The First Period
Tips to deal with your first period at school
We all know that menstrual periods are not a particularly interesting topic, but this is something that all girls need to deal with. On average, girls start their periods at the age of 12, but it’s ok if you start at an earlier age, or a later age.
The first time a girl goes through her period signifies the shift from girlhood to womanhood and can be quite scary. There’s a feeling of fear, anxiety and embarrassment. What makes it even scarier is the fact that there isn’t exactly a warning sign that a menstrual cycle is about to begin, so, it can happen at any place and time, but remember periods are natural and normal.
- Stay calm
Menstruation is normal. If you are seated in a group or in class, excuse yourself and talk to a teacher you can trust.
- Talk to a trusted adult
Teachers can explain, comfort and respect your privacy. Talking to your best friend or other students may not be helpful because this is a new situation and they may not have experienced it.
- Carry your sanitary supplies
Pack your sanitary supplies such as pads in your school bag so that you are prepared.
- Carry a change of clothing and/or underwear
In case your period soils your underwear, clothing or uniform, you are able to change immediately.
- Pack a scarf and/or a large piece of cloth
In case you are unable to pack a change of clothing, you can wrap the scarf or large piece of cloth around your waist to cover up stains.
- You don’t have to share details
Periods are personal. You do not have to talk to your friends if you are not comfortable.
- Carry a small notebook
Note down the day you start your first period and the last day so that you can keep track of your menstrual cycle. You can also mark the days in your diary or a calendar.
- Manage your pain
You may have a stomach ache during your first period. You can stretch, lie down and/ or do light exercise to relieve your pain at school. If your pain is unbearable, ask the school nurse or teacher for a painkiller.
- Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water during your period to keep yourself well hydrated.
- Talk to your mother when you get home
Your mother can give you good advice because she was once a young girl going through her first period too.
Grief, Esther Blank, and Ulman, Kathleen J. The Psychological Impact of Menarche on Early Adolescent Females: A review of the Literature, 1982