First Period in a Girl
Wondering when your periods will come? Do you want to know the changes that will occur in your body once the periods start? Find all the answers about the first period in a girl by going through the following paragraphs.
What are Periods?
Period is a sign that a girl has reached puberty. She is now turning into a woman from a girl. It is the biggest step a girl takes to undergo this transaction.
There is often a lot of hype related to the first period in a girl. Those little giggles shared between young friends when they talk about periods in hush voices. Girls have a lot of questions related to this transition and need guidance from their mother or older sisters to clear their thoughts.
This personal and private subject should be dealt with delicately. Speak to your daughter, sister or the young girl seeking your guidance. A wise woman would talk on one-on-one basis with the young, confused girl on the brink of womanhood.
What is Menstruation?
Menstruation, also called as ‘period’ in common terms. The first day of one period till the first day of the next is called as the menstrual cycle. Normally, themenstrual cycle can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. Anything between these numbers is considered normal. The menstrual cycle may vary from month to month in some woman.
So, what exactly is menstruation? Every girl is born with two ovaries. These ovaries contain thousands of tiny eggs. The eggs begin to mature during the menstruation cycle and the inner lining of the uterus, that is, the endometrium begins to thicken. This is to prepare for a possible pregnancy. The endometrial lining is made up of tissues and blood.
The ovary will release a mature egg once a month. This is called as ovulation. Most of the time, a woman never even realises they are ovulating. However, in a few cases, the woman may complain of little pain in the stomach or have light spotting of blood.
The egg, travels down the Fallopian tube and reaches the uterus. It awaits fertilization by a sperm. When fertilization fails to take place, the egg and the uterine lining flow out of the vagina. This is called as the menstrual flow or period.
In case of egg fertilizing with a sperm, it will lead to pregnancy. The fertilized egg will latch itself to the lining of the uterus. The woman will miss her periods throughout the pregnancy phase.
As the woman gets older, the periods stop forever. This happens when she is about 45 to 50 years of age. When menstruation ceases completely, it is called as menopause. The woman can no longer conceive naturally after menopause.
What Happens During Period?
Menstrual flow usually lasts for 3 to 7 days. The flow may vary in different woman. It may be heavy during the initial days and cease by the end of 7 days.
One may notice many changes in the color and heaviness of the flow during the beginning till the end of the period. Initially, one may observe more of a brownish discharge as well as at the end of the period. This brownish discharge is called as spotting.
Many women mark the days of their periods on their calendar or mobile phone application. Some realise the day, with the symptoms they experience before the start of the periods. With time, girls find away to figure out when their periods are nearing.
When Will I Get My First Period?
If you are wondering when will your period start, well, there is no exact way to predict their arrival. The average age of a girl to start menstruating is 13 years. However, it is very common for girls to start menstruation when they are just 9 years old or about 16 years old. So, have patience, they will begin when your body is ready to mature. If they do not start by the time you are 16 years old, it will be wise to visit a doctor for advice.
Many girls may experience stomach cramps, leg pain, pimples, bloating, etc. before the start of the first period. So, it will be wise to carry a sanitary napkin or tampon in your school bag or sports bag, when away from home. If you do not have one, don’t feel shy to ask for one from a parent, friend, teacher, sister or school nurse.
What Is PMS?
PMS is short for premenstrual syndrome. It is the physical and emotional changes one experiences before the start and during the period. One may suffer from mood swings, bloating, swelling of the body, tender breasts, pimples, depression or feeling sad, headaches, nausea, cramping as well as lethargy. This happens due to the hormonal changes taking place within the body.
Some girls suffer from PMS at the start of every period. Some suffer from these discomforting days occasionally. One may develop all or just a few of these symptoms.
The cramps before and during the periods can be relieved with heating pads. Some may need to take pain medicines to ease the cramps. If you suffer from PMS that is very difficult to deal with, speak to a parent or doctor for help.
Is My Period Normal?
Every girl experiences a different kind of period. What is normal for you, may be abnormal for someone else. Also,the first few periods for every girl will differ. They will get better with time. At times, you may suffer from very heavy flow. And then for a few periods, the flow will be very light.
At times, one may skip periods for a few months, or they may arrive sooner or later than your expected dates. This may happen when you are under stress, for example, before an examination. Or it may happen for no apparent reason.
Skipping periods once a while is quite normal. However, if you have unprotected sex and skip your period date, you should take a pregnancy test.
What Do I Use During a Period?
Most girls go in for sanitary pads during a period. Some use tampons, especially, girls who often take part in sports or go swimming. There are menstrual cups available that are also very useful during menstruation. With time you will figure out the best option for you that makes your comfortable and remain stain-free.
Periods are a regular thing once they start. Within a few months, you will get a hang of periods. You will know how to handle them and keep yourself comfortable during these days. If you have any doubts, speak to your mother, friend, older sister, teacher or school counsellor and clear your thoughts. Relax. The first period in a girl is a scary experience. Soon, it will become a part of your daily life.