Eventually, every woman has to encounter her first visit from Aunt Flo. Don’t let the idea of getting your first period scare you. With a few tips in mind, you’ll find it easy to comes to terms with this part of puberty. Do you want to prepare yourself for your first period? Here’s a bit of advice we think every beginner should know.
1. Keep a Period Diary
There isn’t a single woman on Earth who hasn’t dealt with the sheer terror of wondering whether she has an emergency tampon shoved deep in her purse.
Keep a diary and log when your last period started. Track how long it lasted, any unusual symptoms you experienced and other essential details you want to note. On average, a cycle begins every 21 to 35 days, but each girl is different. You may find your body has a shorter or longer cycle. Gradually, you tune into your body and know when to expect your period each month.
Sometimes, periods come out of the blue — sort of like that distant relative who thinks it’s perfectly fine to drop by without a heads up. However, most times, you’ll have a general idea when to expect your next cycle.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
One thing most people neglect to mention in terms of period tips for beginners is it’s fine to take time to deal with this life change. It’s crucial to take care of yourself. Periods can leave you feeling bloated, achy and not like your best self. For some, serotonin levels drop at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, leading to feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Whether you’re experiencing pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), or feel a down a few days into your period, take some time to cheer yourself up. Reserve a seat at your local movie theater and bring your coziest blanket. Binge your favorite series on Netflix. You can also hang out with friends and chat.
3. Choose the Right Products
Now that you’re using feminine hygiene products, it’s important to educate yourself about what’s on the market. While you may be quick to grab any ol’ box of pads or tampons, stop and read the label of ingredients first.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid materials that are man-made or notorious for posing health risks. Organic cotton is a favored material because it’s eco-friendly and safe for your body.
4. Give it Some Time
For the first few cycles, periods may seem out of whack and irregular. However, this is perfectly normal for an adolescent getting her period for the first time.
If Aunt Flo doesn’t find a sense of rhyme or reason after your first menstrual year, consider healthy habits that will help you naturally regulate your period. Your menstrual cycle contributes to your overall health. Therefore it’s vital to eat well, exercise and bring concerns to your doctor’s attention.
5. Know You’re Unique
One of the best period tips for beginners that will put your mind at ease is to realize no two periods are the same. Whether heavy, light, two days long or an entire week, it’s perfectly normal to experience variation in your menstrual cycle.
If you notice any abnormalities after a few cycles, it never hurts to visit a gynecologist. Some women experience irregularly heavy bleeding, a condition known as menorrhagia. Those who see a sudden stop in their period longer than three months may want to discuss the possibility of PCOS.
6. Combat Unwanted Symptoms
When researching period tips for beginners, what many want is a solution for pesky cramps. While mild to moderate cramping is normal before and during your period, it doesn’t make unwanted symptoms less frustrating.
Fortunately, lacing up your running shoes and going for a jog is a great way to put these aches at ease. If you’re not a fan of running, any physical activity should do the trick. Exercise increases your blood circulation and brings much-needed relief. Plus, the boost of endorphins can significantly enhance your mood.
Periods can seem confusing and a bit scary at first. In reality, they’re a natural and healthy part of life for women. If you have any concerns or questions, reach out to a trusted adult or doctor to learn more about your menstrual cycle.