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Signs Your Daughter Is About to Start Her First Period

Discover the tell-tale signs that your daughter is starting puberty and learn how you can offer support through the changes.

Ok, so it might be uncharted territory for you, navigating hormones, mood swings, irritability, and body changes. It may be a while since you experienced all of this and the world has changed since then but together, we’ve got this. Here is all the information you need to navigate your daughter's first period and puberty.

Reassure your daughter that puberty and periods are normal

While some girls see “teen” changes as an exciting phase in growing up, many wonder if what they’re experiencing is normal, especially if they’re the first or last in their class to spot the signs of puberty. Our first tip: reassure and remind your daughter that she is one of a kind and will experience the signs of her first period and other changes at different times from her friends. Raising your kid through adolescence can be challenging.

Puberty for most girls begins around 11 or 12 but can start as early as 8 or as late as 18. The first signs might be breast development, and hair growing under the arms and between the legs, but it might still be a couple of years until her first period arrives. Because your daughter is unique, it’s impossible to predict when she’ll start seeing signs of puberty so use this time to prepare. Make sure your questions are answered so you can provide the information, guidance, and reassurance she needs when she’s ready to talk about her period.

Signs your daughter might start her first period

These are the most common signs that your daughter is hitting puberty and may have her first period soon.

Breast development

The most common first sign of change, breasts can start developing two years before her first period. She may start to feel self-conscious and be wondering when and if she needs to wear a bra but might be too embarrassed to ask. Why not try giving some gentle guidance and offering to take her shopping for her first bra fitting? Don’t be disappointed or surprised if she declines though, she might need more time so try again in a few months.

Discharge in underwear

This is something lots of teens ask about, so we know it’s a common concern. Discharge is one of the clearest signs that a period is about to start. It’s completely normal for discharge to vary in colour throughout the month from clear to creamy yellow.

You could suggest your daughter uses panty liners to help her feel fresh and clean, it’s why we designed liners, especially for them. They’re smaller in length, narrower and come in re-sealable pouches, perfect for storing discreetly in a school or sports bag.

Our teens range has products to help with periods and discharge.

Changes in body shape and size

Weight and the worry about weight gain can be part and parcel of puberty. Hips may become wider and the tummy a little rounder, but it’s important your daughter knows these changes are a sign that she’s normal and healthy so should be celebrated.

Puberty is such a busy time for the body, it is vital your teen eats a healthy diet. Perhaps consider increasing mealtime portions, if she feels the need to snack a lot between meals.

Pubic and underarm hair

It’s only natural that sprouting body hair might make your daughter self-conscious. She might want to remove it ASAP. We hear from girls as young as 10 wanting to know how to remove hair from their legs, underarms, and pubic area! So, if you find your daughter is one of them, the decision about whether she removes any hair must be yours. If you say no, perhaps suggest discussing it again in six months’ time, rather than closing the door on the subject altogether.

Body odour and skin spots

OK, so she might be hogging the bathroom longer than you’d like, but she’s trying to get to grips with lots of change. She’ll probably sweat more, need to wash her hair more often, and potentially have a few spots on her face or back. To make this time positive and less stressful for her, why not help your daughter find some toiletries of her own and offer advice on a good skincare routine, reassuring her that the odd breakout of spots is completely normal.

Noticeable mood swings

Can you remember your pubescent years? Happy one minute, angry, frustrated, and tearful the next! The teenage years can be a rollercoaster of emotions; and while it’s a strain on her, both physically and mentally, it can be hard on those close by too.

But it’s good to talk, so why not wait until things have calmed and then let her know you understand what she’s going through and offer to listen when she wants to talk?

Stomach, lower back, and groin cramps

One of the most common signs of puberty is experiencing cramps in the stomach, lower back, and groin.

Stomach cramps, also known as menstrual cramps, are caused by the uterus contracting to shed its lining. These cramps can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by bloating, nausea, or diarrhoea. It's important to talk to your daughter about ways to manage menstrual cramps, such as taking pain relievers, using a heating pad, or practising relaxation techniques.

Lower back pain can also be a sign that your daughter is starting her period. As the uterus contracts during menstruation, it can put pressure on the lower back muscles, causing discomfort. Encourage your daughter to maintain good posture and consider stretching or doing light exercises to help alleviate lower back pain.

Finally, groin cramps can be another sign that your daughter is entering puberty. These cramps may be felt in the groin or inner thigh area and can be caused by the hormonal changes that occur during menstruation. Help your daughter understand that these cramps are normal and that there are ways to manage them, such as using a warm compress or taking a warm bath.

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Frequently Asked Question: Teens & Puberty

What are tampons?

Most tampons are made from a cotton like material, which is compressed into a small cylinder shape. Tampons are worn inside your vagina to absorb menstrual fluid. There are two different types of tampon, known as applicator and non-applicator and these give you a choice about how you insert them.

Why is period blood different?

Menstrual blood is not the same as the blood you see when you cut yourself elsewhere on the body. Menstrual fluid lines the walls of your uterus and is called endometrium; this is a mixture of blood, tissue cells and natural secretions from the vagina and cervix and is not toxic or harmful in any way.

How long will I have periods for?

On average you can menstruate for up to 40 years, with 13 periods each year, that’s a whopping 520 periods in a lifetime! So now you can see why it’s important to understand your menstrual cycle and use the correct products for your flow.

How much blood is in a period?

It can look like there is an awful lot of blood being lost but don't worry! You’ll be surprised to learn that for people with an average menstrual flow, no more than 2.5 tablespoons or an egg cup full of blood is released each month.

What colour is a period?

Menstrual fluid is not always red in colour – it can vary from very light brown to dark red (almost black) and this is perfectly normal. Your period may be lighter in colour at the start or you may only experience a lighter colour on the last couple of days... It all depends on your individual flow!

Will my period stop if I go in water?

You may have heard the rumour that periods stop in water due to water pressure, or depending on how cold the water is and therefore you don’t need to use any protection at all. This is NOT TRUE, menstrual fluid is released when the muscles surrounding your uterus contract and they can do this anywhere and anytime, even in water. So make sure you're always protected - a tampon is the best option because it's worn internally.

What do I do with used tampons?

Don’t flush your used tampon down the loo! Instead roll it up in tissue and pop it in a bin in the toilets or with other household waste.

When am I going to get breasts?

Breast development can start from the age of 7 -15 with the average being around 9-13, so don’t worry if your friends start developing or wearing bras before you, we are all different and it’s not a competition!

Have more questions on puberty?

Got a question you’ve been too embarrassed to ask? Wondering if what you are experiencing when starting your period? 

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