Your First Period
Your first period is a great time to get all the facts about your changing body, your reproductive system, and your pH.
Although it may be frightening to experience the changes that come with your first period, its arrival is proof that you’re becoming a woman! You may have heard about PMS, bloating, headaches, and cramps that come with your period. Some women experience these symptoms and some don’t. Remember each woman’s experience is unique. If you do have questions or if you are experiencing symptoms that are severe, you should talk to your parents or another trusted adult. Most women start their period between ages 8 and 15, the average age in the United States is 12.
If you haven't had your period yet, you should talk to someone who can help you prepare. This might be your mom, an older female relative, or anyone else you may feel comfortable with. Make it clear that you want to be ready for the big day, whenever it arrives.
Getting your period is nothing to be embarrassed about, but it is something that you can prepare for. One handy tip is to keep some supplies with you – that means keeping your sanitary pads or tampons in a discreet place in your purse, backpack or locker at school.
It may seem like there are an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to feminine health products. You probably have heard about tampons and pads, but may wonder what the best choice is for you.
Tampons are made of an absorbent material that is inserted into the vagina. These can be more convenient than pads if you are playing sports or going swimming. Tampons won’t show under your clothes and many girls find them to be more comfortable. A pantiliner, a thin pad providing light protection, is commonly used with tampons.
Pads simply stick to the lining of your underwear. Pads can be less intimidating for girls just starting out, though many will eventually end up transitioning into tampons. Many women use a combination of both tampons and pads for back up protection. This can be especially helpful when you may not have easy access to extra supplies. Just be sure you change your tampon every 4-8 hours.
Every woman’s period is different, although most women experience a monthly cycle where each period comes every 25-30 days. Additionally, the amount of blood flow that each woman experiences during her period varies greatly. Some women experience a heavy flow, and some experience a light flow, with most women having variations between the two on different days.
Once you start having your period, it is important to pay close attention to your own rhythms, flows, and cycles, so you can tell if anything is ever out of the ordinary. If you are over 13, you can even use the My Feminine Health Planner
to track your period and see a prediction of when to expect your next period.