How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Questions and discussions about your bodies and their parts.
Sam W
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How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Sam W »

This for any folks who menstruate or have menstruated in the past. When you got your first period, did you feel ready and prepared for it? Did you only kind of know what to expect? We're you blind-sided by it? And even if you were prepared, were there things that surprised you?

For me, my mom had given me book on periods to read before I started menstruating, so I knew what was likely to happen and what I'd have to do to deal with it. My first one was a non-event of me telling my mom "I think my period started, do you have stuff I can use?" (side note: my dad, bless his heart, brought me home print-outs from a website he found about how different cultures celebrated a person getting their period).

The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the type of pad I needed. I was essentially using panty-liners and could not figure out why they were getting so soaked. I eventually worked out that there were more heavy duty pads that I could use.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Sunshine »

When I got my first period, I was very relieved. I was comparatively old when it happened, and I had been beginning to fear that there was something wrong with me.

I was pretty well prepared, I think. My family was very relaxed about nudity and body functions, so I knew what I had to expect. Strangely enough, when I did first get my period, nobody, not even my mother, realized this was going on until I bled right through a pair of jeans shorts. I had terrible, crippling pain for a whole day and we were almost ready to take me to the hospital when the blood came. I really laughed at myself then... Thank goodness all following periods were much lighter and much less uncomfortable.

It took me a while to figure out how to use a tampon, though. I got the angle completely wrong at first, I tried to push it straight up, not knowing that the vagina actually goes more backward than upward.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Carmen »

The day before I got my first period I also had crippling pain (cramps!) but had no idea what was going on. The next day I got it and was at my dad's house but felt too embarrassed to tell him or my step mom so I just stuffed a wad of toilet paper into my pants and waited until I got to see my mom a day later (oh Carmen!). My mom was really sweet and supportive (and Sam your dad reminded me of this) and she started telling me about how many people have different kinds of "period parties," and tried to explain to me the importance of celebrating getting my period (rather than it being a shameful thing). She also had me call my dad and tell him I got it, which I was horrified and embarrassed to do but did anyways - and I think my dad was really happy and honored that I had shared it with him. :)
That night we had cake and celebrated my period!
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by QueenDee »

When I got my first period I kind of knew what was happening from having older cousins, but not entirely. I actually ignored it the first time, and didn't actually mention it until the second time it happened. I was around 9 or 10 so my parents were definitely not ready. I had no idea what anything was but my mother explained to me the different kinds of pads and tampons and stuff, nothing about why it happens or how the menstrual cycle works internally. She was pretty anti-tampon because of the risk of toxic shock, which may or may not have been warranted but I'm kind of glad I grew up using pads because I'm not at all grossed out by the blood which makes using a menstrual cup so much easier.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by cath »

I feel as though I am waiting for my first period again, having given birth almost a year ago and still not getting it. Anyway, I was 12 I think; I pretty much knew what was going on with my body when it happened. I told my older sister, and we awkwardly shared pads for the rest of the year until she told me I should get my own. I didn't use tampons until I went to college, I remember digging into my roommates stash without her knowing because I was feeling brave. I discovered menstrual cups in my late twenties and was very upset and indignant that I didn't know about them sooner.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by just18someone »

Well, a friend of mine had got her first period a month or two before me, so she filled me in about all of the details. I didn't really tell my mother about it, even though she had given me a vague background about it. Also I have a sister who's 9 years older to me, so I caught on pretty early that something strange happens every month.
The funny part is, both my mother and my sister are queasy about blood and their first times were not pretty. My mother fainted and my sister cried, and so when my mum saw blood on my panties (she saw the spots while she was loading the washing machine) she expected something similar, but I started laughing cause I was relieved that I finally joined the club. Guess I surprised them both. :D
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Mo »

I thought I was pretty prepared! We'd learned about periods in school a few months before I got mine, and I was sent home with a bunch of little informational brochures that I read many times, and I thought I was feeling ready. I actually had a few false alarms and was SURE it had shown up before it really did. But once it did arrive I felt pretty overwhelmed by it; my flow was fairly heavy and I had bad cramps right from the start. I also had these terrible cheap VERY thick pads my mom had bought that leaked everywhere and made me miserable. I eventually got better at dealing with my period (other than the cramps) but it was a bit more than I expected at first.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Atonement »

I actually feel like I was pretty well prepared for it, but it did take some time for me to find the things that worked best for me rather than just doing what my mother did.

I never really had heavy flow, but my mom did. She always used the thickest maxi-pad available, and I remember the biggest surprise was how much I hated wearing them. I didn't expect to be constantly aware of their presence. I felt like I was wearing a diaper.

Eventually, I switched to those thinner ones with the mesh coating and the wings. They were better, but I still disliked them. My mom would only let me wear tampons on "special occasions" because she was convinced she had a "mild case of toxic shock syndrome" (highly unlikely), but I was so much more comfortable that by my freshman year of high school I had fully switched over.

Thinking back, I also don't think that I had been warned about cramps before that. Or, I must have been, because I know I read "The Care and Keeping of You" from cover to cover. But I guess the reality was just really a lot worse than the abstract idea.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by Lyssa »

I was 11 when I first got my period and it was right before I had cheerleading tryouts- it was awful! I was so freaked out that the huge pad my mom gave me would somehow show through my athletic shorts!

I read books before about periods (my mom bought me them), but not one book mentioned the cramps! I thought I had the flu when I felt so bad! I even took some theraflu/cold medicine thinking I had come down with something.

My mom never got cramps so she forgot to warn me. I was also never warned about the range of flows people experience; I remember taking about 10 pads the next day at school because I thought I was going to need them all, for that one day. So all in all, I wasn't given that much information on what it felt like to have a period and what it felt like to have a period/bad cramps when I was busy doing other things.
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Re: How prepared did you feel for getting your first period?

Unread post by NATUREGIRL »

Hiya Well I knew it was going to happen some time but what worried me was when and where, I did practice putting tampons in a few times beforehand so that I did not panic when the time came, they started around 13, And they are still not totally regular, But I have been told it takes a few years for them to settle down.
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