Helping girls understand and feel comfortable with what is going to happen/happening when your period starts

Its likely that you will have many questions about periods and might be too embarrassed to ask someone for the answers. These questions might include: When will I start? What do I need to do when I start? What's a normal period? Why do some girls have painful periods and symptoms and other girls don't? Should I be in this much pain?

Its quite normal for your period to start at an entirely different time to your friends - the NHS website says, most girls start their periods when they're about 12, but they can start as early as 8 and most will have started by age 15. There's a good chance no warning that your period is about to start so its worth discretely carrying a sanitary towel in your school bag or in a pocket when you go out so you're prepared (and if or those around you haven't got one when you start, best plan is to wrap a lot of tissue around your knickers - or there's some other emergency ideas on this Youtube video).

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual tension (PMT) is the behavioural, physical, psychological symptoms that can happen during the two weeks before your period. Most females have some form of PMS/PMT and the symptoms usually disappear a few days afterwards your period starts. There are many different symptoms, but typical they can include:

  • bloating
  • breast pain
  • mood swings
  • feeling irritable

There are things you can try to reduce or manage the symptoms and also resources to help you better understand and appreciate this exclusively-female thing that is happening within your body.