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My First Period

We’ve got first period signs, symptoms and age, covered.

9 Common Questions People Ask About First Periods (and the Answers We Gave)

1. I’m bleeding from my vagina. Am I okay?

Hey, that’s okay. In fact, if you’re between the ages of eight and 18, then this is most likely your first period.

2. But this blood is… er, different?

Period blood is made up of vaginal secretions, cervical mucus as well as endometrial tissue, which is why your period may appear different to the kind of blood you’re used to seeing. 

3. Wait, what is the menstrual cycle?

As we mentioned, the word “Period” is another word for menstruation, which is the bleeding that you are experiencing. The blood is a result of your uterus and its lining, a tissue called endometrium, maturing, which grows and is shed over the course of a single menstrual cycle. Menstruation then happens because the passage from your uterus and the cervix to your vagina has opened, and menstrual fluid – which looks a lot like blood — can now pass through. 

Check out this handy video that sums up your menstrual cycle

4. Then what is this brown stuff in my underwear?

In the days that lead up to your period, and in the days that follow it, you may experience what is known as spotting, or discharge. This discharge can be light red or even brown in colour. It’s nothing to be worried about and is perfectly normal. 

5. When will my first period start?

Many children wonder if they’re normal, especially if they’re the first or last in their class to see signs of puberty appearing. If you’re between the ages of eight and 18, then your period could start anytime really. Sometimes, a period can signal the start of puberty, but in other people, menstruation may come after boobs and pubic hair. You could notice signs of your first period at any point over this time. However, it's important to know that everyone is different, and you won't necessarily get your first period at the same age that your parent or sibling did. 

6. What are the signs that my first period is coming?

A menstruation checklist. 

  • Your breasts have begun to develop.
  • You’re seeing discharge in your underwear.
  • Your body is changing shape and size.
  • You have the beginnings of pubic hair on your groin and underarm hair.
  • Your body odour might be more noticeable.
  • Your hair is greasy. 
  • You may experience noticeable mood swings.
  • Pimples could appear on your face, chest, and back.
  • You may experience menstrual cramps in your stomach, groin, and lower back.

7. Back up, you menstruate every month?

Your first period is the start of your body preparing itself for a hypothetical pregnancy one day (and we say hypothetical, because whether or not you want to have children is entirely your choice). You’re most likely going to have between nine and twelve periods a year until you’re in your mid-fifties, or hit menopause, which is when your periods come to an end. 

8. It’s been three days. How long will my period go on for?

First periods, just like any other period, can vary from person to person in the amount of blood released or the length of the period, all of which is normal. While your best friend’s period might last two days, your period could last between five and seven days, and this is completely normal. In some cases, menstruation can even last as long as 10 days. Next time your period comes, make a note in your diary or on your phone, so that you can track your menstrual cycle. Eventually, if your period is kinda regular, you will probably be able to predict when the next one is coming, especially if you experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menstrual pain.

9. When will I get my next period?

Once you're in a regular pattern, your period will arrive between 21-34 days later. But to begin with, around the time of your first period,  it could take longer than that. You might find that you have irregular periods for a while, and this is completely normal. It can take your body (and menstrual cycle) a little while to fall into its own regular pattern, so don’t be alarmed if you experience irregular bleeding or spotting at first.

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