Starting your period for the first time can feel stressful but do not worry. Today we are going to dive into everything you need to know for starting your period. We know that we are not always given all the information we need when we need it. Our team is passionate about education and making sure everyone has the accurate information they deserve.
So let’s start with the basics and answer some of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to your first period.
What causes a period?
Menstruation or a period is when the lining in the uterus sheds and exits the uterus through the cervix and out through the vagina. This process generally begins during puberty when the menstrual cycle starts and an egg is not fertilised. Since the egg has not been fertilised, the uterus will shed its lining which was produced to prepare for the possibility of fertilisation. This process occurs due to hormonal changes which prompt the menstrual cycle.
When do you start your period?
What are the first signs of starting your period? Everyone is unique but your period generally starts around 2 years after you start developing breasts or breast buds and after you start experiencing vaginal discharge. The average age for starting your period is usually about 12, however it can vary.
How much blood do you lose during your period?
Typically you will lose between 5 and 80 MLS of blood. Although it can feel and look like a lot more! This amount is equivalent to 3-16 regular absorbency period pads. If you are worried that your period is too light or heavy you should visit your health care professional. Keeping track of your period by recording how many products you bleed through and their absorbency can be a great way to explain your symptoms with a health care practitioner. Read more about talking about periods to a health care practitioner.
How long do periods last?
Periods tend to last between 4 and 8 days. Again, this can vary between each individual, can change at different points in your life and can be influenced by external factors such as contraception or stress.
How often do periods occur?
Traditionally, we would state that periods occur every 28 days, however, this again can vary and the average is anywhere between 24 and 38 days. Once again, every person is different and so this can vary.
So now we have covered the most commonly asked questions related to periods, we will dive into period products.
What sanitary product should I use for my first period?
Picking a product for you is up to your own personal preferences. As we have stressed throughout this article, every period and person is wonderfully unique. What product you prefer to use is like choosing your favorite ice cream. There are so many options out there which is great.
Generally, most people with periods use disposable sanitary pads. These are external products that attach to your underwear either through a sticky back or wings. The pad sits in your underwear and absorbs the blood. The pad is then removed and put in a bin. Pads are a great way to start as they are pretty easy to use.
Trying new products
As we have mentioned, there is a growing number of products available. Our advice is to get to know your period and take time to figure out what you prefer. Asking these questions may help:
Internal or external product?
Disposable or reusable products?
Using multiple products or just one product?
What style works for me and my flow?