Helping girls of all ages during a transition time in their lives is what we do best here. So when a young girl named Amber* reached out to us with some questions and concerns regarding her first period, we thought this conversation would be a fabulous one to share!
When to Expect Your First Period
It’s difficult to predict when your first period may arrive, but there are certainly changes that occur to the body that hint to expect your first period soon. One article you might want to start with is, “When Will I Start My Period?” as it will help to explain what you might expect and what you can do to prepare.
Keep in mind that periods are a totally normal part of life and it is perfectly OK to feel a little nervous about something new, especially something like your first period. But rest assured that in no time you will feel like a period pro and will be able to look back and remember how nervous you once felt with a new sense of confidence. Plus, being the first of your friends gives you the opportunity to help them as they experience their first period. While it can be tough being the 1st, you get to the be the “go-to” friend and that can feel good! We encourage you to read further into the website as there are tons of topics and resources that can help you become even more confident and knowledgeable!
What Happens When Your Period Arrives
Many girls are excited to start their first period, which is always a fabulous feeling! We’re glad to hear you are excited! You are right that increased discharge is definitely a sign you may be getting closer. Many girls do feel it when they start their period, it may feel like a warm wet feeling or like something is leaking. Some girls may notice what looks like brown discharge on their underwear first and have even thought it might be poop, this is normal too.
Every girl is different, some have a very light period in the beginning and some have a heavier period – so it’s hard to say what your first period will look like exactly. It’s not uncommon to need a pad for your first period, so we always recommend carrying a Period To-Go Kit with you. While not every girl experiences cramping, that might be another sign to look out for, as well as breakouts, changes to your skin, changes to your body, and even your smell may change.
For more information, check out our “When Will I Start My Period?” article for what to expect.
Whether you’ve just gotten your period, or you’ve been menstruating for a while, there’s a lot to learn about your body. Take the quiz to find out how much you know about Aunt Flow.
Kits designed to help parents and girls prepare for the changes ahead. No need to worry about fumbling your way through the sometimes awkward conversation of what to expect with your first period. With these kits, you will Be Prepared!
Are you looking for resources to help you (your daughter) navigate puberty and menstruation? Be Prepared Period’s weekly email series will provide you with the tools you need to confidently prepare for the time ahead.
Being An Early Bloomer VS. A Late Comer
It’s important to know that every body develops at its own speed. There is nothing wrong with you starting earlier, or your friend starting later. Some girls start at 9 and some at 16. Genes you get from your mom, activity level, weight, and even nutrition can be factors for when you will start.
You may want to start by reading some of the articles we have here on our blog with your friend and discussing the concerns you both share to make it a little less awkward if you do start before her. Learning that the rate your body develops is out of your control together might take some of the pressure of you and her, and you can support one another through these changes. It’s important to know you have someone you can lean on and talk to.
Tips For When You’re Nervous
Are you feeling nervous about your first period? First ask yourself, what in particular are you nervous about. Sometimes just acknowledging your specific concerns can make you feel better and help you rationalize fears. Once you identity these concerns you can look for specific answers, whether that be online or with a trusted woman in your life. We cover a large number of topics here on the website.
Next, don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns with an adult. You may want to visit our PeriodTalk forum as well to connect with others who are in similar situations as you. It’s incredibly helpful to hear from others so you have someone to relate to, as well as someone to bounce ideas off of. This forum is filled with helpful and knowledgeable users who are there for you!
Finally, a journal is a great way to write out all of your feelings and concerns as well as keep track of how your body is changing. Start out by writing daily, and then you can then look back at what you’ve written in the future – this is a great resource to have while your body is changing as you can use your journal posts as a tracking system, and you can compare how you feel from day to day. Plus, if a friend starts experiencing something unusual to them, you may have gone through the same thing and can help them out!
For some journal prompts and ideas, you could try these:
- What is today’s date:
- What is my mood today:
- How I feel today:
- Changes to my body:
- Thoughts I’ve had today:
Do you already write in a journal daily? Do you have a favorite prompt? Let us know in the comments below!
Questions To Ask Others
Another idea when you’re feeling nervous is to talk to a trusted adult, such as your mom or a teacher. This opens up a discussion where you can ask all the questions you’ve been nervous about. If you’re not sure what to ask, here’s an example conversation you can have:
- Can I talk to you about something that’s making me nervous?
- Can I talk to you about girl things?
- When did you start your period? How old were you?
- How did you feel when you started your period?
- What happened leading up to your period beginning?
- Could you feel it when you period started? What did it feel like?
- How often did you have a period in the beginning?
- What did you use when your period started?
Use these questions as a way to begin the conversation, and then don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about yourself. Every experience is different, but you may find that what you’re experiencing is perfectly normal, and something many others go through. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, you can always check out our PeriodTalk Forum.
Where To Find Resources
Are you looking for resources and help for your first period? You’ve come to the right place! If you’ve not explored our website yet, you’re in for a treat. There are several articles about puberty and periods in our Preparing for Puberty section as well as a whole section dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to Be Prepared.
Another great resource is our dedicated section for stories of girl’s first period experiences at PeriodTalk Period Stories. You can learn from their experiences and share your own. We’re always looking for more period stories, and we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share!
Lastly, we welcome all to participate in our PeriodTalk Q&A forum where you can both ask and answer questions about puberty and periods. This is also a great resource to connect with other girls your age and share experiences, especially if you’re feeling nervous or anxious about your first period.
Advice From Amber
Before we wrap up this article, we asked Amber if she would be open to a quick interview and if she had any tips and tricks she’d like to pass along to readers. You can read our interview** with Amber below.
BPP: Have you begun to experience symptoms that hint at your period?
Amber: Yes, i have begun to experience symptoms about 4-5 years ago. I am more or less an early bloomer.
BPP: What advice do you have for someone getting ready to start their period?
Amber: My advice for someone about to start their period… don’t be afraid and don’t be embarrassed. half the population has a period, you are not alone.
BPP: Great advice! We love that! What questions would you recommend girls ask their parents?
Amber: Ask your parent(s) for some pads to keep in your bag, ask what to expect on your first period.
BPP: So true! Asking what to expect is one of the most important questions to help better understand what’s going on with your body. Do you have someone you can talk to about your period?
Amber: Yes, i have my mom and my friends, two of which have their periods.
BPP: That’s a wonderful support circle! Very important to have! Do you have a period kit? What do you keep in your period kit?
Amber: I have a period kit, in it I have 3 pads,1 tampon, 1 pair of underpants ,1 hair tie, 1 band aid, 5 pantyliners, chapstick, antibiotic ointment for acne and that is it!
BPP: Wow! That definitely covers all the bases, and sounds like you’re super prepared. You mentioned having books on puberty – which one is your favorite?
Amber: My favorite puberty book is “Will puberty last my whole life” by Julie Metzger, RN, MN, and Robert Lehman MD. illustrated by Lia Cerizo.
BPP: What other resources do you use for tips on periods and puberty?
Amber: My mom, bepreparedperiod.com, being girl youtube videos, my friends, my three puberty books.
BPP: We’re so glad Be Prepared. Period. has helped you! What steps have you taken to be prepared for your first period?
Amber: The steps I have taken: I have multiple period kits in my purse and backpack, I have more information than I could ever need, and I have a heating pad for cramps.
Menstruation can be intimidating and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Being informed makes a world of difference when it comes to the unknown and helps to take away the anxiety that may come with your first period. We hope this blog post helped to ease those first period concerns you may have. If you have any questions about first periods, puberty, or growing up, feel free to drop them in the comments below. We’re here for you during this exciting time. Thank you for trusting us with your period concerns! Always Be Prepared, Period. <3
Here’s to a better period,
Tara and the BPP team
*Names have been changed to respect the privacy of those interviewed.
** Interview has been updated for minor spelling and grammatical errors.
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