One of the biggest steps you will take in your amazing journey of becoming a woman is the first time you get your period. There is a lot of fuss about this, lots of talk at school about who has and hasn’t gotten their period, but in the end it’s a rite of passage. The first period signs are even given its own scientific name, called Menarche. Every female might feel a different way about this change in their bodies; you might feel reassured that you are finally becoming a young woman, or you might feel a little scared about it all. Feeling weird about it is perfectly normal but having all the info about your first period should give you the confidence to take charge of the situation!
Why do females get periods?
We get many questions from females all over South Africa and a common one is 'why do females even have periods?’ The answer is actually pretty simple (well easier than that last maths test at least). As women, one of the things that our bodies have been designed to do is have babies. The whole baby making process has been around FOREVER and you are one of the billions of women around the world (and all of history) who have got (or are about to start) their very own menstrual cycle. So what? Well, getting your period means that your body has prepared itself to hold a fertilised egg and make a baby. Women's bodies are amazing, and the idea that they can grow a baby from nearly nothing is something that makes them special, so be proud!
Every month your body gets ready for the possibility that you might get pregnant. One of the biggest things that happens is that your womb becomes all nice and cosy with its walls getting an extra fluffy coating so that the baby can live there. When you don’t actually get pregnant (which is most of the time), your body does not need that comfy layer in your womb and sheds it by gently sliding it out of your body in the form of your period. The lining is mostly blood and the other uterine tissues or mucus from your womb walls.
If your body did not get rid of that extra layer in your womb you could get sick, so periods are actually good. It might sound a bit gross, but once you understand the whole period cycle you can easily see that our periods are actually a form of cleansing and definitely nothing to be embarrassed about. Do not worry, after a few months you should feel a lot more comfortable with your period cycle – plus for even more reassurance, there is always the Kotex® Period Calculator that you can check in with to help you keep track of your period, so you know where you are in your menstrual cycle and what you can expect.
The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.