So, you’ve just gotten your first period in school.
Firstly, your period is completely normal and natural and nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. Your first period is bound to make you a bit nervous and uncomfortable but don’t worry because there are plenty of people around to help, even if you just so happen to get your first period in school.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help
The first and most important thing to remember when you get your periods that I cannot stress enough is that your period is normal and nothing to be embarrassed. Periods are something that over half of the world’s population will experience at one point or another in their lives.
If you are completely unprepared for your period do not panic. Everything will be okay.
There are plenty of places in school that you can go for help and ask for period products such as tampons, pads and liners. Some schools will have dispensers for products in their bathrooms. You can also ask for products in your school nurses office or in reception or your school office. If your class has a mentor from an older year group or your class tutor, they are also fantastic people to ask for help and they will make sure that you are comfortable and looked after.
The most important thing to remember is that everything you are experiencing is completely normal and never ever to feel embarrassed because of something that is natural.
What should I use?
Trust me when I say that every person who has ever gotten a period in their life has had the following panic when they start their cycle: what on earth do I use?
Firstly take a deep breath. There are plenty of different kinds of period products out there, from the ones we all recognise like tampons and pads all the way up to menstrual cups and specialised period underwear as well as sanitary wipes and monthly patches. It is all about figuring out what is most comfortable for you, many people will start off using pads and then moving on to tampons or menstrual cups as they become more comfortable with managing their periods.
Talk to your friends and parents or guardians about what products they use and ask them for help on what you should use. Remember every period is different and the same products aren’t going to work for everyone. As you continue to get your period you’ll find what works best for you, but in the beginning don’t panic and do what is best for you!
Tracking your period
Tracking your period has become quite the trend in recent years with apps like Clue and Flo allowing you to track your cramps, ovulation and bleeding. The average menstrual cycle is anywhere between 25 and 29 days with your actual period lasting anywhere between 4 and 7 days. When you first start your period those period of time can be both longer and shorter as your body tries to regulate your period.
Sometimes it can take up to 2 years for your cycle to regulate so don’t panic if your period is late or comes early or you skip a month in the beginning, that is just your body trying to get used to your period. Tracking your period is a great habit to get into just don’t panic if your period isn’t exactly the same number of days every month or comes a few days early or a few days late. It is all normal and natural.
Be prepared for emergencies
Even after you’ve had your first period, getting your period in school is the biggest pain so I swear by my ‘just in case of emergencies’ bag. I have always kept a makeup bag in my locker or school bag with everything from a hair brush and deodorant to spare socks and tights, as well as period products. This way you always have a stash just in case that time of the month appears a little off schedule.
We put together a little guide on how to make a period kit for school on TikTok, which went viral BTW!
Growing up I always felt embarrassed getting my period, going into the bathroom in my all-girls school and trying my best to open a tampon as quietly as possible in case anybody heard and honestly it was pretty ridiculous. Periods are completely normal and something that over half of the world’s population will experience at one point or another in life. Don’t be embarrassed, do what is best for you and remember that getting your period is completely normal!