Your period shouldn’t be taboo anymore! It is so extremely normal and human. Why is it still uncomfortable to talk about?! For centuries it was never discussed in polite conversation and many young people were left on their own when it came time to care of their bodies. We’re here to change this conversation with you, for you. Here's the lowdown on what you can expect when you get your period:
"On average, girls begin their first period cycle between the ages of 11 and 14. Ages older or younger than that can be normal, too."
Your First Period
It is usually accompanied by other signs of puberty, such as budding breasts and the growth of pubic hair. The average length of a period cycle is 28-29 days, counting from the first day of your period to the day before the next one starts. In the beginning, however, it's perfectly normal for the cycle to be irregular while your body adjusts to the hormonal changes!
The Phases of a Period Cycle
Did you know a period has four phases? They are menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase.
This is the phase most people who get periods are familiar with! It is the time when your uterus sheds its lining through the vagina. The discharge includes blood, mucus, and cells from the lining of the uterus. As this phase typically lasts three days to one week, you will need sanitary pads or tampons to absorb the period flow. For the health of your body and to maintain the delicate pH balance of your vagina, you should use organic tampons made of absorbent cotton. They will not irritate the sensitive vagina lining. If you prefer pads, try all natural pads for protection the way nature intended.
2. Follicular Phase
During this phase, hormones stimulate the follicles of the ovary to ripen or mature an egg. Usually only on egg comes to maturity at a time! Meanwhile, your uterus is thickening again, getting ready to support a fertilized egg. This phase begins on the first day of menstruation and commonly lasts 16-18 days. On the last day of the phase, you have ovulation.
This is the shortest phase of your menstruation cycle! This phase begins when the ovary releases the mature egg into the fallopian tube for its trip to the uterus. If the egg is fertilized at this time, it will implant into the uterine wall. If it is not fertilized, it will die and pass through the uterus. On average, an egg lives for 24 hours.
4. Luteal Phase
After ovulation, this phase begins releases hormones that maintain the thickened uterine wall. If the egg is not fertilized and fails to implant, the hormone levels drop and the uterus starts shedding its lining, signaling a change in menstrual cycle! This last phase can last anywhere from 10-16 days.
Common Menstrual Questions
Everyone's period is different, and there are a lot of variations on what is considered a "normal" cycle. If you experience your period cycle changing and have any concerns, make an appointment with your doctor! PMS, heavy bleeding, or skipped periods are common issues that often have simple solutions. As always, natural products are best for your body, and remember to take care of your mind and your body throughout this time of month! You got this.