No shame in saying its name. Period.
It is important to have conversations about periods. They are completely natural and normal. Everyone who has a period deserves a safe space to talk about it.
What your period is
Every month after your first period your body will release an egg during your ovulation. When this egg is not fertilized, the egg is released and becomes part of your period.
During this time, your body is working hard to get rid of tissue it does not need. This can mean you feel more hormonal and tired.
You can find out more about periods on the NHS website.
When you will get your first period
Most people get their first period between the ages of 10 and 16.
How often you will have them
You can expect to get your period about every 28 days, but everyone’s body is unique
How long they will last
You will bleed for around 3 to 5 days. However, anything between 2 to 7 days is normal.
How much blood there will be
While it may seem like a lot, your body only actually loses around three tablespoons of blood during your period. The average person can lose anywhere from one tablespoon to a small cup of blood during a normal period.
If it seems like you’re losing more than this during your period, you should get advice from a medical professional. Losing too much blood can increase your risk of anaemia, which can cause dizziness, tiredness and poor circulation.
If you are worried about anything to do with your period, speak to your GP.
Common symptoms of periods are:
- cramps and pain in your stomach
- feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- low mood
- feeling bloated
- tender breasts
- use heat pads (hot water bottles or herbal bags)
- do some gentle exercise
- get plenty of sleep and rest
- wear loose clothing
- have a warm bath
- Most people who have periods, have blood stains in every pair of underwear. 54% of 36,000 women surveyed said they ruined every pair of underwear they owned due to their period.
- Your periods get worse when it is cold, so be kind to yourself during the winter months. Wintry weather can impact your period, making it heavier and longer than normal.
- Period in German is “erdbeerwoche”, which means “strawberry week”. They also have the word “mittelschmerz” for ovulation, which translates to English as “middle pain”. Ovulation can cause some people pain. This can happen halfway through your menstrual cycle (about 14 days before your next period). This is normal, but if it is causing you a lot of discomfort, speak to a nurse or doctor.
- The average person who menstruates has more than 400 periods in their lifetime. Between the average first cycle and menopause, you can expect about 450.
- The first period can be met with either celebration, fear, or concern. This signifies an important transition to adulthood, a time when they would benefit from the support of family and friends. If your friends are starting their periods, try to be supportive and understanding.
Resources for education settings
We have posters you can put up in schools to help normalise the conversation about periods among young people. We will also share these resources on social media.
You can download the A4 posters below:
The Department for Education has free sanitary products available for education settings to order until 8 July 2022. You can find out more and how to order on GOV.UK.