Whether you’re expecting your first period or you’ve been having periods for a while now, there are some crucial facts that you really need to know. Learning exactly what periods are and how they affect your body and emotions is the key to dealing with common, period-related health problems, such as cramping, and mood swings.

Getting your period may feel scary or gross, but it’s really just your body’s way of telling you that you’re a woman now. In a nutshell, if you’re getting your period, you are now able to get pregnant. It’s very important to understand that having periods is a sign of feminine fertility. If you don’t protect yourself with proper birth control, you may find yourself carrying a baby!

Chances are, you are not ready for that yet, so be certain to think long and hard about engaging in sexual activity that may lead to pregnancy. No form of birth control is 100% percent effective; therefore, abstinence is really the only foolproof method of avoiding pregnancy once you’ve begun menstruating.

Clearly, when it comes to getting your period, there is a lot to understand and a lot to consider. However, once you know all of the facts about periods, you’ll feel much more comfortable with the process, and you’ll be far less frightened by what is happening (or what will soon happen) to your body.

To help you get all of the facts, we’ve compiled a helpful quick guide to periods. Our outline will offer you valuable information about what a period is, as well as important advice about how to cope with typical period symptoms and side effects.

Important Facts about Periods

Until it actually happens, there is no way to know for sure when you’ll get your first period. Some girls begin menstruating as early as age nine, while others don’t get their first periods until there are 14 or 15. Typically, periods are more irregular at the beginning, since female bodies are still adjusting to these big changes.

Therefore, if your periods aren’t very regular in the first 12 months of menstruation, it’s quite normal. Eventually, your body will fall into a pattern and you should experience periods every month, on a reasonably predictable schedule (periods generally come every 28 days).

Of course, missing your period may also be a sign that you’re pregnant. If you’re engaging in sexual intercourse and your period is late, it’s best to see a doctor right away. Other reasons for late or missed periods include strict dieting and excessive exercise, so eating well and avoiding overdoing it in your your workouts is really important.

Cycle of a Period

The whole menstrual cycle lasts for one month, although some young women will experience a shorter or longer period cycle. The first day of the cycle brings bleeding, which continues for several days. Some girls bleed for a full week, while others bleed for just a few days. Five days of bleeding is most common. During the beginning of your period cycle, bleeding will be quite heavy and you may experience significant abdominal pain. Certain natural supplements, such as magnesium and B complex vitamins, may ease cramps and bloating, as well as any mood swings that you are experiencing. Over-the-counter medications, may also take the edge off.

Some girls fill hot water bottles and then place them on their lower abdomens to soothe menstrual pain. Sometimes, cramps will be worse when women don’t eat properly and exercise moderately before their periods. If your cramps are out of control go see a doctor, who may recommend a prescription-grade muscle relaxant.

During menstruation, an egg is being expelled from your womb. Once you’ve finished your period, another egg begins to grow in its place. If the egg isn’t fertilized by sperm it will also be expelled during your next period.

Now that you know more about periods, you may feel less anxious about menstruation. Getting your period is annoying and inconvenient most of the time; however, your first period will always be an important milestone in your life.

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