Young people all over the world are exper­i­en­cing their first period every day – a com­pletely new exper­i­ence. It is a spe­cial time that often brings many ques­tions and even more uncer­tainty with it. Here you will find everything you need to know about your first period. Are you won­der­ing when your men­stru­ation will come and what is nor­mal? We have all the answers for you.

When will I get my first period?

Men­stru­ation begins dur­ing puberty and marks another mile­stone on the jour­ney towards adult­hood. How old we are when get­ting our period for the first time can vary quite a bit. Usu­ally the first men­stru­ation comes between the age of ten and 16. That’s actu­ally quite a long age span. This just shows how dif­fer­ent our bod­ies are and that each per­son devel­ops indi­vidu­ally. The aver­age age in Ger­many is around 12.5 years. For ref­er­ence, I got my very first period one month after my 13th birth­day. So a little later than the aver­age. But for me per­son­ally, it was def­in­itely early enough. To be hon­est, there is no right age for the first period, which is also called men­arche. Everything is nor­mal 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 blood­bath. The actual men­stru­ation is often pre­ceded by slight spot­ting. It is usu­ally sim­ilar to vaginal dis­charge, only more brown­ish. So if the vaginal dis­charge changes its col­our, the first period is right around the corner. And soon you will prob­ably see the first red spot in your under­pants. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the color of the men­strual blood has beau­ti­ful dif­fer­ent facets of red tones. The col­our of the blood can look very dif­fer­ent and var­ies dur­ing men­stru­ation. In the begin­ning the blood is prob­ably more brown­ish or light red and slightly pink. Then it becomes strong to dark red in the middle and at the end it becomes rather brown­ish again. So men­strual blood is not always just red.

How long does the men­arche last?

Some have very short peri­ods at the begin­ning, oth­ers have a full week of bleed­ing from the start. On aver­age, the first period lasts between three and seven days. The same length as a nor­mal period as well.

Can I use tam­pons straightaway?

Sure, why not? From the first period on everything is pos­sible and you can choose the period product that fits you best. It’s best to try out the dif­fer­ent products to see what you feel most com­fort­able with! (Wash­able) pads and period under­wear are prob­ably the easi­est. You just put them on or fasten them in your under­wear and off you go. Tam­pons or men­strual cups are a bit more dif­fi­cult, because both products have to be inser­ted into the body and taken out again accord­ingly. In any case, they are also easy to use, but require a little prac­tice and relax­a­tion at the begin­ning. If you would like to try out a men­strual cup, you will finda a step-by-step guide here and even more tips: here, here and here. If you have any ques­tions, feel free to mes­sage us!

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

Prob­ably not – unless you tell them, of course. Because con­trary to many rumours, men­strual blood does not smell. So no one can smell or see your men­stru­ation. And even if you may feel uncom­fort­able in your (new) body or think that your pad can be seen through your pants, oth­ers won’t notice. No one can see whether you are wear­ing a pad or not.

When will I get my next period?

Espe­cially in the begin­ning peri­ods are still very irreg­u­lar, because the hor­mones in the body are con­stantly chan­ging and have not yet found a bal­ance. Some­times you get your period again after only a few weeks. But some­times 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 little men­strual cal­en­dar 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 reg­u­lar cycle. Usu­ally you have your period once a month. If you observe other body signs besides men­stru­ation, such as your vaginal mucus or fluc­tu­at­ing moods, you will prob­ably soon be able to pre­dict your period blindly. No more bloody surprises!

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

No, you don’t have to. At least not until you have actual com­plaints. But if you like, yo u could get a simple med­ical check-up. It is also pos­sible not to be examined the first time you go to a gyn­ae­co­lo­gist, but to only arrange a con­sulta­tion first. Then you can have a look at the place and see if you feel com­fort­able with your gyn­ae­co­lo­gist. You can also ask all of your ques­tions about men­stru­ation or the changes in your body.

Do you have any questions?

Here you will find our best tips for your first men­stru­ation. Are all your ques­tions answered? Or are you still wor­ried about your first period? If yes, then write us a mes­sage with all your ques­tions and we are more than happy to answer 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.