9 Things everyone should know about periods!

*This post contain talks of blood and periods. If this make you uncomfortable then this is probably a good post to skip!*

I don’t know about you but when I was at school I was taught very little about periods. I was simply told ‘when you have your period it means you can get pregnant, better not have sex!’ 

So I have found a few things that I believe every woman should know! 

What is a period? 

A period is something that happens to young women/ women. Their body releases a hormone that causes the uterus to shed the lining of their uterus.  

The lining of the uterus builds up as hormones change to prepare for a fertilized egg. During the first stages of your cycle, the levels of estrogen build up causing the lining of the uterus to become thickens and full of nutrients. 

As the levels of estrogen and progesterone (the hormone that tells your body your pregnant) go down it causes the lining to shed. This typically would happen once a month, which it why its typically expected for women to have a period each month. This is different for each woman though. 

At what age do women start having periods?  

It happens to young women around the age of 12 years however, it can happen at any time between the ages of 10-15 years. The starting of a period signifies a woman reaching the end of puberty.  

Are periods regular from the start?  

No, it can take at least a year for a woman’s period to become regular although some women don’t ever have regular periods.  

How long does a period tend to last?  

A period tends to last between 5- 7 days, although every woman is different.  

How much blood do I lose?  

A woman tends to lose around 1 tablespoon of blood during her period.  

A women stood in a shower with blood between her legs.

How will I know if I’m about to start my period? 

Most women will experience some form of PMS before they have their period. PMS stands for premenstrual symptoms.  

PMS can be any of these things; 

  • abdominal bloating 
  • abdominal pain 
  • sore breasts 
  • acne 
  • food cravings, especially for sweets 
  • constipation 
  • diarrhoea 
  • headaches 
  • sensitivity to light or sound 
  • fatigue 
  • irritability 
  • changes in sleep patterns 
  • anxiety 
  • depression 
  • sadness 
  • emotional outbursts 

What can I do to manage PMS? 

Sometimes heat can help things like cramping. Pain killers can also help with headaches, cramps and diarrhoea.  

TOP TIP: Do not buy pain killers like feminax. It is exactly the same the the extra strength

What can I use during my periods? 

Most young girls use pads. They have a sticky back and stick to the inside of your underwear. When you have finished you roll them up and put them in the bin.  

You can also use tampons which are inserted into the vagina and absorb the blood and are flushed down the toilet.  

There are also more eco-friendly options such as menstrual cups. They work the same as tampons but you tip the blood out into the toilet and rinse it out. They can last up to 10 years. Click here to see my post about menstrual cups. 

You can also use period pants they are underwear that you wear and put in the washing machine

Two people holding red menstural cups in front of a pink background.

What do I need to know about hygiene?  

You don’t need to take extra precautions when it comes to hygiene. As long as you are changing your tampons or pads regularly you shouldn’t smell. I tend to have a wash each day, with a flannel and water.  

You can buy soaps made specifically for your vagina although this isn’t essential.    

Can I have sex on my period?  

Yes, you can have sex on your period it has been proven to help, with cramping.  

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