Whether you’re a teenager who has been witnessing a host of changes in your body or a caring mommy watching your daughter grow up, we’re here for you. We understand that puberty is a confusing stage of life and getting a period for the first time during this phase can catch you off guard. But if your little one (who is not so little anymore) is about to get their first period, here’s what you need to know—a li’ll prep can go a long way. Teenagers, you’ve got to take notes too because this article is going to settle all your period-related doubts. So get ready to be fully-equipped to ride the red wave with ease. From first period signs and symptoms to self-care measures, here’s everything you need to know:
What Is Menarche (First Period)?
Menarche (pronounced as meh-naa-kee) is the medical term for your first period. It is the most definitive sign of puberty kicking in for those with a uterus and vagina.
What Is The Difference Between Menstruation & Menarche?
Your body undergoes a sequence of events every month that prepare it for a potential pregnancy. This involves an increase in estrogen (female sex hormone) levels and thickening of the uterine lining. When you’re not pregnant, the estrogen levels drop, you shed the uterine lining through your vagina, and get your period. This entire cycle of estrogen rise and drop and the consequential bleeding is called the menstrual cycle. Menstruation is only a part of this cycle. It refers to the time you get your period. Menarche, on the other hand, means your first period.
How Does Your First Period Affect Your Body?
Your first period marks the start of your reproductive years. It is a defining part of your body’s transition from childhood to puberty. It can lead to a host of changes in your body like rounder breasts, thicker thighs and rear, development of pubic hair, acne, and vaginal discharge.
When Will You Get Your First Period?
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, menarche typically occurs between the age of 10 to 16 years, with the average age of onset being 12.4 years. It can even occur earlier than this age depending on socioeconomic conditions, genetics, general health, nutritional status, exercise, seasonality, and family size. Another factor that needs to be considered here is the development of the breast tissue. Menarche usually occurs six months-two years after the development of breasts.
Signs & Symptoms Of First Period
Your body will definitely indicate the big change that’s about to ensue via some signs and symptoms before your first period. You may experience abdominal or leg cramps, bloating, acne, mood swings, acne breakouts and breast soreness before menarche due to a host of hormonal changes in your body. In some cases though, first period may come without a real warning sign.
How Long Do Periods Last?
Your period can last between three to eight days. On an average, menstruation lasts for about five days though. The bleeding tends to be heaviest during the first two days and becomes lighter in the subsequent days of your period week.
How Often Does A Period Happen?
A healthy menstrual cycle lasts for about 28 days. The first 13 days mark the follicular phase during which an increase in estrogen leads to the thickening of the uterine lining. This is followed by the ovaries releasing an egg mid cycle (ovulation). Then, the estrogen levels drop to shed the uterine lining before you finally get your period on the 28th day. However, it’s common for periods to be more or less frequent than this, ranging from day 21 to day 40 of your menstrual cycle. In case your periods go missing well beyond this range, you must consult with your doc as you might be suffering from amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).
Can You Get Pregnant As Soon As Your Period Starts?
Your first period is a sign of maturation. However, it doesn’t always mean that from then on, you can ovulate and become pregnant. One can become pregnant even before experiencing their first period. This is because the hormones that trigger ovulation can be released before menarche. In fact, in some cases, ovulation may not occur for months or up to two years after menarche. Additionally, it is possible to get pregnant due to unprotected sex even during your first period. So it is important to use barrier methods like condoms to keep unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at bay while having sex always.
When I Will Get My Next Period?
Since your menstrual cycle lasts for about 28 days, you should ideally get your period every 28-30 days. This duration can be extended up to 40 days as well. However, for the first few years after your first period, you may not get your periods regularly. Even though this isn’t a cause of worry, you must consult with your doc. About two-three years after your first period, your cycle must become regular.
What Should I Do If My Period Doesn’t Come Or Start Early?
Regular periods are a sign of good overall health. So if your periods aren’t regular after the initial years of getting your first period, you must visit your gynae.
If you’re worried about not getting your first period on time, take a deep breath and consider this: Are you over the age of 15? Have you crossed the two-year mark since your breasts started developing? If yes, then you must consult with your doc.
Why Is It A Good Idea To Track My Period?
Regular periods are a sign of good overall health. Tracking your periods can help you determine whether they’re regular. If you notice any discrepancies in your menstrual cycle, you can seek timely treatment for any health condition that might be making your periods irregular. Additionally, if you’re planning a pregnancy, tracking your periods can give you an estimation of your fertile window (first week after your period). Even though you can get pregnant through unprotected sex at any point during your menstrual cycle, trying during your fertile period can increase your chances of pregnancy. Lastly, tracking your periods can help you keep a tab on the changes in your body like mood swings, cramps, bloating, and fatigue that may occur before you get your period due to hormonal changes during the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) phase. This in turn can help you stay prepared for all the ups and downs and manage them better.
Sirona Recommends The Best Way To Track Your Periods
You can easily track your periods through Sirona’s Whatsapp chatbot. All you’ve got to do is to send a ‘Hi’ text message on Sirona’s Whatsapp account on +919718866644. You will then be asked to enter your basic details like your last period date. Once this is done, you’ll get reminders before your upcoming cycle dates every month. Yes, it’s that simple! It can be used to track your period dates, conceive or even avoid a pregnancy–all via Whatsapp.
How To Take Care Of Yourself During Your First Period
Knowledge is power. So knowing what to expect during your first period can help you manage it better and take care of yourself too. Secondly, keeping a comfy period product of choice handy is extremely important. You can choose between a sanitary pad, tampon or a menstrual cup depending on your comfort. Lastly, sipping on hot liquids like ginger and turmeric tea when you notice signs and symptoms of first period can help alleviate pain. You can also keep pain-relief patches and a hot water bottle handy. Don’t forget to add doc-approved painkiller to your medical kit for emergency.
Sirona Recommends Best products To Manage Your First Period
Sirona Menstrual Cup
Made with soft medical-grade, skin-friendly silicone, Sirona’s Menstrual Cup is quite flexible. It can be folded easily and inserted into the vagina without any pain. With a capacity of up to 28 mL, it offers leak-proof protection for eight hours straight and keeps you comfy all day. Available in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), this cup will fit you like a glove and is sure to change your period experience forever.
Sirona Non-Applicator Tampons
Sirona’s Non-Applicator Tampons are made with highly-absorbent fibre and have curved grooves for extra comfort and leak-proof protection. They come with a ‘twist-turn opening’ for easy insertion and are very convenient to use for beginners.
Sirona Premium Applicator Tampons
The Premium Applicator Tampons too are made of ultra-soft natural fibres. They have a syringe-like mechanism and come with an applicator to help insert them easily. They’re comfy, odour-free, and come in three different sizes. You can choose one according to your period flow and rely on them for leak-proof protection.
Sirona Rash-Free Pads
Sirona’s Rash-Free Pads are a blessing in disguise for those with sensitive skin. They’re ultra-thin, bio-based, breathable, and devoid of any toxic chemicals like chlorine, parabens, and artificial colours. They’re highly absorbent and provide long-lasting, leak-proof protection. They come in two sizes–L and XL and keep you covered–literally.
Sirona Reusable Pads
These reusable pads are designed to give you a contoured, comfy fit and provide long-lasting protection from leakages. They’re made with highly-absorbent, breathable material and come with a snap-button closure for easy use. You can wash and reuse them for up to 60 times easily and save a lot of money too.
Sirona Feminine Pain Relief Patch
You can count on Sirona’s Feminine Pain Relief Patch to reduce pain due to cramps before or during your first period. Sticking this sleek patch can provide instant relief minus any side-effects. That’s because it is made with natural pain-relieving ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus oil. It is easy to carry and stays effective for eight-ten hours.
Sirona Pain-Relief Heat Patch
Made with 100% natural ingredients, the Pain Relief Heat Patch By Sirona is a safe and hassle-free alternative to dealing with cramps before your first period. Sticking this patch on your abdomen can work like a soothing balm. These portable wonders can provide heat relief for up to eight hours straight and can be disposed of easily after each use. No hot water bottle hassles involved!
Sirona Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On
The Sirona Cramp Relief Roll On can be used on your lower back, abdomen, and legs. Packed with all-natural ingredients like lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, it helps relieve pain–even while you’re on the go. It’s calming aroma helps relax your muscles and the smooth roll-on application makes it convenient to use.
Electric Hot Water Bag
Sirona’s Hot Water Bag is a blessing in disguise when it comes to dealing with cramps during your first period. It comes with an automatic temperature control and a quick-charging feature. It eliminates the need for heating water and filling it up into the hot water bottle every few hours. All you’ve got to do is to charge it once for seven-12 minutes and tada! It helps relax your muscles, lowers inflammation, and relieves pain.
Your first period marks the start of puberty. Make sure that it’s a smooth ride by being aware of what to expect and prepping for it in advance.
Featured image: Pexels
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