Nobody knows when you'll get your first menstrual period, but it'll be during puberty. Puberty is the period in your life when you begin to mature into an adult.
Some girls begin puberty at the age of 8, while others may begin as late as the age of 13 or 18. Each of the girls moves at her own pace. So don't think you're strange if you start puberty earlier or later than your friends.
At the start of puberty, you'll notice that your breasts are growing and that hair is beginning to grow on your genitals (pubic hair). Hair will grow under your arms a little later.
Most girls have their first menstrual period, or menarche, about 2 years after they begin to develop breasts.
When you first start getting your period, you're bound to have a slew of questions ranging from the amount of flow to the best types of protection. Don‘t worry – we are there to help you.
Something new going on
Probably, you begin to notice some changes in your body: your forms begin to change. Perhaps you've noticed some light discharge on your underwear, and you're starting to smell funny as a result, necessitating a change in your hygiene routine...
If you start noticing discharge coming from your vagina, it's a positive sign you're getting close to your first period. It can be thin and slightly sticky, or heavy and gooey, and it can vary in color from clear to white or off-white.
Congratulations, you have entered puberty and will soon receive your first period. It will cause you a lot of stress if you are not prepared for it.
Menstruation, menses, or period is the time of the month when you have bleeding from your vagina for about 5 days. It may appear frightening, but it is a normal process that will last until you are about 50 years old, and it demonstrates that you are a healthy woman.
If you believe you are approaching your first period, being prepared may make you feel more at ease.
What should you do when this day arrives?
Don't be alarmed! You're not going to die. Be aware that your first period will be light. If you're at school and don't have a sanitary pad with you, you can use toilet paper to make a thicker layer and put it in your pants, then rush to your teacher and tell her what happened; she might be able to help you.
Also, be prepared by bringing one pad or liner with you. Maintain a pad in your purse or backpack at all times. By the way, Genial Day's First Period Kit includes a small canvas bag designed specifically for pads.
Do not be alarmed if you have your period unexpectedly, as an accident. Most bloodstains can be removed with cold water. Meanwhile, wrap a jacket or sweater around your waist to conceal the stain.
If you learn how to use a calendar or app to track your menstrual cycle, you'll know when to expect it that way.
Choosing what‘s best for you
Let‘s now give you a brief overview of the usual sanitary products to help you make your choice and make sure you know what not to use as you start menstruating.
Pads, tampons, period underwear, and menstrual cups all absorb or collect the blood and tissue that leaks from your vagina during your period. These products allow you to go about your normal life without getting blood on your clothes or sheets during your period.
Tampons and cups are worn inside your vagina, pads are worn inside your underwear, and you can wear period underwear instead of regular underwear on period days.
Pads are thin strips of material that you stick to your underwear. Some have "wings" or flaps that fold over the sides of your underwear to keep leaks and stains at bay. Many pads are made of disposable materials, which means you use them once and then throw them away. Pads come in various thickness and shapes so that you can use thicker and larger ones for the night to prevent leaks, or thinner and smaller ones for the days when your menstrual flow is lighter.
Tampons are little plugs made of cotton that fit inside your vagina and soak up menstrual blood. Some tampons come with an applicator that helps you put in the tampon. Tampons have a string attached to the end, so you can easily pull them out.
Period underwear are just like regular underwear, except they have extra layers of fabric that absorb your menstrual blood during your period. There are different kinds of period underwear for light, medium, or heavy flow days.
Menstrual cups are shaped like little bells or bowls, and they’re made of rubber, silicone, or soft plastic. You wear the cup inside your vagina, and it collects menstrual blood. Most cups are reusable — you just empty it when you need to, wash it, and use it again. Other menstrual cups are disposable — you throw it away after one use or one period cycle.
What not to use
Mind it, we would never recommend teenage girls to use scented pads or liners. Their materials contain many chemicals and using such products you can develop allergy or skin irritation over time. If you feel a nice floral scent in the pad, know it is no good for you. The scent is there not to conceal the period blood smell, but to fight the odor, you can just change your pad more often and take good care of your hygiene by washing your private parts morning and evening. Or you can choose Genial day pads made with FAR-IR Anion strip – a natural way to fight the odor-causing bacteria.
We would also like to warn you not to choose tampons as your regular period protection. Even though it might seem an attractive option because you can swim wearing it, tampons absorb not just your flow but also discharge, therefore the vagina gets too dry, which can cause infection or irritation. Besides that, tampons can cause Toxic Shock syndrome. You can read more about it on www.genialday.com.
We also don't recommend girls who have just started their period to use menstrual cups. They are not the best products for teenagers because they require practice. Although it is the most environmentally friendly menstrual product available, you have to have considerable skill to use it. We would advise you to wait until you get older and then start using a menstrual cup.
So, in the end, you‘d better start with the basics: pads and menstrual panties. These are likely to be the easiest to use and the most accessible to you, as well as the products with which you have the most experience.
Purchase a variety of pad absorbencies (light, medium, heavy, and overnight) to accommodate varying flow heaviness throughout your period. Also, you can try wearing period underwear and a pad together. Period panties can provide a reasonable amount of absorbency as a stand-alone period product or as a back-up product to protect against break-through bleeding. They may be more comfortable to wear and are more environmentally friendly because you can wash and re-wear them. Genial Day period panties also come in various materials and sizes, so you can experiment with wearing different pairs to feel which one works best for your body.
And remember, your first menstruation is quite an event, so why not celebrate it with your mom or your guardian? Watch a movie together, bake a cake and talk about girly things. It is a perfect time to ask some questions and share your experience. Have a happy menarche!