Getting your first period is an exciting, yet scary time. Your body changes and you feel emotions that are new and sometimes hard to process.
You’re likely to have questions, and we’re here to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the adults in your life – parents, guardians, doctors, health educators, etc. Getting your period is a normal bodily function and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
We believe that menstruation is a fact of life and shouldn’t be life-limiting. One of the best ways to make your first period experience better is to make sure you’re empowered with as much knowledge as possible.
When will I get my first period?
Your first period experience is called menarche (men-ar-kee) and usually happens between the ages of 12 and 13. However, it’s completely normal to get your period a little younger or older.
It’s hard to tell exactly when your first period will arrive, but it’s good to be prepared in advance. In fact, some children will get their first period as young as 8-years-old.
Usually, it will happen about two years after the first signs of puberty (breast development), and around a year after you begin growing pubic hair. You will also start to notice white or yellowish vaginal discharge 6-12 months leading up to your first period. This is a normal response to the hormone estrogen growing in the body.
Taking the time to learn about menstruation before it starts is important. This way you are prepared and know what to do. Sexologist Stephanie Mitelman, founder of Sexpressions, suggests talking about menstruation the same way you would discuss any other subject. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions as they come up.
What will my first period feel like?
There are several symptoms that can occur before and while you have your period. Mild symptoms are very common. If you find that these symptoms prevent you from being able to go to school, we recommend speaking with a doctor.
What is PMS?
PMS stands for premenstrual symptoms, which are the physical and emotional symptoms some people experience right before and during their period. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help relieve PMS and period symptoms.
How long do periods last?
Your first period will likely only last a few days. It may take a few cycles for your periods to settle into a regular schedule.
It’s important to know that your period, or menstruation, is just one phase out of four phases in the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle starts at day 1 and begins again when you get your period (around day 28). Your period itself will last anywhere from two to seven days.
When can I expect my next period?
It can take a few months for your periods to become predictable, and this is completely normal. Tracking your cycle is a great way to plan and track any changes to your health. You can track your period using a journal, online at mymonthlycycles.com or by using a period tracking app like Clue or Flo Health.
Am I old enough to use a menstrual cup?
In short, yes you should be able to use a menstrual cup. Our Model 0 is designed for those 18 years old and younger and new to the world of periods. However, we recommend talking to your doctor first if you have any concerns.
If you’re curious to learn more about menstrual cups, check out some of our blog posts for more information:
- All About Menstrual Cups for Beginners
- Is a menstrual cup right for you?
- Menstrual Cups and the Hymen: Will using the DivaCup make me lose my virginity?
These are great starting points for learning more about menstrual cups, especially as you plan for your first period. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our Consumer Experience Team.
What do I need to prepare for my first period?
As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to prepare for your first period before it arrives. One thing we recommend is having period products available before you need them, and that you learn how to use them.
There are a variety of period care options available. Our preferred option is obviously the DivaCup. The DivaCup offers up to 12-hours of leak-free protection (so great for long days at school or on the go), is eco-friendly, can last for years if taken care of properly – saving you money – and is a convenient and comfortable period product. Other period products include tampons, pads, liners and period underwear. Just remember, the best period product is the one that works best for you.
Will I have periods for the rest of my life?
No, you won’t have periods for the rest of your life.
Most people will have periods until they go through menopause, which usually happens between ages 45 and 55.
Other times you won’t get your period include:
- Stress and other underlying conditions that can cause your period to stop (if your period stops and you’re unsure why, it’s best to see a doctor)
- If you are on some form of hormonal birth control. Many still have a “period”, but it is different than a hormone free one and some may not get a period at all.
Although it’s normal to have an irregular period for the first few cycles, your period should settle into a regular schedule. However, if you ever have any concerns with missed periods, or something doesn’t seem right, we recommend you see your healthcare provider.
Happy First Period Journey!
Remember, periods are a natural and healthy part of life! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek healthcare if something doesn’t feel right.
We hope you’re feeling more prepared and ready for this new, exciting journey in your life.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing. As new research is made available, we will work to update and adjust our content as appropriate. If you have general questions, or concerns related to your own individual circumstances, please contact our Consumer Experience Team, or speak to a healthcare practitioner for more specific questions about your individual circumstances.