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When you first get your period, it’s normal to be confused and wonder what’s happening to you. If all your questions aren’t answered here, talk to your mom or someone else you trust.
You’ll start having periods when your body is ready. Many girls have their first period about two years after they begin puberty. Your period may start within a year if you are getting breasts and pubic hair. Girls get their periods at different ages. Try not to compare yourself to your friends. You will each get your period when it is right for your body.
Don’t worry if your period sometimes skips months for the first few years. You might even have a period twice in one month. That’s okay. By the time you’re an adult, it is normal for a cycle (the time from the first day of one period to the first day of your next period) to take 20 to 36 days. That’s why you hear women talk about a “monthly cycle.”
Each girl is different, but it’s normal for a period to last 2 to 8 days. Talk to your mother or doctor if your period lasts longer than 8 days for 2 cycles in a row.
The lining of the uterus is rich with blood. So, the color of your menstrual flow can be pink, red, or brown. The flow can be thick, lumpy, or runny.
For most girls, the amount of flow for an entire period is only 4 to 6 tablespoons. Expect the flow to be light on some days and heavier on others.
During your period, bleeding can look like more than it is. Don’t let this frighten you. But, if you ever soak a new pad in 1 hour or less, let your mom know.
You are very aware of your period, but you won’t look different to other people. If you glance at yourself in the mirror, you’ll see this is true!
Having periods means that your body is able to create a baby. But you can only get pregnant if your egg meets with male sperm during sex. Sex is something you should talk to your parents about. You are still growing. Getting pregnant now wouldn’t be good for your health or the health of a baby. So, even if it seems like many girls your age are having sex, do yourself a favor—wait.
Boys don’t have periods, but they do go through puberty. They grow body hair, get pimples, and some grow tall very quickly. Many boys feel embarrassed when their voices suddenly change or when they act clumsy. And they get moody, too.