If you are one of the many girls who experienced a sense of shock on seeing your first period you are not alone. Thousands of girls come of age with no inkling as to what is happening to them and why. The red patch on their underwear takes them by shock. Something that is so natural and that happens to every girl from the beginning of very time becomes a source of unnecessary tension and worry.
Parents are often reluctant to talk to their children on such a natural and important stage of growing up, which is a real pity because knowing what to expect can ease and comfort the transition phase for your young ones.
You should have been advised that your body is going to undergo all kinds of changes between the age of ten to eighteen. You might get your first period at ten or later. If by the age of sixteen there is still no sign of your period then you would have to consult a doctor.
You might be wondering whether the bleeding is the sign of some disease. Do not worry as it is nothing like that. Getting your first period simply means that you are growing up.
It is just a normal thing that happens to every girl. If you talk to your friends about it, you will feel less alone in this matter. The bleeding is just a sign that your body is getting ready for you to be a woman. The uterus is just getting cleaned out every month in preparation for the future when you will be a mother.
It's best to stay prepared for the onset of the period. Keep some sanitary napkins with you at all times, at home, in your school bag and going out purse. If by chance, you get caught with no napkins do not hesitate to ask for one from your school nurse or some other woman in charge. Women are usually prepared for such situations.
You might feel an uncomfortable ache in the stomach or pelvic area before your period. This can last for the first 12 hours. Some girls say they feel more bloated and heavy at this time. You might also be moody or more emotional.
You might notice a brown staining of your panties initially signaling that your period has started or a sudden onrush of bleeding. Place a stick on a napkin on a clean panty and wear it close to the body. For the sake of hygiene and to avoid any bad odors change the napkin often. Every 3 to 4 hours should be good enough unless the bleeding is heavy.
Take care to maintain your personal hygiene during your period. Do not avoid baths, and change your clothes regularly. You can carry out all routine activities normally.
Dispose of a used napkin in a safe and clean way by rolling it up, wrapping it in paper or tissue and placing in a dustbin. Your period could last for 5 days or longer up to 7 days. The bleeding could be lighter or heavier from period to period.
Periods usually recur after every 28 days but initially, you might not have to bleed every month. There could be gaps of between three to twelve months. Sometimes you might get your period twice in a month. Being irregular initially is perfectly normal.
Not all girls get cramps during their period but if you do, you could use a hot water bag to ease the pain. If the pain is bad to consult a doctor for some pain relieving medicine.
It's not only physical change that you will go through during this phase. You will feel different inside of yourself too. You could be moody and emotional. You might be thinking a lot about sex, other girls, and boys. You could feel a sense of attraction to boys and you might be confused about all these feelings.
You might also be worrying about your bodily changes such as the appearance of armpit and pelvic hair and your breasts. Rest assured that there is nothing wrong with you. All these changes are a part of growing up. It is also all quite normal for you to feel that way.
If your parents are reluctant to talk maybe you could share your feelings with some other trusted relative or friend. Just sharing your thoughts and feelings will help you to clear your mind and make you feel so much better.