Are you worried about getting your period for the first time? Periods are a normal part of being a teenager and growing into a woman, but it can be scary if you’re not sure what to expect. There’s no reason to be worried though. Check out these basics and keep a few things handy for smooth sailing through your first visit from Aunt Flo.
How Do You Know When You’re Getting Your First Period?
It’s time to talk about bodies, are you ready? Girls can get their first period, which is also called “menarche,” between the ages of 8 and 16 years old, but the average age that most start menstruating is age 11 to 14. Here are some signs that your first period might be coming soon:
- Breasts: The first period typically arrives about one to two years after a girl starts to develop breasts. If it’s been that long for you, your period is probably on the way.
- Pubic Hair: One to two years after pubic hair starts to show up, most girls can expect to begin menstruating.
- Discharge: It’s normal to have vaginal discharge when you go through puberty. If you see this in your underwear, it’s a good sign that you can expect your first period in the next few months, so get those supplies ready!
Is there any way to know exactly what day you will start menstruating? Unfortunately, the answer to that is: Not really.
However, the day before or the same day you get your first period, you might feel some cramps in your lower stomach or back. You might not even know that you’ve started your period until you see menstrual blood in your underwear. The first time you get your period, the blood will probably be brownish-red. It will also usually be fairly light, as in not a lot of fluid.
How Long Should Your First Period Last?
The first time you get your period, it probably won’t last that long, and you might only have to deal with some light spotting of a small amount of menstrual blood. A typical answer to the question of, “How long will my first period last?” is that it will probably last about two days, but it can take seven days for it to stop in some girls. It takes about one to two years for you to start having regular periods every month that last a full 5 days or so.
Everyone’s period is a little different. It’s a smart idea to mark your period on a calendar when it happens. When your periods start to occur on a regular basis, you can expect your next period to arrive about 28 days after the last one started.
How to Deal With Your First Period
The best way to deal with getting your period for the first time is to have feminine care supplies at home and in your purse or backpack. Most girls use pads for their first period, so keep some of those nearby if you think you might be getting your first period someday soon.
Period underwear is also popular with tween and teen girls because it keeps you from having embarrassing period leaks [LINK: how to clean period panties] through your clothes.
We hope this answered your questions, including how long does a first period last. When you know what to expect, you can feel more confident about getting your first period.