World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022: Everything You Need To Know About Your First Period

Getting your first period can be a little intimidating. Here is your first period guide and everything you need to know about periods.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaPublished at: May 27, 2022Updated at: May 27, 2022
World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022: Everything You Need To Know About Your First Period

A period is a discharge of blood from a girl's uterus, out through her vagina every month for anywhere between 3 to 6 days. This process is also known as menstruation and the cycle that comes back every month as a menstrual cycle. Getting periods is a sign that the girl is getting close to the end of puberty.

Periods are still and well considered a tabbo in our country and not many people talk about it openly. It's sad as though it is extremely normal for a girl to go through every month. It is as standard as breathing or eating for a living. Most girls experience this side of life around the age of 12. This is a tender age and most parents and/or guardians do not verse the kid about the nitty gritty of menstruation. However, this is a topic to discuss in order to school the child about what phase they will eventually face for the rest of their lives.

When Do Most Girls Get Their First Period?

There is no specific age for a girl to experience her periods, it may way from one to another. But ideally a girl experiences her first period between the age of 12 to 15. It is also believed that a girl sheds the first period blood two years after her breasts start to develop. Another sign that menstruation is at bay is when a girl encounters white vaginal discharge. It is believed that 6 months later, she might have her first period. 

Also Read: Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene: All You Need To Know

What Causes Periods?

A period happens due to the changes in hormones. These hormones are chemical messengers of our bodies. The ovaries release the female hormones known as the estrogen and progesterone . These hormones help the lining of the uterus or womb to build up. When this built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach, it starts to develop. However, when there is no fertilized egg, this lining breaks down and in turn bleeds. In the coming months the same process happens all over again so on and so forth.

For the initial few years after a girl gets her first period, it may not come regularly as in every month. No hassle, as this is completely normal again. By about 2 to 3 years after a girl's first period, her periods should be coming around once in every 4–5 weeks and that would be her menstral cycle. Periods usually last for about 5 days on average. However, it can be as short as 3 days or long up to 6 to 7 days.

Period cramp is a common symptom of periods. It feels like an ache which can be sharp and stabbing or consistent, dull. This varies every month. It is felt around lower in the abdomen, stomach and the pain can even reach up to the upper legs and lower back. Another symptom of periods is that  You're stomach may be upset, but period cramps will be lower in your abdomen than a stomach ache.

Should You Use A Pad, Tampon, Or Menstrual Cup?

This is a very personal choice to make. You have many choices about how you want to deal with period blood. You may want to try all three, examine what works best for you and switch to your preference accordingly. 

Also Read: International Women’s Day and Menstrual Health: A Guide To Menstrual Hygiene Products

1. Pads

Most girls use pads when they first get their period. Pads are made of raw cotton and come in lots of different sizes and shapes that fit individual flow. They have sticky strips on the sides and underneath that helps to attach the pad to the underwear.

2. Tampons

There are many girls who find tampons more convenient than pads. Tampons are your best friend especially when you are playing sports or swimming. A tampon is a cotton plug that is put into a girl's vaginal opening. Don't be scared, tampons come with an applicator that guides as to how you can place things. The tampon absorbs the blood just as it's job is to. The doctor suggests that you don't leave a tampon for more than 8 hours because this increases the risk of a serious infection known as the toxic shock syndrome.

3. Menstrual Cup

Just like tampons, menstral cups are also inserted into a girl's vagina. Some girls prefer a menstrual cup as it can stock more blood. Most menstrual cups are made of silicone. However, don't overdo the use in a go as it holds the blood until a certain point. These cups are ala reusable. One may empty, clean and re-use it.