menstrual period, parenting, puberty, teenager

Period. Period? Period!!! What Every Girl Needs to Know

Moms and Dads share this post with your daughters!

You’ve had your puberty class and learned about how your body is going to change. Now that the class is behind you, you simply have to wait for the changes to happen as every girl’s body is on its own timeline. While you’re waiting I bet you’re a little worried about what your first period will be like. Every girl worries a little! She fears it will happen while she is at school or with her friends. Worries she won’t know it happened and will have a red stain on her clothes. Is afraid it’ll hurt or gush out. The good news is that it will not be painful when the blood comes out, it won’t gush, it’ll probably happen overnight and you’ll discover it first thing in the morning, it’ll flow so slowly you won’t have a stain on your clothes that others will see. But even with these worries aside there are some important factors to consider as your first period approaches.

sanitary padFirst, what type of product will you use? There are a lot of different options with the most common being a sanitary napkin (pad) or a tampon. Many girls feel most comfortable starting with a sanitary pad. Pads are simple to use and provide adequate protection. There are many different styles and sizes from which to choose. Pads have some tape that allow them to simply stick to the inside of your underwear and collect the blood as it comes out of your vagina. Some pads are thinner (for your lighter days) and others are a little thicker, and some even have wings that wrap around the edges of your underwear to really keep you safe from leaks. No matter which style you choose remember that no one can tell you have the pad on. You are the only one that knows you are wearing a pad. Be sure to check your pad every couple of hours. If it is becoming soaked with blood it should be changed. Even if there is little blood it is still important to change your pad at least every 4-6 hours. Body fluids and skin cells from your vagina may also carry bacteria. Be sure to always properly dispose of you pad by wrapping it up in toilet paper and putting it in the trash. Don’t flush a pad! Changing pads regularly will keep you clean and prevent any odor from developing.

tamponA tampon is a sanitary product that goes into your vagina to collect the blood before it leaves your body. Tampons are made up of cotton-like absorbent material with a string that comes out in the middle. For your first time using a tampon it is best to select a small size that is made for teens. With tampons, just like with pads, there are many different sizes. It is also important to select a size that is easy to insert and is not painful. Most tampons have a plastic applicator that help slide into your vagina and then you push the tampon deeper in by pushing up on the plunger. Using a little lubricant like KY Jelly can sometimes help the tampon slide in more easily when you are first starting to use one. Just relax and it goes more easily. Tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours depending on how quickly they are getting full. To remove a tampon, gently pull on the string and the tampon will slide out. Wrap it in toilet paper and throw it in the trash. Don’t flush a tampon! Need a visual to help learn how to put in a tampon? Here’s a great video!

To clear up a few common questions, tampons will not get lost in your vagina, you can swim with a tampon in, tampons can be used even if you have never had sex, you will still be a virgin even if you use tampons.

4 hour timeNo matter the method that you choose it will be important to always maintain good hygiene. Bacteria are more likely to grow in a pad or tampon that is soaked with blood. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare infection that can occur when tampons are not changed every 4-6 hours. High fever, diarrhea, muscle aches, extreme weakness and rash could occur. Although this is a rare condition it is important to always maintain good hygiene to prevent any problems. If you are accustomed to sleeping through the night it is best to use a pad instead of a tampon.

Other methods for your period are menstrual cups and reusable pads. Although not as common as our other two forms, they are options. Both require regular changes and frequent washing of the equipment.

With all methods of period protection, it is important to always wash your hands regularly. Also, be sure to shower daily during your period. Daily showers allow you to cleanse your vagina to keep bacteria away and also to prevent odor.

No matter the method of period protection you choose, remember that this is a part of becoming a woman. At some point all of your friends will also have their period. You are not alone and you are normal. Just take care of your body by keeping it clean during your period. Regular showers are an important part of remaining healthy. Embrace your transition into womanhood. It may seem difficult and a little frightening at first but in no time you will be great at managing your body. You are a beautiful young girl who is becoming an amazing woman.

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