Menstrual cycle phases are an important part of your life. Find out what’s going on at each stage of your cycle so you know what to expect.
The menstrual phase is the part commonly referred to as 'your period'. The official start of your cycle is the first day of your menstrual phase – the first day of your period. You may be thinking, 'Where is this stuff coming from?' Menstrual blood is shed from the lining of your uterus. It goes from your uterus through your cervix and vagina and then out through your vaginal opening.
A period usually lasts about three to seven days. It may seem like more, but the average amount of menstrual flow for your entire period is about 60 ml!
Although a lot of girls get their first period between 11 and 13 years old, you could get yours anywhere between 9 and 16. Everyone has her own 'biological clock', and yours is different from anyone else's. So even if you feel like you'll never get your period, don't worry, you will! How do you know it’s on its way? Watch for these signs.
First Period Symptoms Puberty in itself is a big sign that your first period’s on its way. Here are a few to look out for, too.
1. Developing breast 'buds': It can take three to four years for your breasts to then fully develop, but you can expect your period about two years after your breasts start developing.
2. Growing pubic hair: Just after your breasts start to form, you'll probably start growing pubic hair. It will be soft and thin at first, but it’ll get coarser over time. Your period usually arrives around one to two years after.
3. Discharge: Vaginal discharge (white or yellowish fluid) is usually a sure sign that your first period is on its way. You may want to start using Udaan / Cosy pads to protect your underwear. Your period should start in the next few months!
In addition to these body changes, you can also ask your mum when she started her period. It’s likely that you’ll get your first period within a year or so of when she got hers. Plus, it’s a good time to have a conversation with your mum about all the changes that you’re experiencing. She can also help you find the right products.Period Emergency kit: Preparing for Your First Period
Since you never know when your first period will arrive, it’s a great idea to be ready. Here are some ideas:
1. Exercise and stretch.
It can take three to four years for your breasts to then fully develop, but you can expect your period about two years after your breasts start developing.
2. Rub your lower tummy.
That helps relax the muscles.
Try an over-the-counter pain reliever. These medicines can help make the cramps less severe. If you’re a teen, make sure to get the parental stamp of approval first.
Vitamin B1 or magnesium supplements may reduce cramps, bloating and other PMS symptoms. (You know the parental approval deal).
5. Heat things up.
Take a warm bath or find a heating pad for your lower belly or back. A little heat goes a long way to reduce the effects of your menstrual cramps.
If you try all these ideas and you still feel a lot of period pain, it may be time to talk to someone. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Make sure to take your menstrual cycle charts and food logs (if you keep any), and tell them about any medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins or mineral supplements you’re taking.
Period questions are so normal – you’re not alone! Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Period questions come into every girls mind! Puberty can be pretty crazy – you shouldn't have to worry about your first period on top of it all.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers that can help you to feel more confident about all the changes you’re experiencing.
1. What is a period and why do we have them?
Simply put: A period is when a woman’s body releases tissue it no longer needs. This tissue comes from the uterus, which is where a baby (fetus) can develop in the female body. Every month or so, the uterus lining gets thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, that lining is released from the body as blood through the vagina. This monthly process is called menstruation or a period.
So when a girl has her period, her body is just getting rid of a small amount of blood and some unneeded tissue. It is a natural, normal body process for all females as they become women and mature physically.
2. What does a period feel like?
The actual flow of your period doesn’t feel like much when it’s happening. Chances are, you won’t even feel it coming out. When you actually start your period, you may feel some dampness in your private area — this may be caused by a few spots of blood on your underwear.
3. Does having your period smell?
It shouldn’t! Menstrual odor happens when menstrual fluid comes in contact with air. When menstrual fluid is absorbed within the vagina, like through a tampon, it is not exposed to the air, so there shouldn’t be an odor. If you’re feeling worried, just be sure to change your pads and tampons frequently to help keep odor at bay.
4. Does having your period hurt?
Menstruation itself doesn’t hurt, but some girls and women get cramps or other symptoms during their periods that may be uncomfortable. This is typically due to the hormones your body releases during menstruation that cause the uterus to contract so it can shed it’s lining.
5. I got my period and I haven't told my mom yet. It's really hard for me to talk about things like this. I have a lot of questions. What should I do?
Lots of girls have the same concern. Your mum will be one of your best resources when you have questions about your period, so try to start the conversation yourself! Know that she will be understanding and helpful. Actually, she may be your best friend during this time in your life. Still don’t feel like you can talk to your mum? An aunt, friend’s mum or older sister are also great women to ask.
6. Is it OK to have a bath or shower when I have my period?
Yes! During your period, it’s important to keep yourself fresh and clean. They’re a simple way to stay feeling feminine and fresh. Udaan / Cosy pads are great choices for pantyliners that help you feel dry, fresh and confident every day.
7. Is there anything I won’t be able to do when I have my period?
Your period doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you usually do. You can still go to school, help at home, see your friends, play sports and do all the things you’d normally do. Tip: See the whole line of Sainus products so you can pick the best fit for your lifestyle and flow.
8. Will anyone notice when I have my period?
No – not unless you tell them! People might sense that you are a little more moody than usual (which is a symptom of PMS). If they ask about your mood, it’s totally up to you to share.
9. How much blood do I lose during my period?
Most girls lose about 60 ml of menstrual fluid during their periods (mostly in the first few days). Not to worry, though – your body makes up for it.
10. When will I stop having my period for good?
Women get periods until menopause, which is when menstruation and the ability to have children stops. In most women, it usually happens in their late 40s or early 50s. But menopause can happen earlier or later. Some women may stop menstruation by the time they're 35 years old, and others may not stop until their late 50s.
Explaining menstruation to your daughter can seem scary, but we’re here to help. Find out how to explain the menstrual cycle to your daughter.
Explaining menstruation to your daughter is a great way for her to feel comfortable with the changes that are going in her body. It’s also a great way to bond and show her that you’re there for her through everything. Here are some menstruation basics to help you explain everything she needs to know about her cycle.Unique Menstruation Timing
Hormones are something that her body makes and uses to control her body’s functions. As your daughter approaches puberty, a part of her brain called the pituitary gland begins releasing more and more of certain hormones.
These hormones stimulate her ovaries to produce oestrogen and another part of her body to produce other hormones called androgens. These hormones cause a lot of the physical changes that take place during puberty and during her monthly menstruation cycle.Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
Women and girls have two ovaries that contain thousands of eggs (ova). During the pre-ovulation (or follicular) phase, hormones stimulate the development of eggs. At the same time, the soft lining (called the endometrium) of the uterus (the place where a baby can grow) starts to thicken.Ovulation
Ovulation occurs when a mature egg(s) is released from the ovary. After the egg is released, it travels along the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is fertilised, it will stick in her uterus and develop into a foetus. Ovulation usually happens around 10 to 16 days before her next period.Premenstrual (Luteal) Phase
After ovulation, hormones trigger her body to continue developing the lining of the uterus, in preparation for a fertilised egg. During this phase, if your daughter were to become pregnant, the egg moves into the uterus and then attaches to the lining. If she is not pregnant, the lining of the uterus is shed through the vaginal opening during menstruation.Menstruation
The womb lining leaves the body through the vagina as a reddish fluid containing blood – typically about 60 ml of blood (although it can seem like a lot more). This is your daughter’s 'period' – it is also called menses – and it will last between three to seven days. The first day of bleeding is officially day one of her menstrual period. It’s also day one of her cycle (which ends on the first day of her next period.)
While changes to your body, like growing breasts, are obvious, your brain also develops during puberty, affecting your emotions and confidence. Here are some choices you can make to keep growing strong and positive.