You might hear some people calling periods ‘menstruation’. This is because periods are part of the menstrual cycle, and happen when a girl bleeds from her vagina for a few days each month.
Girls will usually have their first period between the ages of 9 and 14. They don’t start at the same time for all girls, so don’t worry if you don’t start at the same time as others.
To help contain the blood produced by a period, lots of girls use things called ‘sanitary products’ such as:
Tampons: these are small tubes of cotton wool that help to soak up the blood in the vagina
Sanitary pads: these are strips of padding that attach to underwear and absorb blood
There are also reusable products available.
Does it hurt?
A common side effect of having your period is pain in your tummy. You might hear this being called ‘period pain’ or ‘period cramps’. Painkillers, hot water bottles and warm baths can often help to soothe the pain, make sure you speak to an adult who can help you with this.
What happens if my period starts when I’m out or at school?
Make sure you have a pack with you containing a sanitary pad, pants and wipes. Let a grownup know if this happens so they can help you.
Why am I feeling so emotional?
Your periods are connected to something called hormones, and because of this you may feel more emotional during your period. Make sure you have someone to talk to if you want to understand more about this.
Why does my body feel different?
Some people may have tummy pain before the start of their period and some might find their skin becomes spottier. These are really common signs that you might experience in your body.
Why am I feeling dizzy?
Sometimes you might feel dizzy during a period. You should speak to a grownup so they can provide support for this.