Great question! The best way to prepare for your first period is by creating a plan. Most teens who live in the United States, experience their first menses (period) between the ages of 12 to 13 years old. However, it’s important to remember, everyone’s timing is different! Some teens may get their period earlier, while others later. Remember it’s also not uncommon for periods to be irregular (meaning they don’t come monthly) for the first 1-2 years. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a plan now because it’ll be helpful until you get into a regular monthly routine!
None the less, it’s totally normal for teens to be a little nervous about the timing of their first period. You might have questions such as “Will it hurt? How much will I bleed? Will everyone know I am on my period? Are their warning signs? Will I leak through my clothes? What do I do if I am at school? What do I do if I am out and don’t have a pad or a tampon?”
The best way to put your mind and nerves at ease is by creating a plan, on what to do when your period does arrive. A great place to start is by talking with someone you trust such as a parent, guardian, older sibling, teacher, school nurse, counselor, or health care provider. Let them know your concerns and use the tips below as a guide to help you create your period plan!
- Get to know your period products! There are a lot of different products to choose from such as pads, tampons, period cups, underwear, etc.
- It’s also OK if you’re unsure of what you want to use the first time, a great place to start is with a traditional sanitary napkin aka pads.
- If you’re unsure of what you want to use, purchase a small package of sanitary napkins (pads) for your first period, then go from there. It’s helpful at times to have different sizes so you can always get a variety pack.
- Check in with your school nurse or guidance counselor, do they have pads or tampons available to students?
- If they don’t, carry a few pads or tampons in your backpack and replace them when you use it with a fresh one, that way you’ll always have one on hand.
- You might want to store an extra pair of clean underwear in your locker or back pack, just in case your leak a little (it happens to everyone)!
Hopefully these tips and tricks have put your mind at ease! As always, if you have questions about your health, check in with your health care provider, as they know you best!