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!
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