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Menstruation 101

Answers to all those questions you were too embarrassed to ask

When will I get my first period?

It varies, but most girls get their period between ages of 10 and 15.

How long will my period last?

Periods usually last between two and seven days but all girls are different. If your period often lasts longer than seven days, talk to a parent, female teacher, nurse or doctor.

How much blood will I lose?

It may seem like a lot, but it is only around three tablespoons in total.

Will I bleed the same amount on each day of my period?

No. You'll experience the heaviest flow on the first day of your period and it gradually lessens until it stops after a few days. This means you'll need more absorbent sanitary products on the first day of your period compared to the last.

What if I don't have a sanitary product on me and I am far from home?

If a female teacher or friend can't help, you can fold tissue or toilet paper together to make a temporary pad and use it in your underwear. This won't last for long, but can help until you find something more suitable.

Will anyone know I am on my period?

No. Unless you decide to tell, no one will know that you are on your period as there are no signs of menstruation visible to anyone else. However, It is a good idea to tell family or a friend if it is your first period and you need help.

Can I go to school and play sports?

Yes! There is no reason why you should stay away from school or stop playing sports as usual. Just make sure you carry sanitary products with you in case you need to change them during the school day.

I haven't started my period yet! What should I do?

We are all different and our bodies develop at different rates. This is nothing to be alarmed about and speaking to a female teacher may help you to understand what is happening. Only consider seeing a doctor if you are over 16 years old and your period still hasn't started; if your period routine lasts for seven days or more; or if your period begins and then stops suddenly.

What is the difference between disposable pads and cloth pads?

Disposable pads are used once and then thrown away, while cloth pads can be used, washed and reused once they are dry.

Do I need to see a doctor when I start menstruating?

No. Menstruation is normal and natural.

My periods don't come once a month like the other girls. What should I do?

Don't panic. For the first or two year after your first period, your period might be a bit irregular. This is because your body takes some time to adjust. Also, be aware that some girls get their periods every 21 days, while others get theirs every 35 days. The average is about 28 days.

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How often will I get my periods?
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