Dear Dish-It: All About Your Period
Lots of KW girls have asked Dish-It questions about their periods. Here’s some info girls should know about puberty, menstruation and dealing with your monthly period.
Discharge & Symptoms
I’m 10 and every day for about eight months there’s been white, stringy, gooey stuff in my underpants and, for about a year, I’ve felt pains in my lower tummy. Does this mean I’m going to get my period? – sexy sc
Getting white discharge is very normal for girls and women of all ages, whether they’ve got their period already or not. I’m not sure about the pains in your stomach, but the best thing to do is tell a parent about it or go see a doctor.
Red discharge is not as normal as white (or colorless) discharge and may mean you’re getting your period or something else is happening. The best thing to do is tell a parent about it or go see a doctor.
I’ve been having symptoms for months but I’ve never had a period. Should I go see a doctor? – barlowgurl97
If you’re worried, definitely tell a parent or a doctor about it. Otherwise, I’d just be patient – you’ll get your period eventually.
My first “period” was at school. It was stressful and I wasn't prepared. But it was blackish, which my mom said it wasn’t my period. I have discharge and get moody a lot, plus I get pain in my lower abdomen and headaches. I have armpit hair and hair down there. I wear a bra. I carry pads. Was it my period or not? – iko90
I’m not sure – red or black discharge is not as normal as white (or colorless) discharge and it’s best to ask a doctor whether it was your period or not.
Your First Period
I think I might be going through my first period but I'm too scared to tell my mum. The only person that knows is my BFF, What should I do? – twilight_luv
I know it’s hard to discuss some things with your parents but remember – your mom was a girl your age once, too, and she went through the same thing you are in terms of getting her first period. Conquer your fears and let your mom know – you’ll see it wasn’t such a big deal after you’ve done it.
I’m 11 and I started my period. Is that too young? – koolstuff2009
There’s no such age as “too young.” Every girl goes through puberty and gets her period at her own pace. No need to worry!
Telling Your Parents
There's this brown sticky stuff in my underwear and I think it's my first period. I've read a lot of books about puberty, but I didn't read anything that said how to tell my mom! I have a younger and older brother, plus my dad. There's always at least one of them around, so how do I get a private place to tell her? Please help!!! – miufan
I’m sure you can find a moment to ask your mom if you can speak to her alone. Maybe even write her a quick note and ask her to meet you in your room because you have something you need to tell her in private?
I started getting my period early – I’m only nine. I don’t wanna tell anyone because I live with my uncle. What do I do? – princess
You can always tell a female teacher that you trust, one of your friends’ moms, a school counselor or your doctor. Think of a woman you like and have respect for and I’m sure she won’t mind helping you out.
Getting Your Period At School
I haven’t got my period yet so I’m scared it will happen at school. What should I do? – beyoncefan
If you’re worried about getting your period at school you may want to be prepared and have some supplies with you. That means keeping sanitary pads in your purse, backpack or locker. Talk to someone who can help you get your supplies together, like your mom, an older female relative or whoever you feel comfortable with. Make it clear that you want to be ready for the big day whenever it arrives. You also might talk to your doctor when you go for a checkup. Just by looking at you and how much you've developed so far your doctor may be able to tell you, roughly, how soon to expect your first period.
If your first period does happen at school and you don’t have your supplies ready ask to visit the nurse, a counselor or a teacher you really like for help. Just say, "I started my period today and I don't have my supplies." If you don't want to talk to a male teacher or counselor you can just say, "It's a girl thing." He will get the message and find you a woman who can help.
Even if you get help from school staff you also might call one of your parents. If it's your first period, you probably will want to tell your mom or dad what happened and how you're feeling.
It's unlikely that your first period will be very heavy, so you'll probably figure out that it's happened before your clothes are stained. But if your clothes do get stained on your first period you'll definitely want to visit the nurse or counselor. You don't want to be worried all day long that someone will see the stain, so you need some fresh clothes. Maybe you have sweatpants in your locker for gym class or, if you don't have any spare clothes, you'll need to see someone on the school staff so you can call a parent who can bring you some clothes or pick you up and take you home.
What if you return to class with different pants on and someone asks about it? You don't have to say what really happened. That would be embarrassing. Instead, you can just say something like, "I spilled something on my pants so I changed."
Pads & Tampons
How do you wear period pads? – sexysc
Pads are rectangles of absorbent material that you stick to the inside of your underwear. Some have extra material on the sides called "wings" that fold over the edges of your underwear to better hold the pad in place and prevent leakage. Sometimes, pads are called sanitary pads or sanitary napkins.
Pads come in different sizes for heavier and lighter periods. Changing pads often can cut down on any odor. You might wonder how often pads must be changed. It depends on how much menstrual blood you have, but it's a good idea to change pads at least every 3 or 4 hours even if you're not menstruating much. Naturally, if your period is heavy, you should change pads more often because they may get saturated more quickly.
Once you've removed your pad, wrap it in toilet paper and put it in the trash can (or if you're in school or another public restroom, use the special disposal box that's found in most stalls). If you have a pet at home, make sure you throw pads away in a trash can that your pet can't get into. Don't try to flush a pad down the toilet because they're too big and may back up the toilet and make a huge (embarrassing!) mess.