Blume Shells out the Symptoms to Watch Out For
Hey #BlumeBabe first period still on the way? Your first period brings many questions – What is a period? Why am I bleeding? Did I hurt myself? Am I going to die? The list goes on… One of the biggest uncertainties is about whether you’re even having your period in the first place. You may have already searched up a few things like signs of your period or first period kits. Look at you go girl! There’s no “right way” to approach your period – the internet can be a great tool, but the decisions you make about your body will always be yours alone.
No, getting your period does not mean that you’re dying. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we’ve got some answers and tips to help you feel period prepared!
Before we start, what are periods?
Before we tell you what a period is, you should first know that getting your period is an incredible thingl. If you choose to do so, getting your period means that your body is ready to carry a baby and bring life into the world.
Your menstrual cycle helps your body prepare for carrying a baby, but if you aren’t planning on bringing a new life into the world anytime soon, then you’ll have a period instead. This process happens as the hormones in your body change and develop. These hormones are called estrogen and progesterone (don’t worry, we won’t quiz you).
These hormones make the lining your uterus thick and spongy so a fertilized egg has a place to land if you’re choosing to start a pregnancy. The lining of your uterus is made out of tissue and blood and is filled with nutrients to help a pregnancy develop.
If you don’t get pregnant, your body no longer needs the thick lining of your uterus so it breaks down. The blood, nutrients, and tissues flow out of your body and through your vagina each month, creating a period.
When can I expect my period to arrive?
There is never a right or wrong time for your period to arrive. Everyone is different! Your friend may get hers at 10 while you’re still waiting for yours. That’s totally okay!
On average, girls* get their first period between the ages of 11-13 years old, however it’s normal for many girls to get their period earlier or later than this.
If your period hasn’t arrived yet or you are starting to experience symptoms of getting your period, then it’s always a great idea to talk to a someone you feel comfortable with or do some research online.
Feeling like your period might be on the way? Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for when getting your first period:
First Period Signals
There are many signs and signals that let you know your first period is on its way. To start with, let’s take a look at the big “P”, puberty. Puberty in itself is a big sign that your first period is on its way. Here are a few signs to look out for:
- Developing breast "buds": It can take anywhere from three to four years for your breasts to fully develop, but many girls can expect their first period about two years after their breasts start developing. Around this time, your hips might start to grow as well. If you are underweight or carrying less body fat, you may not develop breast buds or hips. All bodies are different (and beautiful). Let's leave the judging to which cake gets the spot at your next birthday party.
- Growing pubic hair + hair in other places: Just after your breasts start to form, you'll probably start growing pubic hair (hair around your vulva). Your vulva is the outside part of your genitals. For a lot of girls, the hair will be soft and thin at first, but it will get coarser over time. You might also start growing hair on your underarms. Sometimes there’s pressure to remove that hair — it’s up to you! There’s nothing wrong with having hair on those places on your body (it’s also provides a tiny bit more insulation for those cold winter nights!)
- Discharge: Vaginal discharge (white or yellowish fluid) is a sign that your body is prepping for a period. Vaginal discharge is your vagina’s way to clean itself (now if only my room could clean itself!). Pantyliners are a great way to keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.
So, that’s puberty covered, but what about the signs and symptoms of when your period is just about to arrive? Every girl is different. While you might experience some period symptoms, your friends may not. Here are some period symptoms to look out for:
- Cramps: you may experience cramping in your lower abdomen or back. Cramps can be more painful for some than others. While taking over-the-counter painkillers can help, use Blume’s Cloud 9 Essential Oil to make cramps disappear (now if only we could use it on Trump)! But if pain from cramping feels severe or stops you from going to school, sports, or your usual activities, check in with your doctor.
- Pimples: pesky blemishes and breakouts often erupt when your period is about to arrive. Even Beyoncé is not immune to blemish-free skin (I know, I also thought she was #flawless). There are lots of great spot treatments out there. Blume’s natural blemish treatment, Meltdown, saves you from having one yourself. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide spot treatments are also easy to find and use. You can also try natural remedies such as tea tree oil and clay. If you feel like your breakouts are more severe or don’t respond to spot treatments, visit your doctor for help.
- Sore breasts: some girls get a sore sensation around their breast a few days before their period arrives. Your breasts may also feel tender to the touch.
- Fatigue: fighting the patriarchy is exhausting. So is PMS. It’s normal to feel a little more tired than usual around your period, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. It may not happen every time for you either, because just like you #BlumeBabe, not every period is the same.
- Mood swings: this is another common symptom. One minute you might feel happy and then the next you may feel sad for no reason. Cut yourself some slack, your hormone levels are constantly changing around this time! Not everyone experiences mood swings, or intense ones, so don’t listen to people who tell you that your opinions aren’t valid because you’re “simply PMSing”. PMS doesn’t affect your ability to think.
These are just some of the symptoms you might experience before your first period. If you experience any other symptoms and you aren’t sure if they are ‘normal,’ then it’s best to talk to your doctor for reassurance.
When your period first starts, it might not be regular
Remember, every girl is different and the same goes for you! What might be considered a ‘normal’ period for your friend might be completely different for you. Periods can be long or short, show up the same day each month on the dot, or visit randomly. They can also range from light to heavy in flow. For example, you may have an ultra light period that tends to arrive every 28 days, and lasts 5 days, while your best friend receives a beautiful heavy flow that comes more randomly and only lasts 3 days.
Instead of looking for a ‘normal’ period, look out for a ‘healthy’ period. When your first period finally does arrive, it’s completely healthy for you to see a range of colors in the first two years of your period, from bright red to dark brown. You may also experience clotting, aka. tissue clumping (which is absolutely normal and nothing to be alarmed about!) Your first period will likely be different than your later periods. First periods are often just a few days of light brown spotting leaving you confused as to whether your period is just playing with you. This is totally normal.
How to prepare for your first period
Getting your first period can be a little daunting, but there’s nothing to be scared about. Your first period is a beautiful thing! To prepare for it, here are some helpful tips:
- If you have questions, just ask!
- Keep a pad handy with you at all times in case your period takes you by surprise.
- Have a ‘period starter pack’ full of pads, tampons, water, hot water bottle, etc.
Your first period might also catch you off guard. Don’t sweat! If you have any of the first period signs we discussed, talk to someone you trust for support. You’ve got this #BlumeBabe!
As you get ready for your first period, you can always reach out to friends or adults you trust. Periods aren’t shameful and don’t need to be kept a secret! But you also never have to talk about your period to anyone if you don’t want to. If that’s you, journal or track your period with an app instead. Periods are just another part of your body, you choose the rules!
*girl is not intended to exclusively refer to a specific gender but to people who get periods
Shop safe, sustainable products for your period and life in general. The Blume Bundle includes exactly what you need for your first period and beyond.