Your first period: What you should know before it starts

by Britta
Erste Periode, erste Menstruation, Fragen zur ersten Periode, Menarche, Wann bekomme ich meine erste Periode, Tipps f√ľr die erste Periode, Vulvani

Young peo¬≠ple all over the world are expe¬≠ri¬≠enc¬≠ing their first period every day ‚Äď a com¬≠pletely new expe¬≠ri¬≠ence. It is a spe¬≠cial time that often brings many ques¬≠tions and even more uncer¬≠tainty with it. Here you will find every¬≠thing you need to know about your first period. Are you won¬≠der¬≠ing when your men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion will come and what is nor¬≠mal? We have all the answers for you.

When will I get my first period?

Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion begins dur¬≠ing puberty and marks another mile¬≠stone on the jour¬≠ney towards adult¬≠hood. How old we are when get¬≠ting our period for the first time can vary quite a bit. Usu¬≠ally the first men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion comes between the age of ten and 16. That‚Äôs actu¬≠ally quite a long age span. This just shows how dif¬≠fer¬≠ent our bod¬≠ies are and that each per¬≠son devel¬≠ops indi¬≠vid¬≠u¬≠ally. The aver¬≠age age in Ger¬≠many is around 12.5 years. For ref¬≠er¬≠ence, I got my very first period one month after my 13th birth¬≠day. So a lit¬≠tle later than the aver¬≠age. But for me per¬≠son¬≠ally, it was def¬≠i¬≠nitely early enough. To be hon¬≠est, there is no right age for the first period, which is also called menar¬≠che. Every¬≠thing is nor¬≠mal and good. Sooner or later we all have them.

What does the first period look like?

The first period does not start directly with a full on blood¬≠bath. The actual men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is often pre¬≠ceded by slight spot¬≠ting. It is usu¬≠ally sim¬≠i¬≠lar to vagi¬≠nal dis¬≠charge, only more brown¬≠ish. So if the vagi¬≠nal dis¬≠charge changes its colour, the first period is right around the cor¬≠ner. And soon you will prob¬≠a¬≠bly see the first red spot in your under¬≠pants. Gen¬≠er¬≠ally speak¬≠ing, the color of the men¬≠strual blood has beau¬≠ti¬≠ful dif¬≠fer¬≠ent facets of red tones. The colour of the blood can look very dif¬≠fer¬≠ent and varies dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. In the begin¬≠ning the blood is prob¬≠a¬≠bly more brown¬≠ish or light red and slightly pink. Then it becomes strong to dark red in the mid¬≠dle and at the end it becomes rather brown¬≠ish again. So men¬≠strual blood is not always just red.

How long does the menar¬≠che last?

Some have very short peri¬≠ods at the begin¬≠ning, oth¬≠ers have a full week of bleed¬≠ing from the start. On aver¬≠age, the first period lasts between three and seven days. The same length as a nor¬≠mal period as well.

Can I use tam¬≠pons straightaway?

Sure, why not? From the first period on every¬≠thing is pos¬≠si¬≠ble and you can choose the period prod¬≠uct that fits you best. It‚Äôs best to try out the dif¬≠fer¬≠ent prod¬≠ucts to see what you feel most com¬≠fort¬≠able with! (Wash¬≠able) pads and period under¬≠wear are prob¬≠a¬≠bly the eas¬≠i¬≠est. You just put them on or fas¬≠ten them in your under¬≠wear and off you go. Tam¬≠pons or men¬≠strual cups are a bit more dif¬≠fi¬≠cult, because both prod¬≠ucts have to be inserted into the body and taken out again accord¬≠ingly. In any case, they are also easy to use, but require a lit¬≠tle prac¬≠tice and relax¬≠ation at the begin¬≠ning. If you would like to try out a men¬≠strual cup, you will finda a step-by-step guide here and even more tips: here, here and here. If you have any ques¬≠tions, feel free to mes¬≠sage us!

Do other peo¬≠ple know that I am on my period right now?

Prob¬≠a¬≠bly not ‚Äď unless you tell them, of course. Because con¬≠trary to many rumours, men¬≠strual blood does not smell. So no one can smell or see your men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. And even if you may feel uncom¬≠fort¬≠able in your (new) body or think that your pad can be seen through your pants, oth¬≠ers won‚Äôt notice. No one can see whether you are wear¬≠ing a pad or not.

When will I get my next period?

Espe¬≠cially in the begin¬≠ning peri¬≠ods are still very irreg¬≠u¬≠lar, because the hor¬≠mones in the body are con¬≠stantly chang¬≠ing and have not yet found a bal¬≠ance. Some¬≠times you get your period again after only a few weeks. But some¬≠times it takes a few months. It is best to write down when you get your period and how long you bleed. You can use a lit¬≠tle men¬≠strual cal¬≠en¬≠dar or one of the many period apps on your mobile phone. This way you always have the dates saved. With time, your cycle will also find its rhythm. It usu¬≠ally takes about one to two years from your first period to a reg¬≠u¬≠lar cycle. Usu¬≠ally you have your period once a month. If you observe other body signs besides men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, such as your vagi¬≠nal mucus or fluc¬≠tu¬≠at¬≠ing moods, you will prob¬≠a¬≠bly soon be able to pre¬≠dict your period blindly. No more bloody surprises!

Do I have to visit a gynae¬≠col¬≠o¬≠gist after my first period?

No, you don‚Äôt have to. At least not until you have actual com¬≠plaints. But if you like, yo u could get a sim¬≠ple med¬≠ical check-up. It is also pos¬≠si¬≠ble not to be exam¬≠ined the first time you go to a gynae¬≠col¬≠o¬≠gist, but to only arrange a con¬≠sul¬≠ta¬≠tion first. Then you can have a look at the place and see if you feel com¬≠fort¬≠able with your gynae¬≠col¬≠o¬≠gist. You can also ask all of your ques¬≠tions about men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion or the changes in your body.

Do you have any questions?

Here you will find our best tips for your first men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. Are all your ques¬≠tions answered? Or are you still wor¬≠ried about your first period? If yes, then write us a mes¬≠sage with all your ques¬≠tions and we are more than happy to answer them!

Published at 7. July 2020
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. Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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