Your Period:  The Basics
Symptoms
Specifics
  • Puberty is a time of growth and change caused by hormones that change you from a girl to a woman.  Some of these changes
    include breast development, growth in height and weight, hair growth under the arms and in the pubic area and an increase in
    body odor.  

  • Puberty starts between the ages of 8-13 and ends between the ages of 16 - 17. But remember, every girl develops at her own
    rate.  Most girls start their periods 1 - 2 years after the start of these changes.

  • A normal menstrual cycle is every 21 - 35 days but the average is every 28 and your period can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days.  
    If you find your period is continuing for longer periods, talk to your mom, guardian or a doctor...just to make sure there is nothing
    wrong.  
    You may notice changes to your body 7 to 10 days before your period begins due to changes in your hormone levels.  These changes may include
    some or all of the following:
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps
  • Slight weight gain and bloating.
  • Tender breasts
  • Skin break-outs
  • Food cravings (we're thinkin' chocolate)
  • Backache  

    All women have vaginal discharge, a creamy white/yellowish fluid during their monthly cycle.  This is normal but if your discharge is unusually heavy,
    a different color or has a strong smell, talk to someone about it - mom, aunt, doctor, trusted adult - as it may be the sign of an infection.  

    You'll notice a change in your emotions before your period - that's normal!  Moody, cranky, irritable, clumsy...it's all part of PMS.  
Solutions
    Activity is a good way to increase your mood and ease pain.  Walking or biking in the fresh air is helpful.

    Exercise is always good - even during a period.  BUT don't push yourself - If you feel tired, rest. Having your period is a great excuse to do nothing.  

    Pamper yourself:  do your nails, take a nap, read, watch a movie, CRY, talk, eat chocolate.

    Don't stress out over skin breakouts - there are a lot of products on the market that are effective and economical.  For more information, check out the
    following website:   http://www.acnetreatment.net/fitness-acne-alcohol-and-more-teen-health-issues/   (Thank you to Ashley from Brighter
    Futures Charter School for sharing this website with us!)

    Check out the "Things to Do When You're Blue" page for more suggestions on beating back the symptoms of PMS.

    Pay attention to all the changes.  Use a calendar  to track your moods and period cycle.  It'll help keep you prepared and in control.  

    REMEMBER:  Accidents do happen.  If you stain through to your outer clothes, wrap a sweater, sweat shirt or jacket around your waist and go home (if
    you're in school, ask first!).  Just remember - this can and does happen to every woman.
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