First period: Starter kit
Getting your period for the first time can feel overwhelming, but we've got you covered with everything you need to know when the day comes.
Preparing for your first period is key to having less worries when it does arrive. Here is our first period starter kit so you can relax and know what to expect.
When will I get my first period?
It's common to get your first period anywhere between the ages of 9 and 15. When your period starts depends on a number of factors including genetics, environment, physical composition, exercise and nutrition.
Signs & Symptoms
For many people, other body changes related to puberty will occur before their first period. Signs of an increase in reproductive hormones in the body include:
- Development of breasts
- Appearance of pimples
- Underarm and pubic hair growth
After your first period, you may begin to experience PMS, but this will differ for everyone. Some people don't notice it, while others may experience symptoms like abdominal cramps, bloating, mood changes and headaches before or during their periods.
Exercising on your period
You don’t have to stop doing what you love to do once you have your period. There are tons of options for staying active throughout your cycle. So, no matter what you like to do, you can find the right feminine hygiene to support you; swimming, hiking, tennis, you name it!
What's more, exercise can help to relieve period pain and can even help to make your periods pass quicker.
Starter Kit checklist
When you first start menstruating, your periods might be fairly irregular. In other words, you won’t always be able to predict when it comes next. For this reason it’s a good idea to keep a small period kit with you wherever you go so you don’t have to worry about it arriving unexpectedly. Here's what you can pack to feel prepared:
What to pack:
- Tampons, menstrual cup, pads or panty liners (your choice)
- Baby Wipes
- Extra underwear
- A mild pain reliever
Dealing with leaks
When you first start your period, it's natural to worry about your period leaking or being visible through your clothes.
Almost every woman will be able to tell you a story of a time when she didn’t see it coming and experienced a leak, so remember you're not on your own! To feel more confident, make sure you're comfortable with your choice of period products and always have a pad handy. If you're at school, don't hesitate to confide in a female teacher or school nurse - they'll be happy to help you out.
Take your time and always read the instructions and any warnings on period products you choose to use. There are some products such as tampons, when not used properly can have adverse side effects. Read more about sexual health, safety and hygiene tips in our Reproductive Hygiene Guide.
When to ask for help or to talk to a doctor
Your first periods will bring a lot of new symptoms that you will not be used to, so it may be hard to tell if what you’re experiencing is normal. While most common pains can be treated with painkillers, it’s good to remember that you don't need to suffer in silence with severe pain, mood swings or heavy bleeding.
Contact your doctor or tell an adult you trust if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Severe pain (making you keel over)
- Very heavy bleeding
- Very early period (before age 9) or late (after 15 years old)
- Extreme acne
- Severe depression and miserable feelings around your periods
If your symptoms are keeping you from going to school or participating in daily activities, your doctor will be able to help you find relief.
Having your period can take some getting used to, soon it will become second nature it will become! What's more, your menstrual cycle is a pretty amazing process and can help you learn more about yourself.
Take comfort in knowing that millions of people have experienced their periods before you which means there are countless inventions that make this time of the month as carefree as possible 💕