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My First Period: What To Expect

Discover everything you need to know about your first period. From product suggestions to mental preparation, we have you covered.

The age-old question; “when will I get my first period?!” might be playing on your mind. It can be hard to know exactly what to expect and when it might come. We’re here to address some of the most pressing questions you might have about your first period so you can be prepared. We want you to feel comfortable and confident as you start this new journey.

What should I expect on my first period?

Your first period, also known as menarche, is an exciting milestone that marks the beginning of your menstrual journey. Typically, you will get your first period between 10 and 16 years old after the onset of breast development. It's also normal to have questions and uncertainties about what to expect. You may experience some period symptoms like abdominal cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, and mood changes. And your flow might vary in intensity and duration.

Remember to keep an open dialogue with trusted adults, track your periods, and be prepared with absorbent pads, tampons or any other period products of your choice. Some women prefer to use menstrual cups or period underwear.

Signs my first period is coming

There are plenty of signs that indicate the first day of your menstrual cycle is on the way. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • You’re experiencing breast development
  • You notice vaginal discharge in your underwear
  • Your body is showing signs of puberty like changes in shape and size
  • You have the beginnings of pubic hair on your groin and underarm hair
  • Pimples and spots could appear on your face, chest, and back
  • You may experience menstrual cramps in your stomach, groin, and lower back

What to do when you get your first period?

When you get your first menstrual period, it helps to be prepared. Start by keeping a supply of menstrual products in your bathroom or bag. You can learn how to use pads or insert a tampon by following the package instructions. If not, refer to the Lil-Lets resources and blogs on these topics.

At this time, you should also take care of your body by practising good intimate hygiene and changing your menstrual products regularly (every 4 to 8 hours). And if you have period cramps, consider resting a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen to ease the discomfort.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted adult such as a parent, guardian or school nurse. They can give support and guidance as you navigate this new phase of life. Remember, your first period is a normal part of growing up and you've got this!

How long will my first period last?

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 2 days, your period could last between 5 and 7 days. In some cases, menstruation can even last as long as 10 days.

When your next period comes, make a note in your diary or on your phone, so that you can track your menstrual cycle. Eventually, if your period becomes regular, you can predict when the next one is coming, especially if you experience Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) or period pain.

Why is my first period so heavy?

Experiencing a heavy flow during your first period is not uncommon. It's important to remember that your body is going through a significant change, and it may take some time to establish a regular pattern. The heavy period could be due to a surge in hormone levels, an immature or irregular menstrual cycle, or the shedding of a thick uterine lining. 

As your body adjusts and your menstrual cycle becomes more regulated, the flow may naturally become lighter. However, if you have concerns, consult with a healthcare professional. This also might be the time to see a gynaecologist for the first time.

Why is my first period brown?

Experiencing a brownish colour in your first period is nothing to be worried about. The brown colour is often an indication of older menstrual blood that has taken longer to leave the body. When your uterus sheds its lining, it can take some time for the blood to make its way out, oxidising along the way and resulting in a brownish hue.

Your first period typically has a mix of fresh red blood and older blood, which may give it a brownish appearance. Remember, the colour of your period can vary throughout your cycle and may change as your body adjusts to the hormonal shifts.

I got my first period, but not my second

Experiencing irregular periods or absent periods (amenorrhoea), especially after your first one, is quite common. When you first start menstruating, your body is still adjusting to its natural rhythm, and it can take time for your menstrual cycle to become regular.

Factors such as stress, weight changes, hormonal fluctuations, birth control or other medications can also contribute to irregularities. If you're concerned about the absence of your second period or experiencing prolonged irregularity, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider.

I just got my first period: closing thoughts

We know starting your period can be a daunting time, made worse by unsuitable products. So, we’ve designed our teen’s period product range for younger girls to use during the first couple of years. Feel comfortable and confident, even when you’re on your period. And if you’re looking for sustainable options, we also offer organic period products. Your first period is the start of a beautiful journey!

Buy products for your first period from our teen’s range

SmartFit™ Teen Day Pads

SmartFit™ Teen Night Pads

SmartFit™ Teen Long Pads

Frequently Asked Questions

When exactly will I get my first period?

You cannot determine exactly when you will get your first period, but the average age is between 9 and 16. It's a unique and individual experience.

Should I be scared for my first period?

You should not be scared of your first period. It's normal to feel a mix of emotions, including excitement and a bit of nervousness. Remember to educate yourself on this topic so you can embrace this milestone with confidence.

What happens after I get my first period?

After your first period, your menstrual cycle begins. Your body will go through monthly cycles of preparing for a potential pregnancy (ovulation) and shedding the uterine lining. It's important to track your periods, understand your body's changes, and practice good menstrual hygiene.

What pads should I use for my first period?

You should consider using pads specially designed for teens when you get your first period. Lil-Lets offers pads for light to heavy flow, providing comfort and protection suitable for when your first period starts.

Why am I not getting my first period?

You might not be getting your first period due to genetics, body weight, overall health, and hormonal changes. All these factors influence the timing of your first period. If you have concerns about delayed puberty or not getting your period, consult with a healthcare professional.

Will my first period be heavy?

Your first period might be heavy, but it’s usually unpredictable. It's normal for the first few periods to be lighter or irregular as your body adjusts. It may take a few cycles for your period to settle into a regular pattern.

Does your first period hurt?

Your first period might hurt or result in mild discomfort in the lower back or abdomen. However, the level of pain varies for each individual. If you find the period pain to be severe or significantly impacting your daily life, it's advisable to discuss it with a healthcare provider. Heating pads and pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen are known to help.

Why am I bleeding so much on my first period?

It's not uncommon for your first period to be heavier during the initial days as your body sheds the uterine lining. If you're concerned about the volume of period blood or you're soaking through pads quickly, it's best to consult with a doctor.

How long do I have discharge before my first period?

It's common to have vaginal discharge before your first period for a few weeks, months or even years. This discharge, called leukorrhea, helps keep the vagina clean and healthy. Pantyliners can help absorb the discharge if needed.

Can I use a tampon on my first period?

You can use a tampon for your first period if you would like to. Try out tampons, pads or other menstrual products and decide what works for you.

Can I make my first period come?

You cannot make your first period come — it’s a natural process controlled by hormonal changes in your body. At this time, your oestrogen and progesterone levels are changing. Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practising self-care and being patient.

Does brown discharge mean my first period is coming?

Brown discharge can mean that your first period is coming. It's a result of old blood mixed with cervical mucus, which may appear brown. While it can be an indication, it's important to remember that you might not have any discharge before your very first period.

Why do I have brown discharge before my first period?

Why do I have brown discharge before my first period?

Brown discharge before your first period is common and typically occurs as a result of hormonal fluctuations and the shedding of the uterine lining. You may also have brown blood.


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