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So You Got Your First Period No Worries Let's Chat

June 14, 2024

Young girl with a calendar, symbolizing her first period, surrounded by hearts and flowers for support and comfort.

Okay, so it’s happened, or it’s about to. You’ve started your first period. Feel all the things, take all the time you need to process it. What does it mean? How do you manage it? Who do you tell? Do you feel embarrassed about it? Empowered? Yucky? Excited!? Terrified? Confused? Yep, go ahead. Feel all of it. You’re allowed. But most importantly, just breeeeaaathe. It’s going to be okay. Periods are totally normal, and we’ve got your backside covered with some great tips, education, and advice. ;-)

Key Takeaways

  • Getting your first period is a natural biological process and nothing to be scared or ashamed of.
  • It's important to choose the right menstrual products and maintain hygiene during menstruation.
  • Emotional responses to menarche can vary greatly; all feelings are valid and it's okay to seek support.
  • Educational resources, both online and offline, can provide valuable information about menstruation.
  • Encouraging open conversations about periods helps debunk myths and fosters a supportive environment.

Understanding Menarche: The Onset of Your First Period

Biological Significance of Menarche

Menarche, commonly known as the first period, is a significant milestone in a girl's life, marking the onset of puberty and the body's capability for reproduction. This biological process typically occurs between the ages of 10 and 15, with the average age being 12. During this phase, the body undergoes several changes, including the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as breast growth and the appearance of pubic hair.

Common Emotional Responses to Menarche

Experiencing menarche can evoke a range of emotional responses. Some may feel excited and proud, viewing it as a step towards womanhood, while others may feel anxious or embarrassed. It is essential to acknowledge these feelings and understand that they are entirely normal. Open communication with trusted adults can help alleviate any concerns and provide reassurance during this transitional period.

Cultural Perspectives on Menarche

Cultural attitudes towards menarche vary significantly across different societies. In some cultures, menarche is celebrated with rituals and ceremonies, symbolizing a girl's transition into adulthood. In others, it may be considered a private matter, discussed only within the family. Understanding these cultural perspectives can foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for young girls experiencing their first period.

For those seeking comfortable and reliable menstrual products, period underwear is an excellent option. Unlike traditional menstrual products, period underwear is designed to be both absorbent and discreet.  It is important to be aware of potential health concerns, such as toxins found in Knix panties, and make informed choices about menstrual products.

Managing Your First Period: Practical Tips

Young girl with period essentials like a calendar, sanitary pads, and a hot water bottle, symbolizing first period management.

Choosing the Right Menstrual Products

Selecting the appropriate menstrual product is crucial for comfort and hygiene. There are various options available, including pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period underwear for women. Each product has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to find what works best for you. Experimenting with different products can help you determine which one suits your needs and lifestyle.

Maintaining Hygiene During Menstruation

Maintaining proper hygiene during menstruation is essential to prevent infections and ensure comfort. Change your menstrual products regularly, ideally every 4-6 hours, to avoid any unpleasant odors or bacterial growth. Washing your genital area with mild soap and water can help keep you feeling fresh. Additionally, wearing breathable clothing and opting for products like period underwear can enhance your comfort.

Dealing with Discomfort and Pain

Menstrual discomfort and pain are common experiences. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be effective in alleviating cramps. Applying a warm heating pad to your lower abdomen can also provide relief. Staying hydrated and engaging in light physical activity, like walking or yoga, can help reduce discomfort. If the pain is severe or persistent, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further guidance.

Emotional Well-being During Your First Period

Young girl smiling warmly, surrounded by hearts and flowers, symbolizing support and comfort during her first period.

Coping with Anxiety and Stress

Navigating your first period can feel overwhelming. You may or may not feel emotionally ready to take on this new responsibility of managing your period every month, and the implications of what it all means. It’s okay to feel like that! Or maybe you’ve been waiting a while for your period and you’re really excited about it and want to have a period party with your friends. That’s totally cool too! However YOU are feeling about your first period is right for YOU. Remember to not participate in conversations that period shame others. Everyone deserves a safe place and person to talk with about their period. This is why it’s nice to have a safe adult you can talk to about it. Ask questions, find facts, learn your options to care for your period, and give yourself some grace to embrace your new you. You’ve got this!

Seeking Support from Trusted Adults

Another important thing to remember is that your first few periods can be erratic and irregular. Eventually, they find their rhythm and settle down on their own. Just go with the flow and let your body do what it needs to. Just remember to ask questions and try to have an open conversation about your periods with someone you can trust, and they will help you navigate through the process and take you to a doctor if something’s amiss.

Building a Positive Mindset

Okay, so it’s happened, or it’s about to. You’ve started your first period. Feel all the things, take all the time you need to process it. What does it mean? How do you manage it? Who do you tell? Do you feel embarrassed about it? Empowered? Yucky? Excited!? Terrified? Confused? Yep, go ahead. Feel all of it. You’re allowed. But most importantly, just breeeeaaathe. It’s going to be okay. Periods are totally normal, and we’ve got your backside covered with some great tips, education, and advice. ;-)

Educational Resources on Menstruation

Young girl with a calendar, symbolizing her first period, surrounded by educational icons like books and question marks.

There are numerous educational resources available to help young individuals understand menstruation. These resources can be invaluable in providing accurate information and fostering a supportive environment for those experiencing menarche.

Books and Articles for Young Readers

Books and articles are excellent resources for young readers to learn about menstruation. Titles such as "A Girl's Guide" from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the "Uterine Health Guide" offer comprehensive information. These resources are designed to be engaging and informative, making them ideal for young audiences.

Online Platforms and Communities

Online platforms and communities provide a space for individuals to share experiences and seek advice. Websites like Menstrupedia offer engaging and understandable videos about periods. Additionally, apps like Oky, a period tracker app by girls for girls, can help young individuals manage and track their periods independently.

School-Based Education Programs

School-based education programs play a crucial role in menstrual health education. In some regions, such as Washington D.C., menstrual health education standards are implemented to ensure students receive accurate and comprehensive information. These programs often include resources like a period guide for teachers, written by experts at UNICEF South Asia, to support educators in delivering effective menstrual health education.

Addressing Myths and Misconceptions About Periods

Debunking Common Myths

Body and period stigmas still exist in the world today, and your teen may have picked up some of this. But by speaking openly about the changes they’ll go through, you can make it a positive thing. Dr. Twogood says it’s important to “normalize periods. Avoid derogatory terms and slang that make it seem dirty or something to be ashamed of.”

Understanding the Facts

Traditionally, periods have been one of those things that have been taboo to talk about openly. Here at Saalt, we believe that no one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable about your body or your period. We are trying desperately to bring periods out of the dark ages and eradicate the stigmas and shame surrounding periods. Periods help perpetuate the human race and deserve to be elevated and talked about, not censored.

Encouraging Open Conversations

Here are our expert tips to help you, help your daughter prepare for her periods, with kindness, openness, and sensitivity.



Periods are shrouded by myths and taboos, so it’s important to talk about the topic with your daughter in a simple and factual way.

Read up on the science of periods yourself, so that you are equipped to explain what periods are and why girls get them — and can confidently and correctly answer any questions she might have.

The Role of Family and Friends in Menstrual Education

Young girl discussing menstruation with her mother and friends, with educational materials around them.

Family and friends play a crucial role in creating a supportive environment for young individuals experiencing menarche. Communication, support, and preparation are key elements in managing menstrual health during this transition. Open discussions about menstruation can help normalize the experience and reduce any associated stigma.

It is essential to talk to boys and transgender girls about menstruation to foster understanding and empathy. For boys, understanding periods can help them become supportive friends and family members. For transgender girls, discussing menstruation can be a sensitive topic, but it is important to address it with care and support. Emphasize that periods are a natural part of growing up for those with female anatomy.

Encouraging the sharing of personal experiences and stories can be incredibly beneficial. Hearing from other women in the family, such as an older sister, aunt, or grandmother, can provide valuable advice and support. This can help young individuals feel less alone and more empowered to speak up against period shaming. Additionally, involving the men in the family in these discussions can help debunk myths and taboos about periods, creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.


Navigating your first period is a significant milestone in your life, and it's completely natural to experience a range of emotions, from excitement to anxiety. Remember, menstruation is a normal biological process, and there is no right or wrong way to feel about it. The key is to educate yourself, ask questions, and seek support from trusted adults or peers. By understanding your body and the changes it undergoes, you can manage your period with confidence and ease. Embrace this new chapter with an open mind and remember that you are not alone—many have walked this path before you, and there are ample resources and support systems available to guide you through this journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do when I get my first period?

First of all, do not panic. It is completely normal and natural to get your period. Simply start using your preferred feminine hygiene product – pads, tampons, or menstrual cups if you have access to them. If you don’t, inform your mother, elder sister, or a teacher if you are at school.

How can I manage discomfort and pain during my period?

Slight discomfort during periods is normal. You can manage it by using a hot water bottle on your abdomen, taking over-the-counter pain relief medication, and ensuring you get plenty of rest. Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet can also help.

What if I feel embarrassed or anxious about my first period?

It's completely normal to have mixed feelings about your first period. Talking to a trusted adult, such as a parent, guardian, or school counselor, can help you process these emotions. Remember, periods are a natural part of life and nothing to be ashamed of.

How do I choose the right menstrual product for me?

There are several menstrual products available, including pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. It's important to try different options to see what feels most comfortable for you. You can also ask for recommendations from trusted adults or friends.

Is it normal to have irregular periods when they first start?

Yes, it is completely normal for periods to be irregular when they first start. It can take a few months to a couple of years for your menstrual cycle to become regular. If you have concerns, it’s always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider.

Can I engage in physical activities during my period?

Absolutely! You can continue with your regular activities, including sports and exercise. In fact, physical activity can help alleviate some menstrual discomfort. Just make sure to use a menstrual product that suits your level of activity.

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