Young people all over the world are expe¬≠ri¬≠en¬≠cing their first period every day ‚Äď a com¬≠ple¬≠tely new expe¬≠ri¬≠ence. It is a spe¬≠cial time that often brings many ques¬≠ti¬≠ons and even more uncer¬≠tainty with it. Here you will find ever¬≠ything you need to know about your first period. Are you won¬≠de¬≠ring when your mens¬≠trua¬≠tion will come and what is nor¬≠mal? We have all the ans¬≠wers for you.

When will I get my first period?

Mens¬≠trua¬≠tion begins during puberty and marks ano¬≠t¬≠her 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. Usually the first mens¬≠trua¬≠tion comes bet¬≠ween the age of ten and 16. That‚Äôs actually quite a long age span. This just shows how dif¬≠fe¬≠rent our bodies are and that each per¬≠son deve¬≠lops indi¬≠vi¬≠du¬≠ally. The average age in Ger¬≠many is around 12.5 years. For refe¬≠rence, I got my very first period one month after my 13th bir¬≠th¬≠day. So a little later than the average. But for me per¬≠so¬≠nally, it was defi¬≠ni¬≠tely early enough. To be honest, there is no right age for the first period, which is also cal¬≠led men¬≠ar¬≠che. Ever¬≠ything is nor¬≠mal and good. Soo¬≠ner or later we all have them.

What does the first period look like?

The first period does not start directly with a full on bloo¬≠d¬≠bath. The actual mens¬≠trua¬≠tion is often pre¬≠ce¬≠ded by slight spot¬≠ting. It is usually simi¬≠lar to vagi¬≠nal discharge, only more brow¬≠nish. So if the vagi¬≠nal discharge chan¬≠ges its colour, the first period is right around the cor¬≠ner. And soon you will pro¬≠bably see the first red spot in your under¬≠pants. Gene¬≠rally spea¬≠king, the color of the mens¬≠trual blood has beau¬≠ti¬≠ful dif¬≠fe¬≠rent facets of red tones. The colour of the blood can look very dif¬≠fe¬≠rent and varies during mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. In the begin¬≠ning the blood is pro¬≠bably more brow¬≠nish or light red and slightly pink. Then it beco¬≠mes strong to dark red in the middle and at the end it beco¬≠mes rather brow¬≠nish again. So mens¬≠trual blood is not always just red.

How long does the menarche last?

Some have very short peri¬≠ods at the begin¬≠ning, others have a full week of blee¬≠ding from the start. On average, the first period lasts bet¬≠ween three and seven days. The same length as a nor¬≠mal period as well.

Can I use tampons straightaway?

Sure, why not? From the first period on ever¬≠ything is pos¬≠si¬≠ble and you can choose the period pro¬≠duct that fits you best. It‚Äôs best to try out the dif¬≠fe¬≠rent pro¬≠ducts to see what you feel most com¬≠for¬≠ta¬≠ble with! (Was¬≠ha¬≠ble) pads and period under¬≠wear are pro¬≠bably the easiest. You just put them on or fas¬≠ten them in your under¬≠wear and off you go. Tam¬≠pons or mens¬≠trual cups are a bit more dif¬≠fi¬≠cult, because both pro¬≠ducts have to be inser¬≠ted into the body and taken out again accord¬≠in¬≠gly. In any case, they are also easy to use, but require a little prac¬≠tice and rela¬≠xa¬≠tion at the begin¬≠ning. If you would like to try out a mens¬≠trual cup, you will finda a step-by-step guide here and even more tips: here, here and here. If you have any ques¬≠ti¬≠ons, feel free to mes¬≠sage us!

Do other people know that I am on my period right now?

Pro¬≠bably not ‚Äď unless you tell them, of course. Because con¬≠trary to many rumours, mens¬≠trual blood does not smell. So no one can smell or see your mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. And even if you may feel uncom¬≠for¬≠ta¬≠ble in your (new) body or think that your pad can be seen through your pants, others won‚Äôt notice. No one can see whe¬≠ther you are wea¬≠ring a pad or not.

When will I get my next period?

Espe¬≠cially in the begin¬≠ning peri¬≠ods are still very irre¬≠gu¬≠lar, because the hor¬≠mo¬≠nes in the body are con¬≠stantly chan¬≠ging and have not yet found a balance. Some¬≠ti¬≠mes you get your period again after only a few weeks. But some¬≠ti¬≠mes it takes a few mon¬≠ths. It is best to write down when you get your period and how long you bleed. You can use a little mens¬≠trual calen¬≠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 usually takes about one to two years from your first period to a regu¬≠lar cycle. Usually you have your period once a month. If you observe other body signs bes¬≠i¬≠des mens¬≠trua¬≠tion, such as your vagi¬≠nal mucus or fluc¬≠tua¬≠ting moods, you will pro¬≠bably soon be able to pre¬≠dict your period blindly. No more bloody surprises!

Do I have to visit a gynaecologist after my first period?

No, you don‚Äôt have to. At least not until you have actual com¬≠p¬≠laints. But if you like, yo u could get a simple medi¬≠cal check-up. It is also pos¬≠si¬≠ble not to be exami¬≠ned the first time you go to a gynae¬≠co¬≠lo¬≠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¬≠for¬≠ta¬≠ble with your gynae¬≠co¬≠lo¬≠gist. You can also ask all of your ques¬≠ti¬≠ons about mens¬≠trua¬≠tion or the chan¬≠ges in your body.

Do you have any questions?

Here you will find our best tips for your first mens¬≠trua¬≠tion. Are all your ques¬≠ti¬≠ons ans¬≠we¬≠red? Or are you still worried about your first period? If yes, then write us a mes¬≠sage with all your ques¬≠ti¬≠ons and we are more than happy to ans¬≠wer them!

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.