1. How Do I Tell My Mom or Dad That I Got My First Period?
It's normal to feel a little shy about sharing this bit of news. In some families,
talking about body stuff might seem like no big deal. With this kind of family, they
might take you out to dinner to celebrate your womanhood!
Other families might be more private, so a girl might not know exactly what to
say or whom to tell.
But this news needs to be shared, at least with one grown-up in the family. You
might just pull the person aside and say it clearly, like this: "I got my first
period today. Do you think you can help me get some supplies?"
If brothers and sisters find out, they might razz you a bit. Just tell them that
it means you're getting older.
2. How Does a Tampon Work?
Unlike pads, which
catch blood after it comes out of the vagina, a tampon
is inserted in the vagina. It's made of soft material with a string for easy removal.
The opening to the vagina is between the urethra (where pee comes out) and the anus
(where poop comes out).
It may take a little time to get the hang of using tampons. Tampon applicators
can be plastic or cardboard, and you can use whichever one you like better. Inside
each box, there's an instruction booklet that will tell you how to insert a tampon.
Tampons come in different absorbencies. Try starting with regular and then switching
if you need to. You should change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours or when it's saturated
If a tampon ever does feel "stuck," it's only temporary. It can't get lost inside
you because there's no way out except through the vagina. Relax and wait a few minutes,
and then you should be able to get the tampon out.
3. Can I Go Swimming During My Period?
Swimming during your period
isn't a problem. However, you will want to use a tampon when swimming so you don't
bleed on your swimsuit. Pads won't work. The tampon won't fall out if it is inserted
correctly, so go ahead and make a splash!
Tampons also can be helpful for girls who exercise or play sports during their
periods. Although pads will work, they can be bulky and uncomfortable.
4. What Happens If I Don't Have Pads or Tampons Handy?
If this happens, here are your options: Borrow from a friend, buy some from a restroom
dispenser, visit the school nurse if
you're at school, or call home so your mom or dad can bring you what you need.
If you are desperate and trying to keep your clothes from staining, you can fold up
some tissues or toilet paper and place them in your underwear. That won't work for
long, so you'll need to get some pads or tampons quickly.
If you're nervous about telling the school nurse, a teacher, or another adult about
what you need, write it down on a piece of paper or use code words. You might say
that "it's that time of the month" or that you need some "personal supplies." Even
better, keep extras in your backpack, locker, or gym bag.
5. What If Blood Leaks Through My Undies and Pants?
Oh, no! There's blood on the back of your pants — what do you do? It happens
to just about every girl at some point. Sometimes it happens when you aren't at home,
so you can't change right away. But if you're wearing a sweater or jacket, you can
take it off and tie it around your waist. Then get a fresh tampon or pad so that it
doesn't bleed through your pants more than it already has.
Change as soon as you can. You'll need to rinse your underwear and pants with cold
water as soon as possible. Sometimes, the stain comes out and sometimes it doesn't.
To avoid this problem, change your pads and tampons regularly and keep extras in your
backpack or locker.
For extra protection on heavy days, some girls wear a pad with a tampon. You also
might want to wear dark-colored underwear and pants during your period.