Some have been eagerly awai­t­ing their first period for a long time, while others are afraid of it. Others sim­ply ignore the topic or don’t even know what might come up soon. In any case, fee­lings around the first period are often mixed. Nevertheless, the begin­ning of mens­trua­tion is a spe­cial day. It is a day that will be remem­be­red by many. To help you be per­fectly pre­pa­red for your first mens­trua­tion, we have crea­ted a small check­list with the most important tips for you. Tog­e­ther with us, you can wait calmly for your first period arrive.

How do I know I will be getting my period soon?

You’re pro­bably won­de­ring: Will I know when it’s time? Usually yes, because the first mens­trua­tion does not start without any signs. Puberty often begins with slight phy­si­cal chan­ges, such as the growth of bre­asts or vulva hair. The hor­mo­nal chan­ges in the body announce the first period well in advance. This is because the first ble­ding usually occurs later in puberty. Are there spe­ci­fic signs of the first period? Shortly before the onset of mens­trua­tion, for example, phy­si­cal com­p­laints in the form of abdo­mi­nal pain or bre­ast ten­der­ness may occur. Impure skin can also be an indi­ca­tion that the first period is approa­ching. Howe­ver, the hor­mo­nes are pro­bably chal­len­ging the skin during the ent­ire period of puberty anya­way. So maybe not the best sign after all. Pimp­les on the face or décol­leté are pro­bably on the daily agenda. Howe­ver, a reli­able sign is vagi­nal discharge.

Vaginal discharge as a sign for my first period?

The appearance of vagi­nal discharge (no blood yet!) signals that your ute­rus has become active and is working. The hor­mo­nal chan­ges have star­ted in your body. You are won­de­ring what exactly the vagi­nal discharge is or what it looks like? It is a whitish-milky fluid that comes out of the vagina and is com­ple­tely nor­mal – as long as it does not smell or itch. You pro­bably see small whitish spots in your under­wear every now and then. Some people notice them more than others, but we all have them. If you like, you can use (was­ha­ble) panty liners or period under­wear. This is the forerun­ner for the first period, which is com­ing soon. The only ques­tion now is: how long does it take until the first period star­tes after noti­cing discharge for the first time? Mens­trua­tion pro­bably starts about a year after the first discharge. So it takes it’s time, but the exact time of the first period can be deter­mi­ned at least roughly.

How do I prepare for my first period?

It is best to inform yourself and start asking a lot of ques­ti­ons about mens­trua­tion and the cycle. Read books and talk to people in your family or cir­cle of friends about your period – be brave! Also here on Vul­vani you will find a tre­a­sure on period know­ledge and you can send us all your ques­ti­ons! Because the more you know about your own body, the more com­for­ta­ble you will feel with your mens­trua­tion. When you get your period for the first time, you are (mentally) already well pre­pa­red for it and know directly what is really going on.

Our best advice for you: Emergency kit for your period

You are won­de­ring how you could best pre­pare for your first period? Here is our best advice for you: ALWAYS KEEP MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS IN YOUR BAGS. It’s like a little period emer­gency kit! If you notice that you’re begin­ning to have a whitish vagi­nal discharge, check in your bathroom to see what mens­trual pro­ducts you can find there. Or talk to your par­ents or sib­lings about the fact that you might need some pro­ducts soon. Just in case, always have a pad, tam­pon or even a panty liner in your bag. If your first period sur­pri­ses you (which it usually does), at least you are well pre­pa­red and have the right pro­ducts at hand. That’s going to be so worth it  in such a new, some­ti­mes a little over­whel­ming situa­tion! But even after your first period, it is advi­s­able to always have a small emer­gency period sup­ply with you. Because espe­cially at the begin­ning your mens­trua­tion is rather irre­gu­lar. Just make sure that the pro­ducts are well pro­tec­ted when you’re on the go and that the pack­a­ging doesn’t acci­dent­ally rip and your pro­ducts get dirty. The best way to do this is to use a small extra bag with only your period pro­ducts in it. Then ever­ything is stored safely and cleanly.

What am I supposed to do when I unexpectedly get my period for the first time?

In any case, keep calm! And take a good look at ever­ything in the bathroom. If you have mens­trual pro­ducts at hand, ever­ything is great and you can use them. If not­hing is wit­hin reach, a little toi­let paper will help at first. It is best to tear off several she­ets at once and fold them neatly over each other. And voilá, your first self-made pad is ready to be used. It should at least catch the blood until you can go to the toi­let again or until you are at home and can use a real period pro­duct. A little tip: If you are sur­pri­sed by your first period at school, it’s worth going to the nurse’s office. The first aid kit often con­tains a few pads or tam­pons for emer­gen­cies. Apart from that, you don’t really have much to do during your period – except maybe a little more rest. Try to observe your body care­fully to under­stand how you feel during your period. And talk to the people you live with or who are close to you. They pro­bably all know your situa­tion and often it helps to talk about your fee­lings and get tips from the expe­ri­en­ced people. They can pro­bably ans­wer all your ques­ti­ons instantly.

Do you feel ready for your first period?

If you still have ques­ti­ons that this arti­cle could not ans­wer, please feel free to write us a mes­sage. With us no ques­tion should be too unplea­sant or embarr­as­sing for you. Because we were once where you are now and pro­bably had exactly the same ques­ti­ons as you. So we are happy to share our period wis­dom with you!

You are not alone!

Are you curious how other mens­trua­ting people expe­ri­en­ced their first period? Then take a look at the arti­cles from the series ‘Mens­trua­tion around the world‘ and read how others expe­ri­en­ced their first mens­trua­tion. You can read my per­so­nal story about my first period here.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
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.