Here are the answers to the most common questions about puberty in girls:
Q: When will I start my period?
Every girl is different! It can come as early as age 8 or 9 or as late as 16. Puberty in girls usually mirrors their mothers, so talk to your mom. Chances are she has the answer to your period questions.
Q: What signs should I look for?
Keep an eye on your body. Budding breasts, hair under your arms and/or between your legs and discharge in your undies are all signs that the big day is on its way! Keep a pad and an extra pair of undies in your purse or backpack just in case.
Oh! And don’t be alarmed if your period doesn’t start off red like you might expect. Your first period may start off as a pink or brownish color.
Q: What will it feel like?
Let’s be honest, it may be a little weird at first. When the time comes, you’ll feel moisture in your underwear. You may even feel your menstrual flow, but after your first or second period you’ll totally get used to it.
Q: What about cramps?
Period cramps are like cramps anywhere else in your body. A muscle contracts too hard or too fast, constricting the blood flow and causing a little pain. Good posture, exercise and a healthy diet can help ease some of the discomfort. Heating pads help, too!
Q: How often will I have my period?
When you first start, it’s totally normal for your period to be unpredictable and irregular. By using a period tracker like the Tampax Period Calendar you’ll start to notice a pattern in your cycle, which will show you the length of your period and what date to expect it. Your cycle could be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days, but the average cycle length is about 28 days, which is probably why you hear that it comes once a month.
Q: Can anyone tell when I have my period?
Nope, it’s your little secret. (Unless you choose to tell!)
Q: What if I start my period at school or someplace else?
Keep a pad and a clean pair of undies in your backpack or purse so you’re always prepared. If you’re at school, the school nurse will always have your back. If you’re out somewhere else, give any trusted adult a call!
Q: Can I still play sports and do other fun stuff during my period?
Absolutely! Play sports, go on a trip, go about your day like any other. Just remember to bring the right protection, like Tampax Compak Pearl for the days you just don’t want to sit still.
Q: Can I use tampons?
Sure! You can go right ahead and start with tampons if you feel like you’re ready. Pads or tampons, it’s all about what makes YOU the most comfortable. If you’re not ready to talk to your parents about it yet, check this out for help: Tampons vs. Pads?