Starting your periods
Most girls start their periods when they’re about 12, but they can start as early as 8, or as late as 16.
How will I know when my periods are going to start?
Signs that your period is on its way are if you’ve grown underarm and pubic hair. Typically, you’ll start your periods about 2 years after your breasts start growing and about a year after getting a white vaginal discharge. The average girl will get her first period around 12 years old, but it varies from person to person.
Why haven’t my periods started yet?
Your periods will start when your body is ready. That’s usually between the ages of 10 and 16.
How do I get ready for my first period?
Talk to your mum or another adult you trust about what you can expect before it actually happens.
It’s a good idea to start carrying sanitary pads or tampons around with you in advance, so you aren’t scrambling to find some when your period finally arrives.
If you find yourself at school without a pad or tampon, talk to a female teacher or the school nurse. They’re used to being asked and they’ll want to help you out.
How long will my first period last?
When your first period arrives it might not last very long, as it can take your body some months to get into a regular pattern. As a general rule, once they’re settled, you’ll have a period every 28 to 30 days and it will last 3 to 7 days.
How much blood will I lose?
It might seem a lot, but it’s only about 3 to 5 tablespoons. It’s not a sudden gush – you’ll just see a reddish-brown stain on your pants or on your sheets when you wake up in the morning.
What if period blood leaks through my clothes?
Part of becoming a woman is dealing with embarrassing mishaps. There are ways of covering up stains until you’re able to change your clothes, such as tying a sweatshirt around your waist. Keep a spare pair of pants and tights at school or in your bag, and avoid wearing light-coloured trousers and skirts during a period, just in case.
Should I use pads, tampons or menstrual cups?
This is really up to you. Both tampons, menstrual cups and towels (or pads) are safe and suitable for girls who have just started their periods. You’ll probably want to use pads for your very first period, though, as tampons and menstrual cups can take a bit more getting used to. It might be worth experimenting until you find the product that suits you best.