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What to Expect When You Get Your First Period

What to Expect When You Get Your First Period

Getting your first period can be really exciting - and also a little scary. Not to worry, though. I’ve been there, done that, and have some information that will help your first period experience flow smoothly.  First periods come anywhere between age 11 and 15, but for some it does happen a few years earlier or later. This is normal - your body is just as unique as you are and it knows when the time is right. Knowing the answer to some common questions that people have when they first start menstruating (which is another way of saying “having your period”) can make you feel less nervous about the changes your body is going through.

What is a period?

Basically, your period happens when your ovaries release an egg that doesn’t get fertilized (sperm is what turns an egg into an embryo, which eventually becomes a baby). Once you start menstruating, you release an egg each month. When that egg doesn’t become fertilized, it dissolves into the lining of your uterus. The lining then sheds. That’s what the blood is that comes from your vagina when you have your period.

How much am I supposed to bleed?

Everyone is different. Some people have heavy periods, while some only bleed a little. On average uterus only releases about 2-3 tablespoons of blood every period. Sometimes, your period may be heavier at first and get lighter towards the end. If you have a heavy flow that soaks through your pad every hour for several hours, you should see a doctor.

How often will I get my period?

This depends. The average person gets their period every 28 days. But, ironically, most women don’t have “average” periods. You could start your period every 21 days or every 35 days, depending on your body. Remember, though, that during the first 2 years you have your period, it may be irregular. This is completely normal!

How long will my period last?

Periods can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. If it lasts longer than a week, you should talk to your doctor just to make sure everything is ok.

Can I still play sports and swim when I’m on my period?

Of course! Your period doesn’t have to stop you from doing any of your regular activities. Just don’t wear a pad to go swimming - it absorbs water and will swell up. Menstrual cups are the perfect option for this!

Does having a period hurt?

While bleeding doesn’t hurt, you may find that you have cramps or a headache a few days before your period. This is called PMS or premenstrual syndrome, something that most women experience. Do some yoga, use a heating pad, or exercise to help relieve cramps.

Will other people know I’m on my period?

Nope! A common concern is that everyone will know you’re bleeding, but this just isn’t true. Period blood has no odor and, despite how it feels, other people can’t tell if you are wearing a pad. Having a period isn’t bad, though, and you should feel free to talk about it with whoever you want.

What if I bleed through my pants?

This happens sometimes. Don’t freak out! Just laugh it off and get to the bathroom as soon as you can to clean up. Keeping an extra pair of pants in your locker might not be a bad idea, as you learn how to manage your period.

Which products should I use on my period?

This is really up to you! Different people choose different things, depending on what they’re comfortable with. Menstrual cups are a great choice - they help you keep your body safe from toxic chemicals and are good for the environment. Period panties are excellent choice for first periods. Other options are reusable or disposable pads and organic tampons. It can take practice getting comfortable with using any of these but after a few months, you’ll be a pro!

185 comments on What to Expect When You Get Your First Period

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorJuly 31, 2023

    Hi Hannah!

    It sounds like you may have had your first period. Do you have pads, a menstrual cup or another products to help you manage your period? Or do you have someone you trust and who could help you get them? 😊

    The amount you bleed can be affected by many factors and is different for everyone. Light red(ish) or brown discharge is called spotting, which is completely normal before periods or as your first period.

    Periods are not always accompanied with pain or cramps, but for many that could be a sign of periods too.

    Especially if your period is very light, it could be that you only really notice it when you go on the toilet. However, if you have trouble peeing or you suspect the blood could be coming with your urine, or generally if you are worried, I would recommend consulting a doctor. Please keep in mind that we are no medical professionals and therefore cannot make a remote diagnosis. Only a medical professional can make the necessary examinations.

    -Team Lunette

  • Hannah
    HannahJuly 31, 2023

    I’ve never had my period before, and yesterday I had my first one (at least I think it was my period because I didn’t get cramps or anything). The blood only comes out when I pee. Is this normal?

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorMay 11, 2023

    Hi Katie! Sometimes, especially if you have light flow, you might only see it on the pad. Brown or pink light bleeding is called spotting. It’s common to experience this before your period actually starts. And this can also happen at other times when your menstrual cycle is already well on track.

    If you are unsure or suspect if could be something else, please contact your doctor! But especially if you are on your period or your cycle is starting, that sounds quite normal :) Maybe you could use your calendar or a period tracking app to write down your periods to follow your cycle better!
    -Team Lunette

  • katie
    katieMay 11, 2023

    hi i have a question, so basically there is blood on my pad but when i pee there is no blood is this normal or is this just not my period?


  • Lunette Cup
    Lunette CupFebruary 24, 2023

    Hi Ilia,
    the amount of blood on your pad (or tampon, or in your cup), depends on how heavy your flow is and how long you have been using your pad. The longer you use the pad and the heavier you bleed, the more blood there will be on your pad. This is per se nothing to worry about. We know it may look scary when the pad is fully soaked and there is a lot of blood; there may also be some tissue, as period blood contains of blood aswell as the shedding of the uterus lining.
    Best regards, Team Lunette

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