normal for it to be kind of clumpy at times. If your period is so heavy that you have to change maxi pads or super tampons every hour call your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood health center.
During the first few years of your period, it might not always come at the same time every month. You may bleed more or less, or have different PMS symptoms month-to-month. As you get older, periods usually get more regular and itll be easier to know whats normal for you. Learn more about what a normal period is.
Even though its normal to have periods that arent always regular, missing a period can be a sign of pregnancy. If youve had penis-in-vagina sex without using birth control and you skipped your period, take a pregnancy test. Read more about what to do if you miss your period.
Want to track your period? Weve got you. Download our Spot On app.
What Should I Talk About
What you talk about depends on your child’s age and level of development. Here are some questions that most kids have:
When do most girls get their period?
Most girls get their first period when they’re between 10 and 15 years old. The average age is 12, but every girl’s body has its own schedule.
Although there’s no one right age for a girl to get her period, there are some clues that it will start soon. Typically, 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.
What causes a period?
A period happens because of changes in in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the hormones and . These hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again. It usually takes about a month for the lining to build up, then break down. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
Do periods happen regularly when menstruation starts?
For the first few years after a girls starts her period, it may not come regularly. This is normal at first. By about 23 years after her first period, a girl’s periods should be coming around once a month.
What is PMS?
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How Much Period Blood Is Normal
It might seem like theres a lot of blood, but its probably no more than two to three tablespoons. Its normal to bleed more heavily in the first few days of your period.
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An Early Period May Indicate An Unsettled Childhood
It’s true that our age of puberty is heavily linked to that of our female relatives. Chances are very high that you’ll get your menarche at the same time that our mom, grandmother, aunts, and sisters did. But there are other factors that might be at play. And according to psychologists, one of them is whether you had enough parental care as a child.
According to a collection of studies on the topic by Psychology Today, lower levels of parental attention, support, sensitivity, and emotional security directly lead to early-onset puberty. Alas, that includes divorce and life as the child of a single parent. However, in those cases, if life is more settled afterwards and parents get more supportive, loving new partners who pay attention to kids, then age of menarche becomes average again.
This kind of makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. If you can’t rely on your family to take care of you, then your body will make you capable of finding a mate and starting your own family as soon as possible. According to a huge UK study done in 2010 of 80,000 women, early menarche is also associated with low birth weight, exposure to smoking, lack of exercise as a kid, and childhood obesity. So basically, if things are a bit rubbish or unhealthy when you’re a kid, your body tries to make you an adult ASAP.
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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:
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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What Is A Normal Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is a term used to describe the sequence of events that occur within a womans body as it prepares for the possibility of pregnancy each month. A menstrual cycle is considered to begin on the first day of a period. The average cycle is 28 days long however, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days.
The steps in the menstrual cycle are triggered by the rise and fall of chemicals in the body called hormones. The pituitary gland in the brain and the ovaries in the female reproductive tract manufacture and release certain hormones at certain times during the menstrual cycle that cause the organs of the reproductive tract to respond in certain ways. The specific events that occur during the menstrual cycle can be described as follows:
I Got My First Period Early Does That Mean Ill Go Through Menopause Early
I have many patients tell me, I know Im going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early, says Streicher. The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.
The average age of menarche in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasnt made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.
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When Should I Talk To My Kids About Periods
Talking about periods shouldn’t be one big talk at a particular age. Instead, start the conversation early and slowly build on your child’s understanding. Girls and boys need reliable information about periods. So make sure you talk to your sons too!
- For example, if your 4-year-old sees a tampon and asks what it’s for, you could say, “Women bleed a little from their vagina every month. It’s called a period. It isn’t because they’re hurt. It’s how the body gets ready for a baby. The tampon catches the blood so it doesn’t go on the underwear.”
Over the years, you can give your child more information as he or she is ready.
If your child doesn’t ask questions about periods, you can bring it up. By the time they’re 6 or 7 years old, most kids can understand the basics of periods. Look for a natural moment to talk about it, such as:
- when kids asks about puberty or changing bodies
- if your child asks where babies come from
- if you’re at the store buying pads or tampons
Ask if your child knows about periods. Then, you can share basic information, such as: As a girl develops into a woman, her body changes so she can have a baby when she grows up. Part of that is getting a place ready for the baby to grow inside the mom. The place a baby grows is called a uterus. Every month the uterus wall gets ready for a baby. If there is no baby, the uterus wall comes off and bleeds a little. The blood comes out a woman’s vagina. The body makes a new wall every month, just in case there is a baby.
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.
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An Early Period Often Means More Dating And Behavior Problems
Let’s finish on something that will be easily evident to anybody who ever went to junior high. The earlier you get your period and start developing breasts and pubic hair, the earlier you’re likely to start dating and having sex, according to researchers. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And unsurprisingly, the information came from a survey of 15-to-19-year-old girls at American high schools. It makes perfect sense: “Blossoming” means both more attention from potential mates and more interest in them yourself.
Unfortunately â but also obviously, alas â girls who’d experienced radically early puberty also reported higher levels of bullying, ostracism, depression, and socially aggressive behavior, according to the University of Michigan. They’re also more likely to develop substance abuse problems later in life. Part of that is easily explained: They’re badly treated because they’re different. Breasts that will become status symbols later are targets when you’re 13.
The study that initially tracked the behavior problems speculated that the reason for this was a combination of factors. Societal pressure plus a cocktail of sexuality steroids creates more hyperactivity and aggression. Altogether, not fun.
Either way, it looks like the later you got your menarche, the better off you are health-wise â but that early birds got a societal advantage by learning the ropes of dating and sexuality sooner. So perhaps it’s a trade-off after all.