You won't get periods or start menstruation until you have been through puberty, which takes about 2 years. During this time (also called adolescence) your body will change into that of a young woman. Breasts, pubic hair, curves, growing taller, greasy hair and pimples are all part of this stage.
Then you may notice white patches on your panties. This means that something is changing in your vaginal area. When you notice brown mucous in your panties, this is a sure sign that your first period is not far away.
If you've already started having periods, or have heard about them from your mom or your friends, you'll agree that there can be some pretty unpleasant things you have to deal with during this time.
It may take some time to get used to the discomforts that come along with having a period. But with the right advice and information, you should be just fine.
WHAT YOU COULD EXPECT DURING YOUR PERIOD:
- Feeling irritable
- Diarrhoea or soft stools
- The need to pee more often
- The inconvenience of 'bleeding'
- Uncomfortable boobs
- Mood swings
- Sometimes depression
As you mature and grow older, you will learn to deal with each of these symptoms in your own way. Girls discuss with one another how they cope with periods, and in this way they learn what's best for them.
Once periods start, hormones begin to circulate in the blood again and nasty symptoms begin to diminish.
A girl's best friend during this time is bling, books, magazines, friends, food, fun, fashion, chocolates, music and, sometimes, just being left alone for a while.
All these symptoms are perfectly normal so there is no need to stress. Some girls take it harder than others. If you don't notice these symptoms then consider yourself lucky! But if these symptoms are serious and lead to ongoing depression, talk to your mom about them, a teacher, a family member or your best friend. You may need help!