When will I start my period?
There is no set age when you will have your first period, it happens at some point during puberty.
For some people this could be as young as 8 years old whilst some people start when they’re 17. When the rest of your body starts going through puberty that might be a sign that you’re due to start soon.
Periods occur approximately every 28 days, most commonly between 24 to 35 days.
It usually lasts about 5 days but can also last between 2-10 days. It will take a while for your period to settle down into a regular rhythm and pattern so don’t worry if it doesn’t always come at the same time.
How much blood will I lose?
The amount of blood you lose during your period will be different for everyone. Some people only lose a small amount of blood at first, whilst other others start having heavy periods quite quickly.
If you are worried about the amount of blood you are losing during your period then you should speak to your doctor. Some people use the pill to control heavy periods even though they are not sexually active.
What’s the deal with pads and tampons?
There are lots of different types of protection you can use during your periods, but we’ll look at some of the popular options: sanitary towels (pads) or tampons.
- You attach sanitary towels to the crotch of your knickers. This absorbs the blood as it leaves your body.
- Tampons are internal protection. You insert them into your vagina to soak up the blood before it leaves your body. You can insert a tampon using your finger or if you don’t want to do that you can use an applicator tampon. Some people prefer to use a tampon because you can’t feel it. The main thing to remember with tampons is that you need change it every 4-8 hours.
Both types of protection work well, so just use the type you feel most comfortable with.
There are also other options available like period-proof pants and menstrual cups. Find out more about all the different products you can try.
What are period pains?
During your period you can experience pain in your abdomen and lower back. This is caused by your womb cramping and contracting to discard the extra lining that is no longer needed. Things that can help include:
- taking painkillers such as ibuprofen,
- holding a hot water bottle against your tummy. You can buy small heat patches from chemists that stick on your skin so you can have some warmth without carting your hot water bottle around with you!
- gentle exercise
- massage and relaxation techniques