What age do girls get their first period?
Ah! So, you are curious about your first period. Did any of your friends have one? Or did you just hear about it? Either way, it is great that you want to learn more.
Firstly, do not worry. Having your period is completely natural. We will guide you through the process and help you learn about:
• The causes of period
• The average age you should be expecting your first period
• The average period cycle and its duration • Regular and irregular periods, and more
What are the causes of periods?
Periods are normal and are a natural part of a woman’s life. They occur at an age (generally around the beginning of puberty) when changes take place in hormones named oestrogen and progesterone. They cause the uterus lining to build up, so it is ready to provide an environment for a fertilised egg to attach and develop.
If there’s no fertilised egg, the uterus lining breaks down, leading to a period. This process takes place over and over again, usually taking a month for the lining to build up. Hence, women get a period once a month.
At what age does menstruation begin?
Every girl’s body is different, and hence the time of the first period can vary widely. Some have gotten their period as early as at the age of 8, while others as late as 16. So, relax and let nature take its course.
Your body will start giving you signs that your monthly period is approaching. Some of them include:
• Breast development
• Hair growth in the pubic area, on the legs and arms, as well as in the armpits
• White vaginal discharge
• Cramps in the lower abdomen and general discomfort
We will talk more about these symptoms in the Premenstrual Syndrome section. A girl's first period is usually very light, sometimes only staining or less beading.
What is an average period cycle?
Periods last between 3 to 7 days, and the average is about 5 days. It usually starts with heavy bleeding in the first 2 days, slowly reducing until its last day.
For most women, the period cycle repeats after every 28 days or so. But as mentioned previously, the period is a biological phenomenon that varies from body to body. Thus, it may come a little early on the 21st day or can be as late as after 40 days.
Will my periods be regular at the onset of menstruation?
Your period cycle may not be regular for the first few months or even a couple of years after your first period. This is normal since your body adapts to hormonal changes in the initial days. It should regularise 2–3 years after your first period.
If your menstrual cycle is irregular, even after 2–3 years of your first period, you should consult a health care expert for advice.
What is PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)?
Having read about the cause of periods, the age when menstruation starts, and the average duration of the cycle, it's time for you to learn what premenstrual syndrome is.
PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome are the behavioural and physical changes that occur due to hormonal changes in the body. Most women notice these symptoms usually a couple of days or weeks before the period starts, and they will disappear a few days after the onset of periods. Some of the common PMS symptoms are.
• Sore breasts
• Abdominal pain and Backaches
• Pimples on the face
• Mood swings
Note: Not all women who have periods show these PMS symptoms. So, it's normal to have these PMS symptoms, and so to not have them.
How to keep track of periods?
Your period is your body’s way of discharging tissue in the form of blood that it no longer requires and the cycle will come every month.
In the initial days, periods can be irregular. It's sometimes hard to predict them when your body doesn't show pre-menstrual symptoms. Thus, keeping track of your periods can help you undertake your daily activities hassle-free. x
You can take the help of a period calculator or period tracker. It will reduce the chances of errors and save you time.
Which sanitary products would be best and comfortable?
Your first period experience can be a bag of mixed moments. On the one hand it is the celebration of womanhood, and on the other it is tackling period cramps. That may be, but you cannot overlook certain things like sanitary products and hygiene essentials.
Go for a reliable and trusted sanitary napkin that offers safety and comfort. For a night of peaceful slumber, you can try period panties like Kotex overnight panties. They offer a complete fit like regular panties and more protection against leakage and stain.
We hope all this information will help guide you for your first period. We understand that it is a complicated time as you are a teenager, or on your way to becoming one.
But do not worry, it is natural to have your period, and you will be fine. You can speak to your elders or a doctor if you have more questions. It always is better to discuss and learn about your health.