Monday 11 May 2015


Readers share their advice on how to take periods in your stride…

Sarah says:
Don't be scared to talk to your guardian about anything period-related. If you don't have an older female in the family, talk to any woman that you trust, eg. a family friend. Buy in pads and be prepared for that first period… I had mine ready for about two years before I needed them. Pads are easier to start with. If you get cramps, try paracetamol, a wheat bag (for the microwave) to put on your tummy or a hot water bottle.

Kym says:
It's not as scary as it sounds, honest. Never feel embarrassed to talk about it with a teacher if you're feeling ill or it has come at an awkward time - teachers have periods, too! As a parent myself (yeah, I'm old!) I can say talk to us too, we will buy your hormonal chocolate needs! I once had one start during PE and my teacher didn't want to let me leave the lesson as we were supposed to go to the toilet beforehand. I 'fessed up and told her why I needed to go and she understood and everything was fine.

Deborah says:
Don't worry if your periods aren't regular to start with… it takes a while for the cycle to settle down. If you get stranded in school without pads, ask the school matron, nurse or a female guidance tutor. Trust me, they won't say anything about it.

Nadia says:
Keep a calendar of your cycle so that you know what to expect, and always carry spare pads or tampons. Change them regularly and avoid wearing white!

Eloise says:
Tell your friends! Mood swings come and go - your friends may think you're being mean when really you're just emotional. Plus, don't be shy if you need to ask teachers to be excused to change a pad. They will understand.

Charlotte says:
All girls start at different times so don't compare yourself to others… and don't be scared. We all have our own ways of coping… mine is chocolate, hot water bottle and movies. Don't panic… it's natural!

Holly says:
Trust your gut - if you have a feeling it may start a day or so earlier than it's supposed to, assume that it will. Always keep pads or tampons handy a few days before you think you may need them! Never worry about unwrapping pads or tampons in a public loo… every woman has the same thoughts, but it's something we all have to do. Stretching helps with cramps, so avoid the temptation to curl up - get outside and go for a big walk!

Photograph modelled by fab reader Aisling; photo by reader Niamh. Many thanks!

Cathy says:
All good advice… and things I wish I'd known as a tween! Do YOU have any good advice on coping with periods? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Chocolate and a hot water bottle: you can't go wrong! :)

    I was a 'late' starter- I was sixteen, so don't worry if you start late. I still go through phases where I wish I hadn't started! As my GP said, it's normal for girls to start between 11 and 18. Apparently it's all to do with hormones and genetics that determine when the hormones are released.

    If you start having issues with your periods, go and see your GP- lot of surgeries will let you ask for a female doctor. There are painkillers and anti-inflammatories that you can be prescribed to help with pain and aches caused by periods.

    A lot of the time, periods are irregular for the first 18 months to 2 years, so don't worry if you get one every three weeks or go for a while between periods. I went from having one every six weeks to having one every two weeks.

  2. hi, I have a real-life story for Dreamcatcher, how do I send it to you?

  3. Most girls are luckier than me... I'm on an acid tablet currently to streamline my blood vessels when I'm on my period. I'm used to this now but because I swim; I do not trust water so I like to use my period to catch up with homework and revision (if I have any)! Or its feet up with a huge bar of dark chocolate to help those cramps. (Chocolate is good for you as it contains magnesium that calms cramps and dark chocolate is supposed to be the best).
    But my best advice is to definitely mark when your period is and try out different products, whether they're disposable, reusable etc. This way you'll find what style of pad you need. If after 3-6 months your period has been clotting, heavy or irregular periods go see a doctor. Mine was super kind and understood everything.

  4. Thank you, for sharing such an inspiring and knowledgable article. Keep up the good work, guys!

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