Period questions come into every girls mind! Puberty can be pretty crazy — you shouldn’t have to worry about your first period on top of it all.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers that can help you feel more confident about all the changes you’re experiencing.
1. What is a period and why do we have them?Simply put: A period is when a woman’s body releases tissue it no longer needs. This tissue comes from the uterus, which is where a baby (fetus) can develop in the female body. Every month or so, the uterus lining gets thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, that lining is released from the body as blood through the vagina. This monthly process is called menstruation or a period.
So when a girl has her period, her body is just getting rid of a small amount of blood and some unneeded tissue. It is a natural, normal body process for all females as they become women and mature physically.
2. What does a period feel like?The actual flow of your period doesn’t feel like much when it’s happening. Chances are, you won’t even feel it coming out. When you actually start your period, you may feel some dampness in your private area — this may be caused by a few spots of blood on your underwear.
3. Does having your period smell?It shouldn’t! Menstrual odor happens when menstrual fluid comes in contact with air. When menstrual fluid is absorbed within the vagina, like through a tampon, it is not exposed to the air, so there shouldn’t be an odor. If you’re feeling worried, just be sure to change your pads and tampons frequently to help keep odor at bay.
4. Does having your period hurt?Menstruation itself doesn’t hurt, but some girls and women get cramps or other symptoms during their periods that may be uncomfortable. This is typically due to the hormones your body releases during menstruation that cause the uterus to contract so it can shed it’s lining.
5. I got my period and I haven’t told my mom yet. It’s really hard for me to talk about things like this. I have a lot of questions. What should I do?Lots of girls have the same concern. Your mom will be one of your best resources when you have questions about your period, so try to start the conversation yourself! Know that she will be understanding and helpful. Actually, she may be your best friend during this time in your life. Still don’t feel like you can talk to your mom? An aunt, friend’s mom or older sister are also great women to ask.
6. Is it OK to have a bath or shower when I have my period?Yep! During your period, it’s important to keep yourself fresh and clean. They’re a simple way to stay feeling feminine and fresh. ALWAYS Incredibly Thin Liners and ALWAYS Xtra Protection Liners are great choices for daily liners that help you feel dry, fresh and confident every day.
7. Is there anything I won’t be able to do when I have my period?Your period doesn’t have to stop you from doing things you usually do. You can still go to school, help at home, see your friends, play sports and do all the things you’d normally do.
Tip: See the whole line of ALWAYS products so you can pick the best fit for your lifestyle and flow.
8. Will anyone, like boys or my mom, notice when I have my period?No — not unless you tell them! If they ask you, it’s totally up to you to share or not.
9. How much blood do I lose during my period?Most girls lose about 1/4 cup of menstrual fluid during their periods (mostly in the first few days). Not to worry, though — your body makes up for it.
10. When will I stop having my period for good?Women get periods until menopause, which is when menstruation and the ability to have children stops. In most women, it usually happens in their late 40sor early 50s. But menopause can happen earlier or later. Some women may stop menstruation by the time they’re 35 years old, and others may not stop until their late 50s.
Source: Comprehensive Gynecology Review, 3rd edition; editors, Ling FW, Vontver LA, Smith RP