Getting Ready for Your First Period

With your first period comes many questions – like, what is a period? Why am I bleeding? Did I hurt myself? Am I going to die? The list goes on…  BUT we’re here to guide you with answers and give you tips so you feel prepared!  You may have already searched up a few things like signs of your period or even first period kits.  The most important thing to remember is that there is no “right way” when it comes to how you approach your period – the internet can be a great tool, but the decisions you make about your body will always, always be yours alone.

Wondering how to tell if your first period may be coming?  Here are some signs of your period:

  • Cramps – menstrual cramps can be more painful for some than others. Usually, taking over-the-counter painkillers such as Advil can help alleviate cramping.  There are also tons of great natural remedies out there.  However, if pain from cramping feels more severe or stops you from going to school, sports, or your usual activities, be sure to check in with your doctor.
  • Fatigue and tiredness – it’s normal to feel a little more tired than usual around your period, but it doesn’t happen to everyone – it may not happen every single time for you either, because each period can be different!
  • Breakouts and blemishes – pesky blemishes and breakouts are often a telltale sign of your period. There are lots of great spot treatments out there, many from your local drugstore.  Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide spot treatments are easy to find and use.  However, one size does not fit all – natural remedies such as tea tree oil and clay are also great options.  If you feel like your breakouts are more severe, or don’t respond to spot treatments, you can always visit your doctor.

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What to expect

  • The average age girls get their period is 12, however girls often get their first period as young as 8 and as old as 17.
  • Your first period will likely be significantly different the periods that follow.  First periods are often just a few days of light brown spotting. This is normal, check our post about the different shades of blood.
  • Before you get your first period you might experience discharge. Read more about discharge here.
  • Your first period might catch you off guard. If you have signs of getting your first period, talk to someone you trust so you can be prepared.

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There are tons of options out there for your first period, from pads and tampons to starter kits. 

  • Starter sets and starter kits – these are a great option for your first period because they usually include both tampons and pads. Many starter kits include tips, tricks, and treats. The Ellebox First Period Box is launching soon, join the mailing list here.

  • Pads – There are all kinds of pads, from ones you can rely on overnight, to ultra thin pads that are often great for days where your flow is lighter.
  • Tampons – tampons get the reputation of being harder to use than pads, but the most important part is learning how to use tampons, getting to know your flow, and remembering to change it. Tampons come with applicators and without and there’s different sizes. Luckily there are great instructions and tips available on YouTube, blogs, and websites.
  • Re-usables – Some people prefer to use reusable options to manage their period. Menstrual cups, reusable pads and period panties are the most common.

Use the products that you are most comfortable with, some women use a variety of options depending on what kind of activity they are doing during their period.

As you get ready for your first period, you can always reach out to friends you trust.  Periods aren’t something you have to keep a secret or ever feel ashamed about.  However, keep in mind you never have to talk about your period to anyone if you don’t want to.  You may choose to use a journal or track your period with an app instead!

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