It is very important to inform your child about periods so she is better prepared when it occurs. The first period or menarche usually begins after one or two years of entering puberty, usually between the age of 12 to 15 years. Periods can also occur earlier if your body mass index is higher, whereas it can get late if you are underweight, stressed or due to hormonal imbalance. During your first period, the colour of your blood can range from dark brown to bright red to dark red. The duration of periods is different from person to person. For some, it lasts up to two days, while for others, it may last up to seven days.
Signs Of Puberty
- Growth of pubic hair, thicker hair on legs and underarm hair
- An outbreak of acne on the face or body
- Development of breasts
- Change in the shape of the body(thickening of hips and thighs)
- A growth spurt
Early Signs Of First Periods
- Acne may appear on your face or body
- There may be an increase in watery vaginal discharge
- You may have major mood swings
- There may be lower abdominal cramps
How Does It Start
Periods occur after the onset of puberty, as a result, your body becomes capable of reproduction. The oestrogen level increases when menstruation begins and causes the uterus lining to thicken. The ovaries release an egg into a fallopian tube and wait for it to become fertilised. When fertilisation does not occur, the lining sheds and pushes it out of the uterus, which results in bleeding.
Signs Of First Period
There can be some changes and signs before your period in some people, which is known as premenstrual syndrome. On the other hand, some might not experience any signs.
Some signs Of Premenstrual Syndrome
- Abdominal bleeding
- Back pain
- Soreness in breasts
- Clear or white vaginal discharge
Self-Care Tips & Things To Follow
- Periods occur every month and can be painful and messy. You can follow some self-care and hygiene tips
- You can apply heat pads and hot water bottles to get relief from pain and cramps
- Take warm baths and drink warm fluids when you are on periods
- Walking and yoga can also help in providing you relief from pain
- You can take counter painkillers prescribed by your doctors for pain relief
- Change your pads frequently( after three to five hours) to prevent infection and other diseases
- Do not use soap in your vagina for cleaning, as it has its own cleaning mechanism. You can wash it with water and use soap on the external area.
There are various menstrual products available in the market, and you can choose the one that suits you best. You can use pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or period underwear.
Menstruation is a natural and crucial process which marks the beginning of fertility. You should consult your doctor if you are yet to start your periods by 15 years of age or if you face irregular periods. You should also talk to your doctor if your period lasts more than seven days and you have excessive pain and blood flow.