I started my period in Year 7 when I was about 12 ½ years old. Then, I was a bit conscious talking about it and was unsure about a matter of things surrounding it, although my friends and I did discuss our periods, and I think that was a great thing. Now, however, I will pretty much discuss my period with anyone and a lot of people have probably heard me complaining about it. It’s fair enough to say that I have no shame, but no one should feel ashamed of their period. Here are some things you may want to know if you have a uterus but haven’t started your period yet:
1. Everyone’s period is different, as is everyone’s PMS
I remember when one of my friends told me they never had cramps and that their period only lasted 3 days. I was in shock and am still jealous and will probably always be jealous. Everyone has a different experience with their cycle: some have long ones, some have short ones; some people experience a lot of PMS symptoms, while others experience none, so don’t panic if you experience something your friend doesn’t and vice versa. Some people have a lot of hormonal changes in behaviour, some people’s breasts hurt, some people get cramps, some people get headaches, backache, get bloated, fatigued, increased acne – the list goes on. But many people only experience a handful of symptoms, some experience none. Everyone’s different but try to recognise what symptoms are due to your period. I know I have to apologise on a monthly basis to my family for my mood swings.
2. It’s fine if you don’t want to use tampons
I rarely use tampons, I mostly use pads because I find them more convenient and I feel awkward changing tampons in public, but I do wear tampons sometimes. I know plenty of people who swear by tampons and would never switch to pads and plenty of people who would do the opposite. There’s also other options such as a menstrual cup (although if you don’t like tampons, you may not like these) or period underwear.
3. If you do, Toxic Shock Syndrome is incredibly rare
The number of times I’ve heard one of my friends worrying that they’ll have TSS I can’t even count. I know from a professional that TSS is very VERY unlikely, so stop worrying about it so much. Yes, there’s always a risk, but that risk is very small and not something to get het up over. The solution: don’t keep your tampons in for weeks, months, etc. (be sensible about it) or, if you’re really that worried about it, don’t wear tampons, that’s always an option.
4. Extremely heavy and painful periods can be dangerous
If you’re finding that your flow is changing significantly, or that the cramps you feel or your flow has always been very heavy, go to your doctor and see what they have to say. It may be nothing, but you may have a specific health problem or your blood loss could be dangerous to you. There are ways of stopping your periods, such as the pill and other contraceptives, but there are always side effects so make sure you know the details before you commit to anything.
5. Run a fresh blood stain under cold water
You will stain something at some point. It’s just fact. Whether it’s your underwear, your bedclothes, dressing gown, anything you can think of. The best thing to do is to wash it with cold water as soon as possible. If you don’t see the stain for a while or if you don’t have chance to clean it up straight away, use the washing machine if you have one, some have specific blood settings now, so that would probably be a good idea, although if you don’t have a washing machine you can still hand wash, this time with warm water, and it will be just as good.
If you liked this post you might like: Why We Ned to Talk About Our Periods!