The first menstruation occurs after the onset of puberty, which varies around the age of 10-13 years. You have to know first of all that every person is different and the first menstrual cycle will happen when your body is ready. Normal hormonal changes in adolescence are responsible for the first appearance of menstruation, called in medical language menarche.
During puberty, the first distinct signs appear on your body. You will notice the growth of breasts and the presence of hair in several areas. Vaginal bleeding related to menstruation will occur once a month, but do not worry if it is irregular at first. It is an absolutely normal aspect. Over time, it will adjust and you will be able to know exactly how long the menstrual cycle lasts.
To give you more information, we have compiled a small guide about the first period – the age at which it occurs, what are the symptoms you may experience, how long it lasts and how you can prepare for the first menstrual cycle.
Symptoms first menstruation
Before the first day of actual menstrual bleeding, some specific symptoms may appear. They are perfectly normal and are called premenstrual syndrome. Their intensity can vary from person to person and there is no cause for concern as long as they do not cause you severe discomfort.
The most common symptoms of the first period are cramps, abdominal pain, tension in the breast area, headaches and general fatigue. These can also include bloating, food cravings or sudden mood swings. Also, back pain in the middle area is specific to the menstrual period. You may also notice excess acne in some areas of your body, the reason being the hormonal changes your body is going through. The list covers the most common symptoms that occur with your first period, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have them all. It all depends on how your body reacts to these changes. But it is essential to know them and be informed in case they appear.
You have already entered the menstrual phase, that is, the bleeding has occurred. The first day of menstruation is also the first day of the menstrual cycle. We’ll detail what it means and how it’s calculated below. Coming back to menstruation, it generally lasts between 3 and 7, maybe even 8 days, and the average is 5 days. On the first and second day you can expect more heavy bleeding. Then the flow will gradually decrease until it stops altogether. Towards the end you will see that the period will turn from red blood to a brown colored discharge, a sign that it is ending.
How can I prepare for my first period?
The answer to this question is simple: in order to feel safe and to be able to confidently manage this normal but new moment in your life, you must have all the information available in advance.
Every person is different (I kept saying this because although there are similarities when it comes to your first period, it’s important to manage things according to your needs). The first thing is to prepare with absorbent pads, because you don’t know when and where the bleeding will occur.
The period of menstruation needs careful hygiene, which means washing the intimate area several times a day and changing the absorbent, respectively the underwear. In order not to become a burden, you can use the menstrual cup for teenage girls, a reusable intimate product, specially developed for the body of young virgins. It is inserted into the vagina like a tampon and protects you for up to 12 hours, depending on how heavy the flow is. The cup collects blood from inside the body, does not absorb it and provides protection and safety.
Also, how about a pair of colorful period panties for teenage girls, like IDA Collection? They are the 2-in-1 option because they replace both the underwear and the absorbent at the same time. The panties are absorbent and ideal for the first period. You can wear it for up to 12 hours, without irritation, unpleasant odors or leaks. The great advantage is that after using them, you wash them and wear them again because they are reusable.
First menstruation – duration
The normal duration of the first period is 3-7 days (it can be extended up to 8 days) and may be accompanied by the symptoms listed above.
As for the menstrual cycle, it represents the time period calculated between two periods. That is, the interval between the first day of menstruation – when the bleeding occurs – and the day before the start of the next one. When the menstrual cycle is regular, it generally occurs every 28 days. But it can vary between 21 and 35 days.
It is very important to know that the first period in adolescence is a sign that you are a healthy person and that your reproductive system is working as it should. And don’t worry that she didn’t appear at the same age as your friends or colleagues. Every body is different.