The question period has begun! It’s time to get into the juiciness of the subject! Before reading this, I strongly suggest reading Part 1 – My First Period, which explains in a very fun way what menstruation is!
1. How will I feel when I get my period for the first time?
First, you will feel a warm liquidin your panties. Here are the most common sensations before and during flow:
- Cramps or pressure in the lower abdomen;
- Breast tenderness;
- Lower back pain;
- Diarrhea or nausea;
Tips and tricks: to alleviate stomach and back pain, make yourself a ginger tea! Instructions: infuse in a teapot 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. If the pain is persistent, ibuprofen may be able to provide relief.
2. How much blood do you lose when you have a period?
You will lose between 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during your period.
3. What does menstruation look like?
Your first period is usually brownish and turns red as the days pass. The texture is quite slimy and you may also see some clumps.
Do you want to know something crazy?Some women can control their periods!Yes, yes! You read that correctly! When they have their period, they hold back and choose when to release their flow the same way you hold back to pee! We call it the free instinctive flow. Click on the link to learn more!
4. What is in my menstrual blood?
Every month, your uterus washes its walls with blood to accommodate a fertilized egg. It’s the walls that break down and become your menstrual flow. It will contain:
- Small bits of endometrium (the walls of the uterus);
- Some blood;
- Some water
- Cells of the vaginal lining.
Am I normal? It’s normal to see small blood clots? However, if there are more than 10 clots and they are larger than 1 cm, you should talk to a gynecologist.
5. What determines when you are going to have your period?
Genetics mainly influence the age you begin menstruation, but also lifestyle, nutrition, and the environment.
What causes menstruation to start early:
- Being overweight;
- Eating a lot of animal protein;
- Drinking lots of sugary and/or caffeinated drinks (energy or carbonated drinks);
- Being exposed to certain pesticides in large quantities.
The causes menstruation start late:
- Being very thin or below a healthy weight;
- Disease: for example having a disease of the digestive system;
- Food deficiency or a low-calorie diet (eating a very low amount of calories as in cases of anorexia);
- Getting a lot of physical exercise.
The important thing, at the end of the day, is to have a healthy lifestyle: exercise regularly, sleep well and enough, have a variety of nutrition filled with, among other things, fruits and vegetables.
6. Does the menstrual flow flow all the time without stopping?
(In other words, will I bleed like a faucet for 7 days?)
No, your flow is rather intermittent and the intensity will vary depending on whether you are physically active or whether you are at the start or end of your week. In addition, some women will have a heavier menstrual flow at night than during the day!
7. Does my blood continue to flow when I am in the shower or in the bath?
No! That’s the magic, the body is made so well! If you bathe, if you take a bath or a shower, your flow will stop. But be aware! It will start again as soon as you’re out!
8. Can we have sex when we have a period?
The short answer: Yes, if both partners are comfortable! The long and sympathetic answer can be found in the article Sex, love. and menstruation, a happy threesome.
9. Can I still get pregnant if I have sex and haven’t had my first period yet?
Yes, as we saw in the previous article, the egg is released several days before your period so if you have sex at this time and you have your first period afterward, there are chances that you can get pregnant. You must protect yourself at all times!
10. Can I get pregnant if I have sex during my period?
Yes! It’s possible. So, protect yourself!
11. What time of the month am I most likely to get pregnant?
From day 1 of the cycle (which begins on the first day of menstruation) and count to day 10. Your “window” of fertility will be between day 10 and day 16 of your cycle.
Why? Because sperm can hide in the walls of the uterus and survive for 4 days, the little rascals*! It’s not even a joke! In addition, the egg (ovum) can survive for up to 2 days. So that’s why your fertile window is around 6 days!
** Depending on the source, the lifespan of sperm varies between 4 and 5 days.
12. Should I see a doctor if?:
- I don’t have my period for more than 90 days;
- I don’t have my period by the age of 16;
- I have cramps and pain that is so severe that it does not get relief with the medication;
- I find large blood clots during my period.
Yes, for all the above!
13. Once I have started my period, how can I know when it will come back?
The first few cycles are normally irregular, so it is not possible to predict, but after several months, you can know approximately when it will start.
- You must first know the length of your cycle. You calculate it from the first day you start your period until the next day you start your next period.
- If, for example, your cycle is 25 days, draw 25 X on a calendar starting with the first day of your menstruation, then you’ll know when your next cycle will begin!
14. Is menstruation taboo?
Some people are uncomfortable with the subject, it depends on everyone. But when you think about it, menstruation is part of all women’s lives! Do you realize that 50% of humans are menstruating?
So there’s nothing more normal than asking questions or sharing anecdotes with friends or family!
15. What types of menstrual hygiene products should I use?
At first, it is easier to use “external” protections such as sanitary pads that stick or clip on your panties. Of course, there are also menstrual panties! Depending on the model, you will need to change either the removable pad or the panty completely.
If you are comfortable and want to try the protections inside the vagina, the tampon and menstrual cup are the most commonly used. But don’t stress about that, it can wait!
16. Disposable or non-disposable, that’s the question!
Your well-being and the environment are super important, so for these reasons many women opt for washable/reusable protections.
They are greener, cheaper in the long run and because they do not contain chemical elements, they are better for your health.
Did you know that? Tampons are one of the 5 most common plastic objects found in the oceans! Plus, sanitary pads can take up to 400 years to decompose!
The ecological impact of menstruation is an important issue, so get informed on the subject!
Here are 3 types of reusable protections:
- Menstrual cup;
- Washable pads;
- Mme L’Ovary menstrual panties.
To learn about the positives and negatives of each option, please read the article Solutions for Zero Waste Menstruation.
17. Does menstrual blood smell strong?
There may be some smell! That’s why you’ll have to take a shower, wash your genitals thoroughly with soap at least once a day, and change your feminine protections regularly.
18. I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster, is that normal!?
Emotional roller coasters, you say. Do you realize that adolescence is a time of great change in your life and in your body?
First, there’s a festival of hormones partying inside you. Then there is your brain which is undergoing major renovations to reach maturity, especially in the area related to emotions!
So, it’s perfectly normal to have inexplicable mood swings.
Do you really feel irritated or overwhelmed easily?
- Get out of the way.
- Take a walk, and take a deep breath of fresh air, listen to music, talk to a friend, or hug a tree.
- Come back and talk calmly with the people around you. Tell them how you feel and see how they can help you during this phase.
Never hesitate to confide in friends, a cool aunt, or a teacher!
If you don’t know how to handle a situation, contact Tel-young people, they are super equipped to listen to you and help you.
19. How can I be prepared before having my period?
Apart from waiting nicely, there is not much you can do to prepare except:
- Learn more about the menstrual cycle. The more you understand what’s going on in your body, the more ready you’ll feel to welcome this special moment! You can refer to reliable sources such as Mme L’Ovary’s website, or ask the women around you questions!
- Carry a small bag with spare underwear, and some sanitary pads or menstrual panties. If you are in school and you have no protection, ask a teacher or nurse.
20. My body is changing so much. I don’t know how to accept myself…
Puberty is a fairground of emotions, a carnival of changes happening in your body. All of this is a short period of time to transform you into womanhood!
The keyword is temporary. It’s only a passage, a simple wink in your life. You have to accept these changes without judging them or trying to control them.
When you find it difficult to accept your changing body, make a mental list of what you like about yourself instead of “focusing” on what you don’t like.
You also need to remember that the majority of the photos of women you see on social media are not real. What’s real are the 5672 filters, 3 hours of Photoshop, 32 cm of makeup, and 11,256 missed pictures that hide behind this mask of “perfection”.
Don’t waste your time comparing yourself. You see, my thing when I feel ugly is to watch videos of surprised kittens. It brings me a lot more joy!
2 or 3 words the end
I know menstruation is not just unicorns and ice cream. It is also dropping a full menstrual cup on the floor of a public washroom, staining aunt Maryse’s flowery sheets of “losing” a tampon in your vagina.
But all in all, the menstrual cycle is still really crazy when you think about it: it gives you the power to create life if you want to. It’s definitely a milestone to celebrate in your life as a woman.
One small step for you, one big step for humanity.
Sources and other amazing reads: