There’s some serious honesty ahead, so if periods, uncensored girl talk and lady bits offend you, time to go back to the part of the internet that you came from!
I feel like periods are a super taboo subject. All women experience it at some point in their life, yet we are told to keep it a secret and not talk openly about it. This can lead to some serious confusion for young women, especially if they don’t know who to turn to about their period probs.
I was an early bloomer. I got my period for the first time when I was 11. I felt alone, like there was no one else my age I could talk to about it. I was embarrassed about what was happening to my body, because it seemed like it was only happening to me.
No one else I knew had their period, it was a big deal for me. We only had one toilet at school that had a sanitary bin in it and it was super embarrassing having to wait for the cubical, even when there was others available.
I had so many questions I was too embarrassed to ask anybody. If you’re confused about your first period, and need to know what’s happening to your body, I’m here to (hopefully) answer all of your questions!
~ Your First Period
So you got your period for the first time! Congrats! That’s great news! A lot of the time your very first period will be brown and quite light, I know, a bit weird, right? That’s something that no one ever told me, and I panicked thinking something was wrong with me. Nothing to worry about though! That’s completely normal! Speak to your parents or an adult you trust, and get them to grab some pads for you. Follow the instructions on the packet, and voila!
~ Pads vs Tampons
I personally find pads super uncomfortable, especially as you get older and your period gets heavier. It’s all about what works for you. A lot of women prefer the pads with wings, because sometimes the ones without wings can get squished in your undies and make a very unwanted mess. I prefer tampons because if you’ve inserted them properly, you can’t feel them at all, and I think they absorb better with less mess. Pro Tip: If you’re sleeping with just a pad on while you’re on your period, avoid sleeping on your back because the blood will run backwards and stain your pants and your sheets! 😦
~ Should I use a tampon?
This is completely a personal decision! Some parents avoid purchasing tampons for younger girls because they can be confusing to put in and painful if they’re not inserted properly. Another deterrence for parents is the worry that their daughters hymen will break (an extremely thin layer of skin that covers or partially covers the external vaginal opening – read more). However, hymens can break unnoticed during some physical activity – such as horse riding – so don’t stress too much! If you’re worried about not being able to get it inserted properly, get some that have inserters! They’re tampons on a small smooth stick that help you insert it correctly! They look pretty scary, and I personally had a hard time using these. It’s all about practise. And make sure you’re using the right size!
~ When should I expect my next period?
This is a hard one! No periods are exactly the same! The general “rule” is 28 days from when you finish your last period. But when you’re getting your first periods they can be super super irregular! If you’re having really irregular periods you can use an app called Period Tracker that will average out the time between your periods and estimate when you will get your period (my high school life saver).
~ Clotty periods
I feel like this is another super taboo subject about periods. As your periods begin to get heavier, you will notice parts of the blood that is kind of the texture of snot. This is completely normal! As your uterine lining sheds, it need somewhere to go, so out with your period it comes! It’s essentially the lining of your uterus coming out still semi intact, to make way for a fresh lining! However, if you are getting severe clotting and you are concerned, go visit your doctor.
~ Cramps, headaches and PMS
Your period is the one week during the month where you’re allowed to act like a bitch and get away with it. PMS can come in different forms for different people, no two people are alike. For me, PMS is migraines and fatigue. I used to get super bad cramps when I was younger, and my period was super irregular, so I asked my mum if I could go on the pill when I was 16. She said no (I think because she thought it was like telling me to go out and sleep around). But being 16, I did my research about side effects and took myself to the doctor and got the pill. Now I’m so so much happier and in less pain. I’m lucky enough that I don’t get severe cramps anymore, but I think that is due to the fact that I’m on the pill. If you get severe cramps and feel like you can’t get out of bed at all, try going on the pill.
PMS symptoms might be different for you, and if you’re finding there’s a symptom that you just cant deal with then head off to your doctor and they will do their best to help you!
Let me know in the comments what your go-to strategies are for dealing with your periods!