You hear about periods in health class and then just kind of start waiting for it to happen. It can be an exciting milestone, but it also can be one that fills you with a lot of nervousness. You may know what it is, but what exactly is it going to be like? Waiting for it to happen (maybe at any second!) can be stressful.
That’s why we’re here to help! We’ve pooled our collective wisdom to help ease your mind before your first period. Trust us, you’ll be fine, but there are still are some helpful pointers to know to make that first time (and really just any time after that) feel more under control.
I know, we usually do 10 things for these round ups, but we just felt there were so many things to know about periods, that we’ve come up with 12 pieces of advice. So what are they? Here are the 12 things we wish we knew before getting our first period.
What It Looks LikeContrary to what commercials for pads may lead you to believe, periods are not blue or green. That said, they often aren't bright red either. Sometimes it's kind of more brown, so just don't be caught off guard if that's what you notice your first time. Source: Shutterstock.com
Tampons Can Be TrickyFirst of all, you should use whatever period option you're most comfortable with. Tampons can seen really convenient, but sometimes they can be really tricky to figure out how to use. It can be very frustrating. Read through the directions in the box, try to relax as much as you can and know that it may take a few (or several) tries. You should be able to get the hang of it - it just may not be as fast as you would have hoped. Source: Shutterstock.com
Minimize Your Stained LaundryPeriod options are not foolproof. Night can especially be a tricky time - you should be changing your tampon every 4-8 hours so they may not be a good night option, and tossing and turning in a pad can sometimes let leaks to happen. Lay down a towel so you don't have to change your sheets every night of your period. Also, keep some plain underwear to wear during your period (so nothing happens to the pairs you like). When you go to do your laundry, remember that cold water can help get out stains. Source: Shutterstock.com
Get A CalendarThere's nothing worse than forgetting your period is approaching and being totally caught off guard. Even though you can't ever predict for certain, it can just be a good reminder to think about when it's supposed to be coming so then you can make sure you have all your supplies in order. It doesn't have to be a surprise party every single month. Source: Shutterstock.com
It May Not Be RegularWhile a calendar can help you track in general, again your period may not always be super regular, especially if you've started it fairly recently. Yes, if you're sexually active, a late period could be a sign of pregnancy, but it also just could be that your body isn't on a down-to-the-day schedule. Things like stress can mess with your cycle, and then stressing about that adds a new layer. If there isn't an obvious reason to worry, try to just take a deep breath, and feel free to talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have. Source: Shutterstock.com
Try To Get MovingGetting exercise may seem to be the last thing you want to do when you have your period. Heck, you may not even want to get out of bed! Seriously though, getting moving - even if it's just taking a walk around your neighborhood - can sometimes help you feel a lot better. Source: Shutterstock.com
Heat Pads Are AwesomeFor those times when you are curled up in your bed? A heating pad or hot water bottle can be just the thing you need. Pop it in the microwave to help with physical pains you may be feeling, and then just do some other low-key things that will cheer you up, like watching your favorite movie. It's totally okay to take a little time to chill during your period. Source: Shutterstock.com
Something Embarrassing Will HappenSeriously, something related to your period is bound to embarrass you at some point, whether you get a leak or you spill your tampons all over the hallway. This happens to nearly everyone, so just remember that. Honestly, it will probably be something that people (including you!) will come to forget about. Source: Shutterstock.com
Your Friends Can Be LifesaversNeed a pad or tampon? Don't be afraid to ask a friend. It may seem embarrassing to you, but they've likely been there before and I highly doubt they will think it's weird. It's way better to overcome any little awkwardness and ask a friend to help you out, than to try and figure out an elaborate plan that could end up with your period causing you some embarrassment (see previous slide). Source: Shutterstock.com
Stock Your PurseTo minimize the number of times you need to ask, make sure you are always prepared with supplies for your period in any bag that you may have with you at any time. I guarantee that one purse with no tampons in it will be the one you have with you when you're out at the mall and you get your period. Cover all of your bases by stocking them all up, even if you're not on your period. Plus, then you could also be that friend ready to help out a fellow girl in need. Source: Shutterstock.com
You Period Will Be YoursWhat I mean by that is that even if your best friend gets bad cramps, that doesn't mean that you will. Maybe you don't even know when your BFF is PMS-ing, but maybe you will notice you can feel kind of blah or easily irritated. Everyone's body is different, so don't feel like your experience will be or should be the same as anyone else's. You have to just take care of you! Source: Shutterstock.com
You'll Figure It OutYou may want to wish your period away, but you cannot by sheer will just get it to go away. It's something that you just have to figure out how best to deal with. It does though get easier the more times it happens - you know what you need to take care of everything down there and just what makes you feel better overall. You got this. Source: Shutterstock.com
What are some questions you have about getting your first period? If you have already had yours, do you have any advice for other girls? Tell us in the comments!