Periods

Periods are a natural thing and they happen to women and girls once a month. It can feel scary and we get lots of questions about periods. 

Periods are a normal part of growing up for most females and you’ll have your first period during puberty. During your period you’ll lose a small amount of blood from your vagina. It’s nothing to be scared of and it only will last for a few days. 

You’ll get your period about once a month. it can last from 3 and 8 days. You might have a stomach ache before or during your period. use a hot water bottle or your usual painkillers to help the pain.

You can use sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups to collect the blood. If you don’t have one of these right now you can put some tissue or toilet paper in your underwear until you can get one to use.

Sometimes periods aren’t regular, especially when they first start and it might be difficult to plan exactly when you’ll get your period.

When you have your period you’ll need to use something called a sanitary product to soak up the blood. There are different products you can use and you can buy these from markets, pharmacies and some local shops. You might feel embarrassed or confused about which products to buy so it’s okay to ask someone to come with you to buy them and you can ask an adult you trust or a friend for advice.

Gearing up for your period

  • Keep sanitary products in a bag, drawer, or locker.

  • Have a plan in case you do start your period - like a change of underwear and sanitary pads or tampons.

  • If you're at school or on a trip tell the teachers so they know you might need to go to the toilet to change

  • Gentle exercise can help relieve pain and bloating - try yoga, stretching, or walking.

  • Keep a diary, calendar, or notes to keep track of what’s normal for you so you can notice any changes as periods can be irregular when they first start.

Sanitary Pads

Girls use sanitary pads because they're very easy to use. These are strips of padding which have a sticky side that you can attach to your underwear to keep them in place.

There are lots of different sizes of sanitary towels, so you can change them depending on how heavy or light your period is and some have “wings” that attach around your underwear to help keep them in place

Menstrual Pads

These are small rubber or silicone cups that can be put inside the vagina to catch the blood. The muscles of the vagina keep them in place so they don't fall out. They're then emptied, washed, and used again.

Tampons

These are specially made small tubes of cotton wool that have a string at one end. You put these into your vagina and they soak up the blood before it comes out of your body. The string is to pull it out when you need to change it.

Some tampons have applicators that you might find easier to insert into your vagina. This will be explained on the pack when you buy them.

When a tampon is in the right position you shouldn't be able to feel it, so if it hurts, it’s best to remove it and try to insert a new one.

A tampon can never get stuck or lost inside you and the muscles of your vagina hold it in place. It will expand inside you as it fills with blood so it will look bigger when you take it out.

But why do I bleed !?

Periods are part of the menstrual cycle which is all about fertility and your body preparing for the possibility to be able to become pregnant.

Each month one of your ovaries releases an egg. The egg travels in the fallopian tubes and to your womb.

The lining of your womb thickens for a while during this time. If the egg is fertilized by sperm from a boy's body, it will stick in this lining and grow. This is how you get pregnant.

If the egg is not fertilized, then the lining of the womb breaks down and passes out of your body through your vagina as a small amount of blood — this is called a period.