When will I get my first period

 

Once puberty hits, the clock starts. It may even seem like the countdown is on, and your period is on its way. But for many young girls, their period arrives years after the first signs of puberty set in. For others, Aunt Flow may show up totally unannounced. If you’re trying to get a better idea of when to expect your period (or your daughter’s period!) it can be hard to know what signs to pay attention to. You’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re breaking down how to read the signs your body is giving, and get a better idea of when Aunt Flow will arrive. Sound good? Let’s go!

How do I know if I’ve started puberty?

Puberty is the stage that your body goes through during its transition from childhood to adulthood. For most girls, this transition happens between the years 8-13. A lot of focus is put on the physical aspects of puberty, but puberty causes emotional and mental changes, too. In fact, your brain starts to do the work years before you notice your first physical symptoms. Pretty crazy, right? Here are some of the most common symptoms of puberty:

When will I start my first period - Pinterest

Physical Signs of Puberty

  • Growth spurts
  • Body odor
  • Hair growth in your underarms and pubic region
  • Oily, acne prone skin
  • Sweating more
  • Breast development
  • Breast soreness
  • Hips widening
  • White vaginal discharge
  • Starting your period

Emotional Signs of Puberty

  • Craving your own personal space
  • Desiring more privacy
  • Feeling like both a child and an adult
  • Fluctuating emotions
  • Mood swings

Mental Signs of Puberty

  • Listening skills improve
  • Relationships with friends and family can deepen
  • Forming your own strong opinions and ideas
  • Becoming more self-conscious
If you’ve started to experience several of these symptoms, chances are, you’ve started puberty! Menstruation must be right around the corner, right? Well…sometimes. Read on to get a better idea of when to expect your first period.

When will I get my first period?

There’s no crystal ball that can magically predict your start date (oh, how we wish there was!) However, that doesn’t mean that you have to stay completely in the dark. Here are our top tips for pinpointing a better timeline for your first period:

Be informed on the signs of puberty.

Keep track of when you start experiencing puberty symptoms. Certain symptoms (breast development, discharge, etc.) can give you super helpful clues as to when your period will arrive. More on that later!

Track your symptoms for a few months. Once you’ve got a better idea of what your body is going through, use the timeline below to help pinpoint a time frame.

There is certainly no exact science to puberty and first periods, but here is a general timeline of the order in which puberty will occur:
  • Your feet and hands will start to grow at a rapid rate
  • Breast buds are next for about 85% of girls. It’s totally normal if one breast begins to develop faster than the other. The other side will typically start to develop soon after the first, but it can sometimes take up to six months. (Breasts develop, on average, 2-2 ½ years before you start your period.)
  • Shortly after that, you may notice vaginal discharge. (Discharge shows up, on average, about six months before you start your period.)
  • Pubic hair then begins to show up and grow thicker.
  • You may start to notice acne and body odor.
  • Your biggest growth spurt yet will follow! It’s also totally normal to gain weight during this time.
  • Many girls start their period after this big growth spurt – around two years after the initial onset of puberty.
  • Once the period begins, most of your growing is done. You may still see yourself lengthening through your torso and your legs.

How do I know when I’m about to get my period?

Remember that crystal ball we mentioned above? It turns out, you kind of already have magical prediction powers yourself! Here are the only two things you’ll need to know when Aunt Flow is on her way:
  • 1. Be aware of your body.
  • 2. Pay attention to the symptoms you’re experiencing, and when you’re experiencing them.
That’s it! Pretty simple, right? We know, we know, a magical crystal ball probably seems a lot cooler than a pen and a journal. But trust us: being informed and paying attention to your body will go a long way to predicting your period, and taking control of your health for your entire life! Abracadabra, indeed.

How should I prepare for my first period?

As you might have guessed, we are just a little tiny bit into preparation. Just kidding! We are super-de-duper into it! Being prepared has the power to transform fear into knowledge, anxiety into empowerment, and overwhelm into ease. Long story short: your period is 100% normal and nothing to fear. In fact, billions of women have gone before you – just think of it like a very big, very awesome girls club. Getting your period is just one step among many along the road to becoming a full blown adult. And being an adult is pretty cool.

Still, any visitor showing up unannounced has the power to make us feel a little bit uneasy. So it only makes sense that when left unprepared, Aunt Flow can be a little difficult to embrace right away. Follow these simple steps for a quick and foolproof way to get ready for your monthly visitor:

1. Seek out guidance from a trusted parent or adult:

For many girls, this person is their mother or father. The key is to talk to someone who is old enough to understand the process your body is going through. Your friends can be a wonderful sounding board and emotional support, but often times they are just as in the dark as you are about puberty and periods. It’s better to seek out a trusted advisor that is more well versed in the process, or able to easily access the answers.

2. Decide on a product that you’d like to use to start:

Most girls are comfortable starting with pads. This is a great place to begin! The good news is, you don’t have to stick with something forever. As you grow older and more accustomed to getting your period monthly, you may start to experiment with tampons, reusable products, or menstrual cups. But you 100% shouldn’t feel any pressure to start there right away. Find a pad that makes you feel comfortable, and go with that for now!

3. Get your to go kit ready:

You’re a busy girl that’s always on the go – so you may not be at home with access to your bathroom when your period arrives. Get ready for anything by placing a few supplies in your backpack, purse, or family car. That way, when Aunt Flow does arrive, you’ll have the supplies you need to comfortably and confidently handle it. Not sure where to start? Our first period kits are a wonderful option! They come with all the products you’ll need to get started, and even include a handy guide for both you and your parents.

4. Get excited:

Your period is not a curse or something to be embarrassed by. In fact, as you grow older, you may even come to enjoy your period. (Sounds crazy, we know!) Try to relax and get excited for the big changes that are coming your way. Like we said above, your period is just one stop on the journey to becoming an adult. Next up – your drivers license, college, and world domination!

What should I expect from my first period?

Periods vary from person to person, and your period may be a bit irregular during the first couple of years. When Aunt Flow arrives, you can expect her to stick around for 2-7 days. It may seem like a lot of blood at first, but in reality, most people don’t lose more than 6 tablespoons of blood during that time frame. Most ladies will bleed more on the first day or so of their period, with their flow starting to lighten as the period nears its end.

 

Your blood may be red, pink, or brown, and the colors may vary slightly period to period and day to day. As far as symptoms go, you may experience some slight abdominal cramping, bloating, fatigue, or headaches. Contrary to popular belief, periods are not meant to be painful. In fact, if you are experiencing extreme levels of pain, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor.

 

If you find yourself wondering what’s normal and what’s not, be sure to reach out to your trusted adult and ask them.

In conclusion:

You’re pretty powerful, you know that?! You have the power to predict, prepare for, and totally rock your first period. If you’re looking for even more information on when to expect Aunt Flow, click the link below to take our quick First Period Quiz.

Here’s to a great first period,
Tara and the BPP team


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