SIGNS OF FIRST PERIOD

When Will I Get My First Period?

Do you think you might be having signs of first period?  How to tell if you are about to get your period?

first period

Understanding what is happening to your body and watching out for certain signs of first period will let you know when you are likely to start your first period. During puberty, girls grow and develop at different rates. Your first period will start when your body is ready. There’s no fixed age for starting. There’s no right or wrong age. If your breasts are growing, pubic hair is appearing, and you have a vaginal discharge, you are well on your way to having your first period.  

signs of first period

Right now, your body is going through massive changes. Puberty doesn’t just affect you physically. It also affects your brain. Those surging hormones can cause changes in your mood and emotions as well. The good news is that the mood swings and gushing hormones won’t last forever. Things will settle down. Understanding what is happening to your body and watching out for certain signs will let you know when you are likely to start your first period. You are on an exciting journey on the road to being a young woman.  

Having your first period is a big event in a girl’s life. But when does it happen?

Many girls start their period around 12 years of age , but it can happen anytime between 10 and 15. Some start as early as 8. Most girls have their first period at about the same age as their mothers and older sisters. Ask yours when they started, and it’ll give you a good clue about when you’ll get your first period. You’re probably already noticing changes in your body that are letting you know you’ve reached puberty. All these changes come about because of hormones, estrogen, and progesterone (the sex hormones), that are flowing through your body. Estrogen causes menstrual periods and breast development. Watching for the changes in your body will let you know when to expect your first period.

 how to tell if your about to get your period

Your First Period

Having a period (menstruation) is part of the menstrual cycle which makes it possible for a woman to have a baby.

  • Menstruation is vaginal bleeding that happens once a month. It usually lasts for 2-7 days.
  • At first, it may take a few months for your period to be regular and predictable. The first few may be light and irregular.

first period symptoms

What’s happening inside your body?

In the first half of the cycle, estrogen levels start to rise, and an egg begins to mature in one of the ovaries. At the same time, the lining of the uterus (womb) grows and thickens. This lining is where the embryo gets nourishment if a pregnancy happens. At about day 14 of an average 28-day cycle, the egg leaves the ovary (this is called ovulation). It travels along the Fallopian tube to the uterus. Hormone levels rise and help prepare the lining for pregnancy. If sperm fertilizes the egg, it attaches to the thick lining and the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized the thickened lining sheds and hormone levels drop. The blood that comes out of your vagina during a period is made up of blood, tissue, and lining from your womb. This is the Menstrual blood. It flows from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and passes out of the body through the vagina. The first day of the cycle is the first day that bleeding occurs. To get rid of the blood and lining, the walls of the womb contact and this is what causes cramps. Many girls and women get cramps.

signs of first period brown discharge

What helps with cramps

  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers.
  • Placing a heat pad or hot water bottle on the area that hurts.
  • If you have severe cramps, talk to your doctor who can prescribe other medicines to ease the pains. 

Signs of First Period

How to tell if your about to get your first period?

Read through the signs of the first period below or take the first period quiz to learn more about the signs of first period.

signs of your first period quiz

 

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BREAST GROWTH

  • About two years before her first period starts, a girl’s breasts begin to grow. Breast development is one of the earliest signs of first period coming.
  • Everyone's breasts develop at a different rate. Most girls' breasts grow between the ages of 9 and 14. Some girls may be 18, while some start earlier than 9.
  • The first thing you’ll notice are ‘breast buds’ appearing. The nipples start to stick out from the chest, and the flat circular area of skin around the nipple (the areola) becomes raised and darkens.
  • At first, you may notice that one breast grows a bit faster than the other. Don't worry about it; breast will even out before reaching the final shape and size.
  • As your breasts grow bigger, they will feel sore or tender when they are touched and may be itchy at times. This feeling is normal.
  • Just before your first period and then before each menstruation afterward, your breasts may become tender, swollen and sometimes painful. This is due to the rise in hormones before menstruation.
  • It takes about four years for breasts to develop fully.

PUBIC AND UNDERARM HAIR

  • For most girls, the second symptom of puberty  is the appearance of little hairs growing "down there." This pubic hair usually appears about six months before your first period.
  • Pubic hair is soft and thin when it begins to appear and then gets darker, coarser and curlier.
  • It covers the pelvic bone and vulva and takes on a triangular shape.
  • The color and amount of the hair vary from woman to woman.
  • You will probably get pubic hair before you get underarm hair but each girl is different.

VAGINAL DISCHARGE

The vagina is the stretchable passage connecting the outer sex organs (the vulva) with the cervix (neck of the womb) and uterus (womb - where a baby grows).

  • Vaginal discharge is also one of the signs of first period. You will usually get your period a year after you first have discharge from your vagina.
  • During puberty, girls begin to produce more vaginal discharge (white or yellowish fluid). You’ll notice a yellow or white stain in your panties.
  • The discharge keeps your vagina moist and clean and protects it from infection or damage.
  • It has a slight odor, but most people can't smell it. The amount each girl produces is different. If your vaginal discharge develops a strong smell or is dark yellow or greenish, or you become itchy or sore, you should tell your mother or doctor. It could be an infection and is easily treated.
  • When you start your periods, you'll notice your discharge varies during your menstrual cycle. It might be colorless or creamy white, and it may become thicker and stickier and increase in quantity. This is normal, and you will learn to identify the changes over time.

SKIN AND HAIR

The hormones surging through your body cause the sweat and sebaceous glands in your skin to become more active. The glands in your armpits, around your breasts and genitals also grow. There are also changes to the skin cells lining the opening of the hair follicle (pore). As a result of these changes, you will notice:

  • Your skin becomes more oily and prone to spots, whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. The extra oil can clog pores and cause acne.
  • Your hair gets oilier and greasy.
  • Around the time of your period, you may get more spots, or your hair may get greasier.
  • You sweat more and your sweat has a smell. Sweat doesn’t smell but bacteria grows in moist dark places like your groin and underarms, and this is what causes the smell.

  Keeping your skin clean:

  • Shower or take a bath every day, making sure to wash your underarms and pubic area.
  • Use a deodorant or antiperspirant
  • Use face-washes

 

GROWTH SPURTS

Growth Spurts

Growing taller is one of the first external signs that a girl is experiencing puberty (and one of the last signs of first period). The sex hormones cause this growth spurt. It is closely related to the arrival of your first period. Most girls have a growth spurt the year before they get their first period.

  • After you get your first period, you will grow more slowly. You will probably grow about another 2.5 to 5 cms after your first period.
  • The hips become wider as a result of the bones of the pelvis widening and becoming smooth, in preparation for childbirth.
  • A girl’s body shape changes and she becomes curvier, with more fat on the stomach, bottom, thighs, upper arms and upper back. Her hips become rounder and firmer. This increase in body fat is normal and is preparing your body for pregnancy in the future. Don’t go on a diet to try to lose this weight. Eat a balanced nutritional diet and exercise.

PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME

The rising and falling of hormones during the menstrual cycle doesn’t just affect the sex organs but also other parts of your body. For a few days before and at the start of a first period, some girls and women suffer from signs of first period that include:

  • feeling tired or tense
  • feeling weepy, irritable or easily upset
  • headaches, backache, or leg aches, that last for a few hours
  • breast tenderness
  • feeling bloated and uncomfortable
  • feeling unhappy
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty concentrating

Once your period has started, these symptoms usually improve. They disappear when your period has ended. Not everyone has all these symptoms, and some girls do not have any. The rise and fall in levels of hormones during the month control the menstrual cycle. They are a natural part of life as a woman. Women have to deal with these all their lives.