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Wahey! I've got my first period! Or have I?

Your first period usually happens sometime between the ages of 10 and 16, but you might be either older or younger than this. Ask your Mum how old she was when she started – no guarantee, but there’s a good chance that you start around the same age.
Some girls have their first period with absolutely no warning. All of a sudden, there’s a brownish-red stain on your panties when you go to the toilet. Your period has started! Others get some advance warning: a grumbling ache in their stomachs, tender breasts or bad moods. You might hear adults around you mumbling about ‘it’s her hormones’ if you’ve been a bit moody. Just as with a lot of other things that happen during puberty, the way the first period comes differs from one girl to another. Often there’s just a brownish discharge the first time. Sometimes, there’s a bit more blood. It doesn’t matter how it happens, every way of having your first period is good. Because once it’s come, you know that your body’s working the way it’s supposed to. That’s something to be pleased about, though it doesn’t mean you have to think having a period is a bundle of laughs every time.
Don’t feel embarrassed about telling your parents that your periods have started. There’s nothing odd about something that half of the world’s population experiences – including your mother! Be proud instead. In some countries, people actually celebrate a girl’s first period with a big party!
Once you’ve had your first period, it may be some time before the next one comes – periods are often very irregular during the first few years. The Bodyform period diary can help you keep track of when your period should come. It can remind you when it’s likely to be time to buy sanitary protection and send you encouraging messages when your PMT blues are at their worst, and it offers lots more as well. You’ll find the period diary on the menu bar above.
Your period might only last 2–3 days one time and over a week the next. Don’t worry if this happens. Your periods will eventually stabilise and for most women end up coming like clockwork. If you’re 17 years old and still haven’t had your first period, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor, who can check to make sure that everything’s OK.

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