My First Period Education
How do you know you might be close to starting your period?
Although many girls begin their first period between the ages of 11 and 13 every girl is different and your period could arrive anywhere between the ages of 9 and 16.
Each young girl has her own 'biological clock'. So how do you know your period might be coming? Here are some of the most common things to look out for!
1) Oh, the joys of puberty! One first telltale sign is that of the breast “buds.” If you notice you are growing some molehills, then you know your period might be on its way! At times your breasts can swell or be tender.
2) The dreaded cramps! Abdominal cramps tend to be the culprit that creeps up and rears its ugly head when your period is on its way. Unlike other symptoms, which can begin well before your period begins and can end when bleeding begins, cramps usually show up right before your period starts and can last for two to three days.
3) You're sleepy but you cannot seem to sleep. Say hello to FATIGUE! Blame it on those pesky hormones that tend to make you sleepy but also keep you from getting your beauty rest!
4) Mood swings. Whew, these can drive mom and dad pretty nuts! Feeling emotional or quite sassy but don't know why? Yeah, we know. PMS symptoms are caused by hormones and they can be more of a pain than a literal one!
We aren't really sure what causes these pesky symptoms but don't worry, all females deal with them and they tend to get better as time goes on (or at least we hope for your parent's sake!).
5) You're feeling a little antsy and maybe even a little bit sad. It's okay when you experience these symptoms. There is nothing wrong with you, it is just what the female body can do. It's great to have a parent or friend to talk to when you're feeling anxious or sad. The good news is that all females experience this, so you have a lot of humans that can relate.
6) ACNE! Ugh, so obnoxious right? It's the hormones, it's all the hormones!!! Wonder why females have to deal with acne around the time they are starting our period? The rising hormone levels activate sebum, which is oil production and that tends to clog pores and cause pimples! Grrrrr.....
7) Tumtum issues! Feeling a little bloaty? Constipated or maybe you have diarrhea? Unfortunately, digestive symptoms can get rattled by an approaching period. Water retention can also contribute to you feeling quite blah. Drink lots of water!
8) Shhhhh, my head is killing me! A headache. Yes, the dreaded headache is another symptom that you might be approaching Aunt Flo especially if you rarely get headaches. This tends to have to do with changing estrogen levels. If you are prone to migraines, more than likely you might notice they arrive before you begin your period.
9) Pubic hair. (I know, no one likes that word.) If you notice you're becoming fuzzy, you might be on your way to starting your period.
10) Discharge can also be a sign that you might be close to starting your period. A yellowish white discharge is normal to experience.
Although all of us experience different symptoms, the best plan of action is to talk to mom and find out when she started her period. This will give you an idea, but the great thing is you can carry a My First Period Kit at all times and be prepared.
You’ll never have to worry about finding yourself in a situation where you have no pads, no change of undies and no hygiene help.
Additional great resources to learn about your period:
* The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know)
By: Jennifer Gravelle and Karen Gravelle
* The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls
By: Valorie Schaefer (Author) and Josee Masse (Illustration)