Your first period
If you haven’t started your period yet, don’t worry. Some girls may start puberty at eight years old, others at 13, some even later. Each of us goes at our own pace, so there’s no need to worry if you get your period earlier or later than your friends.
When you’re getting close to starting your period you may notice a whitish fluid in your underwear. It’s called discharge and it usually occurs about six months before you get your first period. This is totally normal. Discharge is just your body’s way of keeping your vagina clean and healthy.
So why do girls have periods?
Periods happen about once every month as part of the menstrual cycle. This cycle usually lasts around 21-34 days, and starts with blood being released from the vagina. During your period it may seem like you’re losing a lot of blood, but don’t worry, in reality it’s just a few teaspoons full. Every girl is different, so every period is different too. Some girls have heavy periods, others much lighter – some experience a few niggly symptoms like stomach cramps too. Why not check out our video guide to your monthly cycle here.
It usually takes about 12-18 months for your period to become regular. You might get your first period then not have another one for a few months. This is totally natural. Some girls find it useful to keep a diary and note down the first day of their period and then again when their next period arrives. Doing this means you’ll get used to how long your menstrual cycle lasts and you can always be prepared by having towels or tampons in your bag, just in case.
Other helpful stuff
Get to know your body with our list of what things mean
Period facts vs myths
, plus important info on Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)