What to do when you first start your period.

teen with sunglasses and big jewelryHaving your first period can be a very scary experience. Even though you know it is going to happen, you just don’t know when. Sometimes you may feel bloated or have an uneasy feeling in your stomach in the days before you start your period but many times you will have no symptoms or signs. Preparing yourself before you start your period is one way to help the feelings you may encounter such as fear and uncertainty.
Many schools have a program for fifth or sixth grade girls to educate girls the changes their body will be experiencing in the coming years, explaining the menstrual cycle and answering questions that girls might have. If your school doesn’t have this kind of program, talk to your mom about starting your period if she hasn’t already talked to you. Try not to be embarrassed your mom has had a period she knows what it is like. If you are unable to talk to your mom for whatever reason, go to the library and check out a book about the changes that your body is going to experiencing. Or do some research online. Just knowing why your body changes and the reasons women have a menstrual cycle may help to ease the feelings you may experience having your first period.
You may find yourself at school, at a friend’s house or even hanging out at the mall when you first start your period. If you want to avoid having to let anyone know that you have just started your period and need a sanitary napkin, try to always carry one with you in your handbag, backpack or purse. That one sanitary napkin kept in an inside pocket of your backpack or purse can save you from some of the embarrassing feelings you may experience. Taking a sanitary napkin when you are going somewhere overnight or longer is a must, you may want to even take a few depending on how long you will be away from home. Starting your period while you are overnight somewhere is difficult even if its not your first period. Even if you feel fine and don’t think its going to happen while you are away it is worth it to be prepared anyway.
Now if you happen to not be prepared many places have a machine in the restroom you can purchase a sanitary napkin. Or if this is not an option you can use toilet paper by wrapping the toilet paper around your hand a few times to make it like a sanitary pad and place it in your underwear. This will work for a short time until you are able to get a sanitary pad.
Once you start your period you should try to keep track of the day you start your period and each day until the end of your period by marking it on a calendar. Just a small X or some sort of mark that you will recognize. This will help you to know when you will have another menstrual cycle.
Just try to remember that your period is normal. Having your first period can be a confusing and embarrassing experience, but by being prepared you can make it a little easier.