First birthday. First date. First kiss. We go through many FIRSTs as a female. What most of us worry or look forward to the most as girls would definitely be our first period. To many, our first period is like a huge step into adulthood and being “a real woman”.
If you’re not sure what to expect for your first period, here’s what we’ll be covering in this article:
- Why do we get periods?
- What are some signs to expect before the arrival of my first period?
- How do I prepare for my first period?
- How do I know when my next period will come?
Why do we get periods?
To begin, let’s understand why do we need to go through this painful process of bleeding every month.
Periods occur when you hit puberty and are ready for potential pregnancy in the future. Your body prepares you for pregnancy every month, releasing an egg that is ready to be fertilised by a sperm when you have sexual intercourse. When the egg gets fertilised, it gets attached to the thickened uterus lining where the baby would then form and develop. However, if the egg does not get fertilised after a few days, it would be expelled out of your body together with the uterus lining, mucus lining, and blood, which forms your period.
What are some signs to expect before the arrival of my first period?
There’s no correct age as to when your period should start, it varies from person to person. Most of the girls out there experience their first period between 10 to 15 years old. Here are some common signs that tell you when your first period will be knocking on your door.
Most girls experience their first periods 2 to 3 years after their breasts start to grow. Initially, there will be small bumps or swelling around or under your nipples. Following that, the darker area around your nipples starts to get bigger and your breast areas start to puff out, known as breast buds. During this process, you might feel uncomfortable or sore but that’s perfectly normal. At this stage, you girls need to start wearing bras to provide proper support for your breast!
Growth of Pubic Hair
After your breast buds grow, you might start to see pubic hair growing on various parts of your body (underarm and the area from the lower stomach to between your legs). It might start off with just a few thin strands, however as time passes, the hair will start to grow longer, coarser, curlier and would fill over time.
During puberty, you might start to experience oilier skin and get your first few pimples if you have yet to. Pimples are definitely something all of us hate especially when you pop it and it leaves a scar. Ughh! In such situations, it won’t help even if you wash your face more often than usual. Instead, start taking care of your skin with your own skincare routine that best suits your phase of changing skin.
The major changes that you would experience during puberty would be a spike in your height and weight. Apart from growing taller, you would experience wider hips and fattier areas around your body as your bones increase in size. Apart from the physical changes that are easily noticeable, your vagina, uterus, and ovaries are also growing in size. The way your vulva (external part protecting women’s sexual organs) feel and look would also change as your outer vulva becomes fattier and the inner one gets bigger and more wrinkly.
Approximately 6 months before your first period you would notice some white or yellowish fluid on your underwear. This fluid protects your reproductive tract from bad bacteria. Consider putting on panty liners to protect your underwear and have a feel of what it’s like to put on a pad for when your first period comes!
Girls, please do not worry if you get your period earlier or later than the average age range! Every girl is different and there are many factors that contribute to when your puberty arrives:
If you’ve gone through the above mentioned puberty signs for a couple of years but have yet to experience your first period, you might want to go to a trusted doctor to find out more about it.
How do I prepare for my first period?
Start preparing when you feel that your period is starting soon. It’s always good to be prepared beforehand than to freak out when your period really comes by. Here are some tips for you to take note of to avoid staining your skirts in school on your first period.
- Learn how to put on a pad/tampon/menstrual cup the correct way so that you will know what to do when your period comes knocking on your door and prevent leakage.
- Pack some pads/tampons/menstrual cup and an extra pair of undies into a small bag/pouch and bring it everywhere you go.
How do I know when my next period will come?
To avoid a surprise visit by your period and ruining your favourite undies, it is always good to keep track of your menstrual cycle. Some common ways that people use to predict their subsequent cycle would be to remember it manually or to use period tracking apps that allow them to track all their past cycles.
If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve got you covered! Pslove has introduced our own period tracker that provides accurate period predictions and personalised insights about your feminine health. You can also key in period symptoms that you experience and it would send you an advanced reminder on when your period will be coming by! Tracking your period will also allow you to realise certain patterns or any anomalies in your cycle. Start tracking your period here!
Wishing all the girls out there waiting for your first period best of luck! It’s gonna be a journey full of uncertainty, but fret not! Reach out to people you trust like your mum or older sisters if you need any advice, or else you can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always ready to get you covered!