At the start of puberty, your body begins to produce more hormones. These hormones cause the lining of your uterus to become thicker with extra blood and tissue in preparation for a possible pregnancy. When no egg is fertilized and no pregnancy occurs, this lining then breaks down and flows out of your body, starting your menstrual period. Most females will start their period between ages 10-15. However, some start earlier and some start later. Periods will typically last between 2-7 days each month. When you first start having your period, it is normal for the flow and timing to be irregular.
PMS is short for premenstrual syndrome. It is not a disease or illness, just a natural part of your menstrual cycle. PMS is caused by hormones and the symptoms can be a clue to when your period is coming. Before you get your period, you may notice some physical and emotional signs. You may notice your breasts feel tender, you are more prone to acne breakouts, and you feel cramping. You may also notice you feel more tired than usual and you are easily irritated. Some things that can help are to eat a balanced diet and exercise.
Dealing with Symptoms
It is very common for girls to experience uncomfortable symptoms during their period. These can include cramping, headaches, and nausea. Taking ibuprofen, exercising, or applying heat to the source of your cramps can help ease these symptoms. If symptoms become too much, please talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your period.
How to prepare for your first period:
One thing you can do to prepare for your first period is to keep a pad, or tampon, stored in your backpack or locker at school. You may also want to keep an extra pair of underwear and pants easily accessible, just in case you do have an accident. If you do get your period while at school, remember that you are not alone and there are people who would be happy to help such as your school nurse, school counselor, or a teacher.
Tracking your period every month will allow you to recognize patterns as well as make it easier to predict when you will get your next period. You can manually track your cycles by counting from the first day of your last period to the day before you get your next one. If your period is within the 24-to-35-day range, you have a regular cycle. It is normal to have irregular cycles the first several months. You can keep track of this in a journal or check online or on a smartphone for apps that can help you track your period.
County Obstetrics and Gynecology Group, P.C. is dedicated to caring for the special health needs of women of all ages, whether they are just entering puberty, expecting a baby, or navigating menopause.
Our warm and professional staff are trained to provide the highest quality of care to our patients, including adult and adolescent gynecology, gynecologic surgery, obstetrics, urogynecology, and gynecologic oncology.