Some have been eagerly awai¬≠t¬≠ing their first period for a long time, while others are afraid of it. Others sim¬≠ply ignore the topic or don‚Äôt even know what might come up soon. In any case, fee¬≠lings around the first period are often mixed. Nevertheless, the begin¬≠ning of mens¬≠trua¬≠tion is a spe¬≠cial day. It is a day that will be remem¬≠be¬≠red by many. To help you be per¬≠fectly pre¬≠pa¬≠red for your first mens¬≠trua¬≠tion, we have crea¬≠ted a small check¬≠list with the most important tips for you. Tog¬≠e¬≠ther with us, you can wait calmly for your first period arrive.

How do I know I will be getting my period soon?

You‚Äôre pro¬≠bably won¬≠de¬≠ring: Will I know when it‚Äôs time? Usually yes, because the first mens¬≠trua¬≠tion does not start without any signs. Puberty often begins with slight phy¬≠si¬≠cal chan¬≠ges, such as the growth of bre¬≠asts or vulva hair. The hor¬≠mo¬≠nal chan¬≠ges in the body announce the first period well in advance. This is because the first ble¬≠ding usually occurs later in puberty. Are there spe¬≠ci¬≠fic signs of the first period? Shortly before the onset of mens¬≠trua¬≠tion, for example, phy¬≠si¬≠cal com¬≠p¬≠laints in the form of abdo¬≠mi¬≠nal pain or bre¬≠ast ten¬≠der¬≠ness may occur. Impure skin can also be an indi¬≠ca¬≠tion that the first period is approa¬≠ching. Howe¬≠ver, the hor¬≠mo¬≠nes are pro¬≠bably chal¬≠len¬≠ging the skin during the ent¬≠ire period of puberty anya¬≠way. So maybe not the best sign after all. Pimp¬≠les on the face or d√©col¬≠let√© are pro¬≠bably on the daily agenda. Howe¬≠ver, a reli¬≠able sign is vagi¬≠nal discharge.

Vaginal discharge as a sign for my first period?

The appearance of vagi¬≠nal discharge (no blood yet!) signals that your ute¬≠rus has become active and is working. The hor¬≠mo¬≠nal chan¬≠ges have star¬≠ted in your body. You are won¬≠de¬≠ring what exactly the vagi¬≠nal discharge is or what it looks like? It is a whitish-milky fluid that comes out of the vagina and is com¬≠ple¬≠tely nor¬≠mal ‚Äď as long as it does not smell or itch. You pro¬≠bably see small whitish spots in your under¬≠wear every now and then. Some people notice them more than others, but we all have them. If you like, you can use (was¬≠ha¬≠ble) panty liners or period under¬≠wear. This is the forerun¬≠ner for the first period, which is com¬≠ing soon. The only ques¬≠tion now is: how long does it take until the first period star¬≠tes after noti¬≠cing discharge for the first time? Mens¬≠trua¬≠tion pro¬≠bably starts about a year after the first discharge. So it takes it‚Äôs time, but the exact time of the first period can be deter¬≠mi¬≠ned at least roughly.

How do I prepare for my first period?

It is best to inform yourself and start asking a lot of ques¬≠ti¬≠ons about mens¬≠trua¬≠tion and the cycle. Read books and talk to people in your family or cir¬≠cle of friends about your period ‚Äď be brave! Also here on Vul¬≠vani you will find a tre¬≠a¬≠sure on period know¬≠ledge and you can send us all your ques¬≠ti¬≠ons! Because the more you know about your own body, the more com¬≠for¬≠ta¬≠ble you will feel with your mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. When you get your period for the first time, you are (mentally) already well pre¬≠pa¬≠red for it and know directly what is really going on.

Our best advice for you: Emergency kit for your period

You are won¬≠de¬≠ring how you could best pre¬≠pare for your first period? Here is our best advice for you: ALWAYS KEEP MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS IN YOUR BAGS. It‚Äôs like a little period emer¬≠gency kit! If you notice that you‚Äôre begin¬≠ning to have a whitish vagi¬≠nal discharge, check in your bathroom to see what mens¬≠trual pro¬≠ducts you can find there. Or talk to your par¬≠ents or sib¬≠lings about the fact that you might need some pro¬≠ducts soon. Just in case, always have a pad, tam¬≠pon or even a panty liner in your bag. If your first period sur¬≠pri¬≠ses you (which it usually does), at least you are well pre¬≠pa¬≠red and have the right pro¬≠ducts at hand. That‚Äôs going to be so worth it  in such a new, some¬≠ti¬≠mes a little over¬≠whel¬≠ming situa¬≠tion! But even after your first period, it is advi¬≠s¬≠able to always have a small emer¬≠gency period sup¬≠ply with you. Because espe¬≠cially at the begin¬≠ning your mens¬≠trua¬≠tion is rather irre¬≠gu¬≠lar. Just make sure that the pro¬≠ducts are well pro¬≠tec¬≠ted when you‚Äôre on the go and that the pack¬≠a¬≠ging doesn‚Äôt acci¬≠dent¬≠ally rip and your pro¬≠ducts get dirty. The best way to do this is to use a small extra bag with only your period pro¬≠ducts in it. Then ever¬≠ything is stored safely and cleanly.

What am I supposed to do when I unexpectedly get my period for the first time?

In any case, keep calm! And take a good look at ever¬≠ything in the bathroom. If you have mens¬≠trual pro¬≠ducts at hand, ever¬≠ything is great and you can use them. If not¬≠hing is wit¬≠hin reach, a little toi¬≠let paper will help at first. It is best to tear off several she¬≠ets at once and fold them neatly over each other. And voil√°, your first self-made pad is ready to be used. It should at least catch the blood until you can go to the toi¬≠let again or until you are at home and can use a real period pro¬≠duct. A little tip: If you are sur¬≠pri¬≠sed by your first period at school, it‚Äôs worth going to the nurse‚Äôs office. The first aid kit often con¬≠tains a few pads or tam¬≠pons for emer¬≠gen¬≠cies. Apart from that, you don‚Äôt really have much to do during your period ‚Äď except maybe a little more rest. Try to observe your body care¬≠fully to under¬≠stand how you feel during your period. And talk to the people you live with or who are close to you. They pro¬≠bably all know your situa¬≠tion and often it helps to talk about your fee¬≠lings and get tips from the expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ced people. They can pro¬≠bably ans¬≠wer all your ques¬≠ti¬≠ons instantly.

Do you feel ready for your first period?

If you still have ques¬≠ti¬≠ons that this arti¬≠cle could not ans¬≠wer, please feel free to write us a mes¬≠sage. With us no ques¬≠tion should be too unplea¬≠sant or embarr¬≠as¬≠sing for you. Because we were once where you are now and pro¬≠bably had exactly the same ques¬≠ti¬≠ons as you. So we are happy to share our period wis¬≠dom with you!

You are not alone!

Are you curious how other mens¬≠trua¬≠ting people expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ced their first period? Then take a look at the arti¬≠cles from the series ‚ÄėMens¬≠trua¬≠tion around the world‚Äė and read how others expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠ced their first mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. You can read my per¬≠so¬≠nal story about my first period here.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.