I was sur­pri­sed by my first period in a cinema in Ber­lin, far away from home! We wat­ched the dan­cing movie Honey, which is until today one of my favou­rite movies. Pro­bably because of all the emo­ti­ons I went through during the film. It felt like I was run­ning to the toi­let every ten minu­tes because I was afraid I could bleed through the cleanly folded toi­let paper in my pan­ties. Luck­ily it was win­ter and I was cosily wrap­ped up with tights and a dress. I wasn’t really pre­pa­red for my mens­trua­tion, nor did I have anyone to con­fide in. And this was not because nobody was with me, but rather because I was so uncom­for­ta­ble with the topic that I pre­fer­red to keep it com­ple­tely to mys­elf. At that time I still found it all strange and irri­ta­tion. Today mens­trua­tion has become one of my favou­rite topics and I find it fasci­na­ting to under­stand my own body bet­ter and bet­ter. It’s crazy what has hap­pened in the last 16 years!

First period: December 2013

It was the end of 2013 and I had just tur­ned 13 a month ear­lier. So a nor­mal age for your first period. I was visi­t­ing my cou­sin over New Year’s Eve for a cou­ple of days. I had put some panty liners in my bag because I had some­ti­mes noti­ced a light white discharge. But once mens­trua­tion starts, unfor­tu­n­a­tely they don’t really help much eit­her. The idea to take some pads or tam­pons with me as a pre­cau­tion had not occu­red to me. Because I had not expec­ted my first mens­trua­tion at all! So the panty liners plus toi­let paper had to catch the mens­trual blood, which some­ti­mes worked bet­ter and some­ti­mes worse. The­re­fore it felt like I was going every few minu­tes to the toi­let. In the evening I went to bed with my tights on to give me a little more pro­tec­tion. Howe­ver, I didn’t sleep really well, because I kept thin­king that I would bleed all over the mat­tress and the bed­ding. Unfor­tu­n­a­tely it was not really rela­xed time for me. I felt uncom­for­ta­ble in my own body the whole time. For­tu­n­a­tely I did not have any pain or other com­p­laints, only slight cramps.

Sooner or later your first menstruation will come

When I came back from Ber­lin and my first period was long gone, I gathe­red all my cou­rage and told my older sis­ter under tears that I had got­ten my first period. She immedia­tely gave me tam­pons and told me that pads are dis­gus­ting and I shouldn’t use them. One by one my friends and I also asked each other quietly and very shyly whe­ther we had got­ten our period for the first time yet. And oh won­der, I was not alone! Because mens­trua­tion is com­ple­tely nor­mal and natu­ral. Many of my girl­friends already had had their first period. From then on I always had a cou­ple of tam­pons hid­den in my bag and mar­ked my calen­dar when I got my period. Because I didn’t want to be sur­pri­sed by my mens­trua­tion again. For­tu­n­a­tely, it took a few mon­ths until my next period, so I was a little bet­ter pre­pa­red for it then. In the begin­ning it is quite nor­mal that your mens­trua­tion does not immedia­tely become regu­lar. Because the hor­mo­nes and the body will only deve­lop a rhythm over time.

My first period, your first period. How was yours?

The first period is also cal­led men­ar­che. This is a moment that many mens­trua­ting people can remem­ber for a long time. Not necessa­rily because it was so beau­ti­ful. Often rather because it was an embarr­as­sing or over­whel­ming situa­tion. In any case, it is a spe­cial event, because the body chan­ges – whe­ther we want it to or not. Every first period is very dif­fe­rent and is expe­ri­en­ced indi­vi­du­ally. Feel free to tell us about your first mens­trual expe­ri­ence in the comments. Because every story is uni­que, spe­cial and important and deser­ves to be heard. How old were you at your first period? Some people get their first mens­trua­tion in pri­mary school, others only when they finish high school: ever­ything is com­ple­tely nor­mal. And where were you when you got it? Were you well pre­pa­red or were you a bit sur­pri­sed by your first period, just like me? If you feel like rea­ding a few short anec­do­tes about your first period, you will find some good sto­ries here.

Has your menstruation started yet? 

The first period is somehow exci­ting, because ever­ything is new. You might be won­de­ring what exactly hap­pens in your body during mens­trua­tion and you feel a bit inse­cure about it? Then you’ve come to the right place! In our Period­ico or Mens­trual ABC you will find many explana­ti­ons and infor­ma­tion about mens­trua­tion. You are also wel­come to send us a pri­vate mes­sage with all your per­so­nal questions!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.