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‘Chapter 1, my first period.‘ And yes that’s a Friends reference. Before I watched all 10 seasons recently on Netflix, I haven’t been able to quote stuff from the series which my friends often do, leaving me to have major FOMO (fear of missing out). Knixteen asked me to share my experiences of MY first period. It’s something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while actually. I think the subject of periods is still an awkward one for some people and therefore for those who’ve yet to experience it, it can seem like the most terrifying thing in the world.
Picture me, I think I was 15 and it had been my birthday recently. Myself and my mum had gone down to the local shopping centre to spend the money I got on new clothes, whilst putting some of it away into my savings (thanks Mum). The only experience of periods that I’d had up until that point was at school in sex education – I mean the lack of these lessons in high school was shocking.
Yes, I suppose a lot of girls in my year at this point had, had their periods but it wasn’t really something that anyone discussed in conversation, it was kind of private. And I get that, periods aren’t the nicest thing in the world, some women actually go through the most extreme pain compared to others, leaving them unable to do anything for the duration of their cycle.
Anyway back to shopping, we hadn’t even begun shopping when my mum had noticed that I didn’t seem myself – something she would tell me later, post first period – and I noticed myself that I had become a little snappy and just felt low. It wasn’t anger or feeling upset, for me, I just felt in that moment that I didn’t want to go shopping, I just wanted to go home. However my mum being her chirpy self, pushed me into a store and I picked out some clothes.
Next minute, I’m in the dressing room trying on some tops and I go to change my bottoms, accidentally pulling down my knickers and THERE IT WAS. It was like some scene out of a horror movie and I genuinely thought I was going to die. My mum at this point had gone to change something to a different size and when she came back in, I must have given her this ‘help me‘ look. Asking what was wrong, I said ‘I’ve had my period!‘
Without panicking or fussing, she simply said ‘don’t worry, I have a pad in my bag, it’s ok‘. What was very briefly a traumatic event, that loving response from my mum, made it all feel so much better. I was so glad that in that moment, I had my mum with me because first periods aren’t that way for others. They might be on their own, at school, outdoors in the park and have no clue as to what to do. I knew if I was in any of those situations, I would have completely panicked and not known what to do or what to buy.
So this leads me onto to what I want to talk about. Knixteen is a company that sell leakproof period underwear for teens and they want to make periods more comfortable for those going through what is already a emotional and turbulent time. I wish me and my mum had these discussions before I had my period because it might have helped the whole topic of periods become a little less terrifying and a lot more normal.
Discuss The Options
Oh my days, there are so many options for periods that it’s insane. If someone has had their first period, it’s extremely confusing when you go to a local shop and find a variety of different options. Do I go for one with no wings or one with wings? Do I buy tampons but if so, which ones? I mean, even I had to take moment to trawl through them all and find the ones for me so imagine doing it when you’ve got no idea what you’re looking for.
Discussing these options beforehand is useful and even buying a few types to show how they work is helpful too.
Tell Them What To Do When It’s Their First Time
As I’ve said, the first time is horrible, especially if you find yourself alone. Have a plan of what to do in the situation where perhaps they aren’t with the parent, maybe they’re at school or hanging out with friends. If my mum wasn’t there with me, I feel the experience would have been a lot more scary.
Even if it’s along the lines of, if you have your period, don’t panic and do X. Just having a reassuring plan of action is better than having none at all.
Track Your Period
Tracking my period helps me to prepare for the next one and to avoid any unexpected…scares. By tracking your period, yes it might not always be accurate but it means that they’ll have what they need with them when the time comes.
Talk About Pain & Medical Advice
Everyone experiences different levels of pain when it comes to their period and that’s fine but when it’s abnormal pain, it’s definitely advisable to stress the importance of seeking medical advice.
Seeing as we don’t talk about periods that often, someone experiencing their first period is going to think the pain they have is the same as everyone else but that’s not always the case.
Can you remember your first period? What was your experience like and what advice would you give? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post with Knixteen.