Today, we are going to talk about a very sensitive and important topic. It is the first period. Every girl goes through a complete transformation when she experiences her first menstruation.
It is a stage of physical and mental reformation. Therefore, the incident of first period in every girl’s life must be handled with utmost care. Parents and teachers are the best people who can guide the girl through this phase.
First period is associated with lots of misunderstandings, obscure ideas, and lack of information for every child. If you read today’s article till the end, you shall come across a lot of facts and information that shall help you to deal with the situation better.
Here are the few most asked questions in regards to first periods –
At what age do you get your first period?
The phenomenon of having the first period is called Menarche. It is a complex body process.
Usually, every girl gets her first periods at the age of 10 to 15. Now, here are a lot of differences with regards to this topic. Many girls may have their periods a bit early or quite late.
The exceptions are not rare. Well, it is appropriate to say that every individual girl’s integral body functions decide the time of their periods. So, no specific comparison can be drawn between physiology of any two girls regarding their time of first periods.
There are many other intrinsic factors which can determine the time of menarche.
Commonly, girls who have a family history of delayed onset of periods, repeat the same.
Body weight can also afflict the menarche time. Having extremely low body weight increases the chances of amenorrhea or lack of menstruation.
Accordingly, the time of onset of first periods also gets delayed. In such conditions, the female hormones that regulate your periods do not work properly.
Similarly, a high body weight or obesity also causes a delay in the onset of periods. Abnormal amount of body fat are one of the major causes of having delayed periods.
If you are a pro athlete and are extremely active in sports career, your periods might not wave you hi too early.
Excess stress and imbalance in hormones can also subject your body to delayed periods.
Excessive stress, anxiety, depression are potent causes of abnormal menarche time.
Any other ongoing medications and physiological disorders can definitely alter the time by which you get your first period.
Hormonal imbalance can actually reset the conventional puberty time in your body. Under such conditions, it is not abnormal to have your first period a year or two earlier.
First period signs: how to know when your first period is coming?
Well, this is a major question in this context. Previous information about the ensuing periods can help the girl as well as her parents to take preparations accordingly.
Most people will say that your first periods come as soon as you hit puberty. But, it is no rapid-fire round that you click the puberty button and blood oozes from your vagina. There is nothing like that.
Your first period can knock your door after about an year or two of attaining puberty.
1. Changes to your nipples and breasts
The very initial symptoms of puberty are the swelling of breasts and tenderness around the nipples. Sore breasts mostly serve as the basic manifestations of puberty.
The development of breast bus indicates that your period is close by. You must note that the full development of the lobular structure of the breast might take many years from henceforth but the initiation of growth is the key indicator.
2. Appearance of pubic hair
Appearance of pubic hair is also another symptom of puberty. Generally, the appearance of genital hair is closely associated with the onset of periods.
3. Vaginal discharge
The third and the most crucial sign that your period is on the way is vaginal discharge. This discharge can be either white or yellow.
When your first period approaches, the frequency and quantum of discharge increases. Frequent vaginal discharge is indicative that you can expect your menses in the next few months.
You might switch over to use any sort of pantyliner during this time because you might stain all your panties otherwise.
4. You have PMS symptoms
You can also watch out for (PMS) premenstrual syndrome approaching you before the onset of your first periods.
Period cramps, bloating, fatigue, and mood swings are the general premenstrual symptoms and they are equally applicable even if it is your first period.
Acne all over the face and a well observable growth spurts are also good indicators of the oncoming first periods.
These are all basically the manifestations of the interplay of hormones that leads to the occurrence of your first periods.
How long does your first period last?
The normal duration of periods is around 3 to 5 days. For the girls who are having it for the first time, you may expect your periods to last for about 2 days at minimum and 7 days at maximum.
During your first periods, do not expect extremely heavy flow or that you will bleed a lot. Initially it will start away with spotting.
The color of blood can be dark brown to red. The number of days that your periods lasts for is completely dependent on the status of your body. A little longer or little shorter will not make a difference.
Various factors like excess stress, anxiety, or intense physical workouts can shorten the duration of your periods.
On the other hand, ongoing medications and obesity can be reasons for longer periods.
The average duration of periods even for the first time is subject to variation.
Do not get anxious by comparing the duration of your periods with that of somebody else. It’s just the schedule of your own body that will govern the process.
Duration of your first period
When we are talking about the duration of periods, it is very important that we discuss something else here. Irregularities in the duration and frequency of periods just as you start menstruating are not uncommon.
However, you need to be a bit careful with the frequency of occurrence of your periods.
If the gap between two consecutive periods become more than 45 days, you should show concern by visiting a doctor. Moreover, the concern should remain equally same if you are having your periods at frequency of less than 21 days.
Tracking your periods right from the beginning is one of the healthiest practices that any girl can do.
Make it a practice from day 1 to note the dates of your periods as well as have a record of the duration. In case of any emergency or doctor visit, these data will be extremely helpful to detect any disorder.
It will also help you to track your periods and schedule your important work according to the expected dates of the oncoming periods.
It might take up a couple of months to get your periods in the right track.
So, it will take a couple of days to schedule your periods. To get the consistent pattern of your periods, let your hormones set their own schedule.
How does your first period look like?
The first periods involve mostly brown spotting. Extremely heavy flows are rare.
However, on the second or third day, the flow might increase from moderate to heavy. For the very first time, do not expect very heavy flows.
If you do not have very heavy flow, do not think that you are sick or ill. It is normal and your body will adjust according to itself.
Other symptoms of first period
Along with blood flow, there are couple of other symptoms which are characteristic of first period.
These might include extreme abdominal pain, tenderness, and pain in the breasts.
A face full of acne or an irritated mood might also be companion of your first periods. These are not abnormal and there is no reason to worry.
Dizziness or fatigue are also usual symptoms. Back aches or nauseatic feeling are common.
Don’t skip for medications right away and for the first time, do consult a doctor before resorting to medications. If you can manage with the symptoms for the first time, then you can also get through it for the rest of the years.
Periods especially for the first time can induce the craving for sweets or other food stuffs that you like.
What is the physiology of first period?
Every girl child is born with eggs in her ovary in the form of oocytes. There is an aggregation of eggs in every female infant’s ovary, called the egg’s nest.
In the chronology of development from the primary oocyte to the ovum, there are a lot of steps.
Before birth, the eggs in the ovary are arrested in the anaphase stage covered by multiple layers.
As the girl attains puberty, every month one of those arrested primary oocytes undergoes maturation, completes its cell division process, and is released from the ovary in the form of ovum.
This ovum, after its release remains viable for a specific time. If the ovum is fertilized during this time by a sperm, then it undergoes the formation of a zygote.
If not fertilized, then the ovum perishes away and the endometrium that was prepared to receive the zygote is shed away. The cells and blood present in this endometrial lining of the layer is released in the form of periods fluid (blood, cells, fluids).
This same monthly cycle repeats on and on throughout the entire reproductive tenure of a female.
Your first period kit – be prepared
Periods are completely natural bodily process. There is nothing you can do about it except for preparing for it.
If you are apprehensive that your first period is approaching, you must get hold of an emergency periods kit.
This lit should be functional and most importantly ready at hand. You might need it any tine, so make it portable and easy to access.
The essential components which should be inevitable in your periods kit are –
- Sanitary napkins
- Panty liners
- A chart for tracking period – it should also include a usage guide
These are the absolute mandatory objects, which are basics to include in the kit. There is every option to make it fancier and elaborate but do not miss to include the basics.
The sanitary napkins in the kit should be of two varieties, one variant for normal to moderate flow and the other variety for heavy flow. Including more than 1 pads in number of either varieties is essential.
You do not know what will be the extent of your flow, so both normal and heavy-duty pads must be included.
You can try reusable, organic cloth pads if you wish.
For the first time, using tampons can be a bit problematic. This is because the insertion and usage of tampons is a bit complicated than using a pad. So, initially a pad is best.
When we are talking about kit, a panty and panty liner is another essential to include. With pads available and no panties, it is of no use.
In case you want to avoid pads, you can opt for period-proof underwear. They work great.
The first time is usually a bit awkward and intriguing. The maximum anxiety faced by the girl, often entangles her thoughts and she is not able to do things rightly.
To every little girl, who is reading this article today, always remember it is nothing odd and absolutely natural to have periods.
So, do not get worried even if you start bleeding in the middle of the road. Find a proper washroom and equip yourself. It is not going to be a massive issue.
Use a period tracker app or chart
The period tracker chart is an extremely useful object in the period kit.
We have even made an easy period tracker chart for you to calculate your next period. Try it out and bookmark it.
It helps to keep a proper record of the dates of your first periods and also to have an idea about the dates of oncoming periods.
The schedule of the periods is important to note. Early menstruation is haphazard and needs monitoring.
Following the dates of the periods is the basic important procedure. The period tracker will also help you to develop a habit of tracking the dates of your periods. This healthy habit will be beneficial for the future.
What to do as a parent when your daughter is having her first period?
As parents it is your prime duty that you let your daughter know about periods and also give her proper information.
It is extremely important that before your daughter develops any misleading ideas, you let her know about everything.
When any girl starts menstruating, people will crop up from everywhere to impart advices, moreover her friends who are in a similar misconception will start to convey things to her which are partially right or completely wrong.
With all such misconceptions, it is very difficult to make her realize the true sense of menstrual cycle.
So, before all these stuff, let her know about things in the correct way.
1. Break the taboo – don’t consider your daughter as impure during her periods
Initially, as responsible parents, you yourself will have to give up all superstitious and wrong ideas about periods.
Do not consider your daughter as impure during her periods. It is very important that you break the vicious cycle of misleading ideas and taboos regarding periods.
2. Inspire and educate her about periods
Inspire your daughter to read the physiology of menstruation. Only the proper scientific knowledge can impart the full knowledge of periods to young girls.
Impart the necessary sex education that is required to validate the interconnections of periods with sex. It is more than important at this time.
3. Teach her about hygienic menstrual practices
Also, teach your daughter about the various stringent hygienic practices that she must resort to during her periods.
You can let her know about the various menstrual hygiene products like feminine washes, menstrual sponges, and sanitary napkins that are available in the market and describe the pros and cons of each.
Now, let her choose her comfort zone. You are comfortable with tampons does not imply that she will also have similar preferences.
If there occur issues regarding schedules and regularities with the periods, it is always better to consult a gynecologist.
You as a parent should never try the medications that you take on your daughter. It is not at all a good practice.
4. Introduce a period tracker to her
Inculcate the practice of period tracking in your daughter. It will help a lot later on. Make her understand how to do it. If required, you practice the same along with her to make her realize the importance of tracking.
Take her out and try to uplift her mood during the periods. There can be no better friend than a parent. During such a sensitive time as the first periods, you need to motivate her.
Do not make your daughter feel that something disastrous has happened or she is impure or anything like that.
Any girl during menarche is already in an extremely distressful situation full of anxiety.
As parents, it is your duty to relieve her of the stress and not add up to it.
Periods are a normal physiological condition. It is nothing weird or absurd. Happy periods to all the lovely ladies reading this post. Keep smiling!