Although menstrual periods aren’t typically discussed in much detail, it’s important to remember that they are a part of every girl’s life and must be appropriately handled.
Periods are not as scary as they seem and don’t have to be incredibly inconvenient. A good understanding of them will allow you to manage your period without going through the stress of dealing with it when you’re on holiday or wearing a certain outfit.
A great way to help girls new to periods is to give them one of the many period start kits offered by Wuka. According to Wuka, “Our First Period Starter Kits & Packs were created to ensure a stress-free start to periods. They have everything your teen/tweens need to confidently start their period.”
Why Do We Get Periods and What Are They?
When you reach puberty, your ovaries start to release what’s known as sex hormones. These chemicals help you develop sexually and allow you to have children. In addition to this, these chemicals also help you grow hair and make your breasts look bigger.
When estrogen levels rise, this hormone triggers the release of an egg. The egg then travels down your fallopian tube, and if it gets in contact with some sperm, it will become fertilised. So if you’ve had sex before this happens, there’s a chance you may become pregnant.
As the egg continues its journey, another hormone known as progesterone is released to prepare the womb for fertilisation. This hormone makes the lining of the womb incredibly thick and spongy.
If you don’t get pregnant after having an egg, then your sex hormones will stop working, and this will cause the lining of your womb to fall eventually. This process, referred to as your period, lasts for a couple of days to a week. During this time, the blood from your body comes through your vagina, and the process starts all over again.
When Do Periods Start Coming?
Today, most girls get their periods around 12 years old. However, some girls might experience it at the young age of eight. So if you’ve never had one before, it’s essential to see a doctor and find out what’s happening.
Some of the tell-tale signs that women usually get during their periods are their breasts growing, their appearance getting worse, and a milky discharge coming from their vaginas. These are all normal and tell you that your body is changing.
Common symptom women experience during their periods is cramping, which usually appears the day or two before a period begins. However, as they get periods regularly, these cramps will occur frequently. These symptoms can help tell you when it’s time to start your period.
How Much Blood is There?
This is often a concern for women, but don’t panic; it’s doubtful that there will be a powerful blood flow out of your body. The average woman loses around 30-40ml during her period, which is only around 1 to 3 tablespoons. So if you’re worried that you might have heavy periods, you must see a doctor.
Will It Be Painful?
Some women experience extreme period crams as the walls of their womb contract, which is done to allow the lining to fall. However, heavy periods cause these cramps as the force required to push the lining out is greater.
As your periods regulate, you might also start experiencing other symptoms, such as mood swings and soreness in your breasts. These are all caused by the lower levels of estrogen and progestin in your body. If they’re severe or interfering with your everyday activities, you must see a doctor.
Periods don’t have to be scary if you understand what is going on with your body. A period diary can help you keep track of all of your periods and learn to get comfortable with them.