What Does a First Period Feel Like and How Can One be Prepared for Their First Period?

first period, first time period, first period signs

While you wait for your first period, you may have ample questions about what precisely will happen: What does it feel like? How do I prepare myself? How do I make use of a tampon? And several more queries .

So, let’s get started.

Getting your first time period is a significant milestone in the life of every young girl. It signals the onset of a long phase of life (approximately 40 years), when you may be fertile. Here, we have provided a detailed answer to the most probable questions you may have in mind regarding your first period.

1. When Should I Expect My First Period?

Most girls experience their first period between the ages of ten and fourteen, with the average age being around 12 years old. It is quite difficult to precisely tell the date of onset of your first period. It usually occurs around two years after the initial signs of puberty, such as the development of breasts, and around a year after the growth of pubic hair. You will surely notice a whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina in the few months that lead up to your period.

Several factors are known to influence the age of your period, such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity and Exercise
  • Genetic Factors
  • Ethnicity
  • Weight
  • Geography (northern climate vs. southern climate)
  • Stress and Illness

3. How Long Will My First Period Last?

Your first period could last anywhere between two and seven days. It could be very light, with merely a few spots of blood, which may appear brownish. Alternatively, it may commence and end with brownish blood, with the brighter red occurring on those days when the flow is heavier.

Now, let us commence with the second section of this write-up, which throws more light on how to prepare for first period.

What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for My First Period?

You need not be overwhelmed when it comes to preparing for your first period. That said, you will need feminine hygiene products and OTC pain relievers, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, on hand. If unfortunately, you happen to get your period with absolutely no access to menstrual products, toilet paper can be used for emergency purposes. If you get your first period while you are at school, your schoolteacher or nurse will have a sanitary pad or pantiliner on hand.

Several menstrual products are available and can be effectively used when you get your period. Thus, when it comes to how to prepare for first period, you need not lose sleep over it.

Let us explore the wide range of menstrual products:

  • Disposable Sanitary Pads

These absorbent disposable pads come with an adhesive backing that successfully sticks to the inside of your underwear. They are available in different lengths as well as absorbencies, and some come equipped with adhesive “wings” that efficiently wrap around the sides of your underwear. These disposable pads need to be changed every four to six hours and are discarded after a single use.

  • Pantiliners

These are thinner, smaller, disposable absorbent pads that can be used on their own even on days of light flow. In addition, they can be used jointly with a tampon, if there is a discharge or leak.

  • Reusable Pads

These pads are generally made of cotton, bamboo, or several other natural absorbent fibres and are frequently available at health stores. They can be washed with detergent and successfully be reused. Some of these have Velcro tabs to help in securing them around your underwear.

  • Tampons

Tampons are small , cylindrical plugs made of disposable absorbent material (such as cotton or rayon) and are inserted into the vagina to absorb the flow of your menses. Tampons come with a string attached so that they can be efficiently pulled out. They are available in a wide range of absorbencies and sizes and may be available with or without an applicator. Tampons must be changed every four to six hours, with the used ones being hygienically discarded.

  • Menstrual Cups

This is cup-shaped and made of flexible rubber or silicone apparatus that is carefully inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual flow. The cup comes available with a stem at the bottom for easy removal. Menstrual cups need to be emptied every eight to twelve hours. Some of these cups are disposable, whereas others can be washed and reused.

How to Use a Sanitary Pad?

Disposable sanitary pads are equipped with an adhesive backing. All you need to do is peel off the paper that covers the sticky side and join the pad to the inside of your underwear. Sanitary pads must be disposed of in the garbage and not flushed down the toilet. These were some handy first-period tips.

How to Choose the Right Sanitary Pad or Tampon?

Smaller and more slender pads and tampons are available that young women seem to prefer, especially when they first begin menstruating. You may find it extremely helpful to use a diverse range of products over the course of your periods, with highly absorbent tampons or sanitary pads being used on days when the menstrual flow is heavier. Every woman has her own set of preferences. So, whatever works best for your body is fine enough.

How to Help Your Daughter Be Ready for Her First Period?

  • Be Clear and Straightforward

While the first period age can be anywhere between eight and thirteen, it could happen either earlier or later. An excellent way to bring up the topic of periods is to simply ask your child if they have noticed any changes or alterations in their body that they would want to discuss. This paves the way for the child to invite her parents into that much-needed safe space to facilitate a conversation. Do

  • Commence with the Basics

You must explain that some amount of fluid will trickle out of the vagina over three to seven days and that she will have to make use of sanitary pads or tampons to collect the fluid so that it does not stain her clothes.

  • Don’t be ashamed

Menstruation is completely natural after a certain age. So, you don’t need to be insecure or ashamed about your first period. You should not keep yourself locked in your room just because of your period. You should lead your regular lifestyle without any shame.

Ujaas is a menstrual health and menstrual hygiene initiative by Aditya Birla Education Trust. It aims to have a sustainable impact on the menstrual health landscape of India by gradually reducing period poverty and empowering young girls and women to follow effective management practices when it comes to both menstrual health and hygiene.

Thus, as can be seen, with the right knowledge and products, getting through your first period may be easy on both your body as well as your mind.