So, your daughter is about to have her first period, here is some information that might help you guide her through it.
When will she get her first period?
Some girls start as early as 9 or 10, others not until they are 15 or 16. The average age for starting menstruation is 12.5 years of age. Her period will come when her body is ready. Both genes and her height/weight ratio determine when periods will start. Tell her when you and any aunts started their periods and this will give her an idea of when hers might start. It can be a bit upsetting for her not knowing exactly when her period is going to arrive. Wouldn’t it be great if we got a letter in the mail saying that our period would start on March 16th? But we don’t. The first sign is that she will grow taller and her hips will widen. She will also grow underarm and pubic hair. The next thing to look for is a whitish mucous discharge. This is also a sign that she is getting closer to periods. When she has had this discharge for one to two years her periods will start. When the mucous gets thicker THAT is a good sign. Girls need to have a certain percentage of body fat before they start their period. Underweight girls tend to get their period later. It is a good idea to reassure her that the start of her period is unlikely to be a big gush of blood and that the amount of fluid lost over a period is not a large amount – it just seems a lot! The normal amount of fluid lost during one menstrual period varies in each woman. The average loss of fluid is about 50-100mls per period – less than half a cup.
Pads, tampons or liners?
When girls start producing vaginal mucous their underpants can feel damp. Libra Liners are great for this pre-period phase. Liners will help her to feel fresh and dry and have the added bonus of ‘peace of mind.’ She can relax; knowing she is protected should her period start in class and she has time to get to the bathroom to change to a pad. We recommend that girls start with using pads. When girls first start their period they are unsure about how much blood and mucous they will lose. They are also concerned about when they need to change products. Because fluid loss with pads is visible girls can then learn how much they lose at different stages during their periods. Pads are also easier to use. As your daughter gains confidence with pads she may wish to use tampons.
The first time she wears a pad it can feel quite strange. It is important that the pad fits her body for both comfort and protection to give her confidence to get on with life with a period. Libra Hearts Compact is perfect for those just starting out with their period. These pads are uniquely shaped for a closer fit, which means they won’t just be more comfortable, there’s less chance of leaks. It has a narrow neck and a contoured back to fit the body. It is ultra thin, which means it is still very absorbent but more discrete. They are ideal for light to regular flow and smaller bodies.
Many girls want to use tampons so they can do their normal activities such as swimming and sport. She can use tampons from her first period if she wants to although many girls use pads for their first period, and when they have a handle on that they try tampons. The trickiest thing about using tampons is learning how to insert them. Libra Applicator Tampons are the perfect way to start using tampons. Each Applicator is individually wrapped for discretion and the plastic applicator makes insertion easier. Inserting tampons does take a bit of practice – and relaxation! She also needs to wait until she has her period. Practising using a tampon before she has a period is not a good idea as her vagina is not as moist and it is harder to insert the tampon. AND the tampon will be harder to remove, as it hasn’t absorbed any blood. Encourage her to have a look with a mirror so she knows where it is going! She needs to relax or the vagina will tighten and make it even more difficult. The key thing to remember is that the vagina is not straight up and down and the tampon needs to be inserted at an angle. The keys to successful tampon insertion are relaxation and practice. The information leaflet inside the pack shows how to insert a tampon. Most women use a combination of tampons and pads during their period. We don’t recommend anyone uses tampons overnight, instead try Libra Goodnights for comfortable night protection.
There are three types of liners available, Thin Liners for light period protection, Extra Thin Liners to stay fresh between periods and Thin & Long Liners, for that extra bit of protection. Liners are great for the start and end of her period when the flow is light. If she is experiencing discharge between period then Libra Extra Thin Liners will give that clean underwear feeling.
For fun, games and information for girls, check out www.libragirl.com. This site has a ‘curly questions’ section where you or your daughter can ask our nurses for advice online.