As a young girl approaches puberty, many physical and emotional changes happen in her body. One of the most significant changes is menstruation, or more commonly known as ‘periods. ‘ It usually occurs between the ages of 8-15 years but can vary depending on several factors such as genetics, nutrition, health conditions, etc. Many girls may have several questions about what happens when they start their period and how to manage it. This beginner’s guide will provide all the information you need to know.
What Is Menstruation?
To simply put it, menstruation is the shedding of uterine lining that occurs monthly in females who are fertile. It marks the beginning of your menstrual cycle and lasts for an average range of three to seven days. During this time, blood flows out through your vagina from your uterus.
Signs That Indicate Your First Period Is Near
Every girl has a different experience when it comes to hitting puberty. Some may have their first period unexpectedly without noticing any signs before; others may recognize some symptoms beforehand such as:
- Breast Development
- White Discharge
- Mood Swings
- Cramps In Abdomen
- Acne Breakouts
Be prepared by keeping sanitary pads/tampons with you in case you notice any spotting or bleeding.
How To Manage Menstrual Blood Flow
There are various options available for menstrual hygiene products that cater to individual preferences:
These are rectangular-shaped absorbent cotton pads that stick beneath your undergarments using adhesive tape. Choose a pad based on flow flowrate: light/medium/heavy .
Tampons come with an applicator or without one and sits inside your vaginal canal absorbing blood released during periods. They are suitable for active individuals such as swimmers, dancers, and athletes. Tampons are also available in various sizes from light to extra-heavy flow.
They resemble a small rubber cup that collects menstrual blood instead of absorbing it. These can be reused for several months with proper maintenance and save the environment from waste generated by disposable pads/tampons.
How Frequently Should You Change Your Menstrual Products?
Changing your pad/tampon or cleaning the menstrual cups regularly is necessary to avoid bacterial growth that could lead to infections. It is recommended to change based on flowrate – between 4-6 hours or immediately after a workout/swimming session .
Pain Management During Periods
Menstrual cramps can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that could prevent you from doing daily activities. The following tips may help ease symptoms:
- Heat therapy using heating pads
- Light exercise like stretching, walking or yoga
- Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen/acetaminophen should always consult with your doctor before taking any medication.
- Applying pressure on lower abdomen area
- Relaxation techniques such as meditation
Can I Swim During My Period?
Yes! Swimming during periods is one of the many physical activities permitted; however, use tampons/menstrual cups while swimming rather than sanitary pads which may absorb water making it difficult to manage bleeding efficiently causing potential leakage.
What Is PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome refers to physical/emotional changes that occur before menstruation. Symptoms associated with PMS include breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings/anxiety/depressionetc. , and vary widely in duration/intensity amongst women.
PMS management includes lifestyle changes such as regular moderate exercise, consumption of a healthy diet rich in vegetables/nutrient-rich food, stress reduction technology/music/meditation, taking prescribed hormonal therapies, and other options.
Can You Get Pregnant During Your Period?
Yes. It is still possible to have unprotected sex and get pregnant during menstruation even though it isn’t common since the sperm can survive up to five days inside the female body. Hence one should always use contraception if they do not want to become pregnant.
Q: Does Having Irregular Periods Mean That There Is Something Wrong With My Body?
A: No. Any significant changes in duration or flowrate of periods could result from various reasons such as changes in diet/lifestyle/hormonal dis balance/PCOSthat disrupt normal menstrual cycles. See your doctor if recurrent abnormality persists.
Q: How To Talk To Parents About Having A Period?
A: It’s natural to feel uncomfortable discussing private topics with parents; however, you needn’t make it awkward – consider that they were once where you are. Use humor, initiate small talk about daily activities reach out for privacy with half an hour notice before any deep discussion;
Periods are a natural process that every girl will experience during their lifetime. By understanding how this process works and managing menstrual hygiene correctly, you can ease discomfort/pain associated with them while leading an active life without limitations. Don’t let occurrences of PMS affect your social life- engage lifestyle strategies today!