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Periods. Nobody likes them but everybody gets them. They’re just something that, unfortunately for us girls, we have to deal with. I’ve decided to talk about periods and answer a few of the questions that young girls might have who are about to, or have just started their periods. This post is also for parents who might need a bit of extra help when their daughter starts asking questions.
WHAT IS A PERIOD?
Starting your period means that your body is finally mature enough to have a baby. They occur every month, when the lining of your uterus (womb) gets thicker with tissue and your ovaries release an egg. If the egg is fertilized by sperm, the tissue will stay and act as a cushion for the baby. However, if they egg is not fertilized, the tissue is shredded (causing cramps) and leaves through the vagina. This is the blood you see.
WHEN WILL I START MY PERIOD
Periods usually start from the age of 10-16 although it can also happen any time before or after. The most common age to start is 12. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and there is no set time that you will get your period. If you’re 15/16 and you still don’t have your period, don’t worry. It just means that you’re a later developer. Enjoy it whilst it lasts because you’ll soon be experiencing cramps and mood swings with the rest of us.
I’VE JUST STARTED MY FIRST PERIOD AND I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS.
The first, and most important thing is: don’t panic. What you’re experiencing is completely normal. Go and talk to your mum and she will be able to get you the feminine products you need. If you live with your dad, I know it’s embarassing but go and let him know. Men have experience with women and periods so he should know what to do.
How do I stop the leakage?
Now you’ve started your period, you’re going to need a monthly supply of pads and tampons. Pads are the easiest to use. You simply stick them to your pants and they act a bit like a nappy to catch the blood.
If you decide that you want to use tampons, there’s one extremely important rule that you need to follow: do not keep your tampon in for more than eight hours! If you leave your tampon in for too long then you run the risk of developing an irritation or infection. The most dangerous infection is TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) which is caused by prolonged usage of the same tampon. Make sure you change it because TSS is a very dangerous infection that you do not want.
Many women choose to sleep with tampons in, although I would not advise this. Unless you’re definitely going to be up within eight hours, use a pad.
The only problem with pads is that they can sometimes leak and cause nasty stains on your pyjamas and bed sheets if your flow is heavy. To solve this, I’d advise using period pants. Their three layer leak-proof design gives you full protection and ensures that there’ll be no messy stains in the morning. And the best part is they’re sooo comfy! You can get yours on Amazon.
My cramps are really bad! Is there anything that can help?
Always make sure you carry around a handy packet of Ibuprophen in your bag. Ibuprophen is an anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce the worst period pains. Sometimes it can even stop them completely. Ibuprophen is your life saver for that time of the month.
If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from chronic period pain that makes you physically throw up, go and see your doctor. I suffered from this whilst I was in school and my doctor gave me a more intense pain killer to help deal with this.
My periods are irregular and it’s really frustrating!
When you first start your period, it can take up to a year for your cycle to sort itself out. If you’re experiencing irregular periods, don’t worry too much. However, if you are really worried about it then go and see your doctor.
If you’ve been having regular periods and they suddenly become irregular then it’s probably nothing to worry about but if it’s an inconvenience, go and see your doctor. When this happened to me, I started taking the pill and it regulated my periods and helped me keep track of them so I even knew the exact day it would start. With the pill, I could even skip a period for a month if I needed to.
I’m sexually active. What’s the best form of contraception?
Condoms! If you’ve just become sexually active please make sure you use a condom. They are the best form of contraception as they are 98% effective and protect you against STIs. However, if you’re having sex regularly then you may find that condoms aren’t the best contraceptive method for you. There are many other methods you can use, which I will list below.
Before anything, I would just like to say that before you stop using a condom, it’s extremely important to make sure that both you and your partner are clean from any STIs. You can get tested at your local sexual health clinic or GUM clinic. I know it’s embarassing, but it will be even more embarassing if you contract an STI so please make sure that you and your partner have both been tested and there is no risk.
Here are some of the most popular methods of birth control:
– The Contraceptive Pill
– The Implant
– The Coil
– The Patch
I’ve decided not to provide too much information on this as I am not a doctor and this is not what this post is about. If you would like help deciding which contraceptive method to use, have a look at this site.
Is there anything else I can do to make that time of the month easier?
Something that’s taken to the market recently is period subscription boxes. These little boxes have the potential to make life so much easier! You no longer have to worry about running out of your monthly supply as these boxes have everything ready for you and are delivered to your door just before you’re due to start your period. They can also help with the period blues with the little treats they contain each month such as beauty products, lifestyle products, and most importantly… food!
There are many period subscription boxes out there but I would recommend BettyBox. They allow you to pick which feminine products you would like to receive each month, even down to the size! It also comes with a little box of surprise treats to enjoy.
I hoped you enjoyed my post and found at least one helpful tip that will help you with that time of the month! I’d just like to remind you that I’m not a doctor and not to rely solely on this. I am only giving advice based on my own experience with periods, but like I said.. everyone is different.