Your First Period: What You Need to Know

Your First Period: What You Need to Know


Today we’re going to talk about teenagers’ first menstrual periods. I’m not sure who was more nervous for my daughter’s first period, her or me. If you have a preteen girl, this is an important subject to understand so that you feel well prepared. When do girls typically first get their periods? Most girls will get their first period somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14, some before then, some after then. Some girls will get their periods at the same age their mom did and some don’t. As a general rule, girls will get their periods about 2 to 3 years after the development of breasts. If a girl has not started her period by the age of 15, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about it. It can feel awkward for girls who mature faster or slower than their friends, but just like how not all girls reach their adult height at the same time not everyone starts puberty at the same age either. Once periods start what do they usually like? When, periods first begin they may last only a few days and might just have a few drops of reddish-brown blood. They can last anywhere from 2 to 7 days as a normal range. A menstrual cycle is counted as the first day of bleeding in one month to the first day of bleeding in the next month. Typically, menstrual cycles are about 28 days apart but anywhere from 21 to 45 days is actually considered normal. Some girls will have a cramping pain in their lower abdomen or back or breast tenderness just before or during the beginning of their periods. If this happens, you can try using ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. You can also try exercising, which has been proven to be very helpful. You can use heat on your back or on your lower abdomen. How heavy is a normal menstrual period? If you’re bleeding more than one pad or tampon an hour for several hours, that’s really outside the normal range of heaviness. Also if periods last more than seven days, that’s another reason to talk to your doctor. You should talk to your doctor right away if you’re experiencing dizziness or rapid heart rate. Talking to your daughter about what to expect helps. Some girls pack a small cosmetic bag with a pad and a change of underwear and keep it in their backpack just in case their periods start at school. Being prepared for periods to start helps girls feel more comfortable and less fearful about this completely normal part of development. [Music]

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