Tuesday 30 June 2015


We asked readers to share their experiences of starting their first period…

Molly says:
I started quite young and I wasn't prepared. I had stayed over at my aunt's house and I was really worried when I realised what had happened, but my cousin was a year older than me and she explained what to do. It's not ideal to be caught unawares so my advice would be to read up on it, or talk to your mum or sister, so you know what to expect.

Hazel says:
I was quite an early starter at eleven, but my Mom was very good and had prepared me well, making sure I had pads and telling me everything I needed to know well over a year before I actually started. I also read Usbourne's Facts of Life: Growing Up book by Susan Meredith, which was very informative. I now keep a calendar to track my periods and that helps to know when to expect it.

Amy says:
I'm twelve and I had my first period just eight days ago. I was at school and I had a pad with me, but I didn't know how to do it so made a mess of it. I told a friend who took me to the medical room, and they gave me some pads and booklets. I didn't have any spare pant though and was feeling awkward, so Mum picked me up early and that evening we went through all of it, and I felt loads better. I think I will be able to take it in my stride next time around.

Rebecca says:
I started quite late, at fifteen, and I really wanted it to happen. It sounds crazy, but all my friends had started and I was feeling anxious and abnormal. Of course, I was absolutely normal really - you can start at any age from eight to eighteen, we are all different. My advice is to start with pads, as they are easier… and don't worry if your periods are irregular to start with, that's quite normal too!

Chloe says:
That first period can be a bit of a shock, it can make you feel panicked, but as time goes on you just accept it. It's just Mother Nature!

Iona says:
My first period started at a music festival when I was thirteen - we were away for the weekend and sleeping in a tent! Not what I would have planned. I told my mum and she managed to get some pads from one of the festival shops, but it did spoil things a bit… festival toilets are horrible at the best of times, so just imagine having to use them at a time like that. And I was worried people would know… my festival friends… but I don't think anyone did. Not a great start, but after that things have been much easier!

Ella says:
I was ten, and I started on holiday. I was so upset, I wasn't ready in any way and felt too young for that sort of thing. I also felt like the holiday was ruined as after that I couldn't swim because the pad would have come to bits. I am fourteen now and I am used to it all, but being an early starter was hard; I didn't want my friends to know as I felt embarrassed but they found out and I felt like a freak. I think my anger about it lasted a year or two, though… it just seemed so unfair. Now I wonder what the fuss was about, but I think I just felt too young at ten and I was in denial.

Rachael says:
Don't panic if your friends have started and you haven't. It will come when it's ready - just be patient! I was a late starter and all my friends had started and I hadn't. I worried constantly that there was something wrong with me. There wasn't, and I started when my body was ready! A word of advice - don't believe everything people say. Some girls exaggerate, making out that periods are excruciating, but everyone is different… some have cramps and some have no pain at all.

Cathy says:
Lots of good advice! Thanks to all who have shared their experiences. COMMENT BELOW to have your say, too...


  1. I haven't had mine yet
    Im 14
    all my friends have

    1. I used to be in your situation - I started at 14 or 15 I think and apparently that's not unusual at all. It always felt to me like it was, though, and I know the feeling of being the "odd one out" in a way :)

  2. You can read my story on libra girl australia under the username mjroco

  3. I found it hard because I started at 8

  4. Mother Nature... She's so kind isn't she!
    Seriously, having your period is one of the best weeks of the month! You can eat as much chocolate as you want! Simply use the excuse, magnesium helps cramps and chocolate contains magnesium!
    You're welcome in advance.

  5. I started at around 12 or 13. Not a girl's best friend, because it sucks. Because I still get them, I get a back pain before i have my period. That's a sign to warm me that it's coming. I get very bad back pains. To mark know when I got it, I put stars on calendar to let me know when I had it and for how many days. Take plenty of tablets if you got period pains or back aches. xxxxxxx

  6. I was quite a late starter, starting just after my fifteenth birthday and I happened to start when I was on holiday. I was lucky- I made sure I always had a pack of pads packed in my suitcase, just in case. I was unlucky enough to be on the beach at the time though, and it took me a while to figure out why the sand was covered in red spots.

    Now I'm nearly nineteen, and I have no end of problems. I suffer terribly from period pain, and have been through the mill with all the medication I have been prescribed (even morphine doesn't work!). I also have hormone problems, so my periods can be unpredictable in terms of when I'm going to get one. The longest gap has been sixty days, and the shortest gap was just five days.

    At the minute, I'm on meloxicam for my period pain, which can delay the release of hormones. While it doesn't help much with the pain overall (I'm lucky if it just takes the edge off the pain), it has helped my cycle to settle down, and I now have a gap of about thirty to thirty four days between periods.

    The only issue is the pain: I've been tested for all kinds of conditions, but all the results have come back negative, and yet I'm still in quite a bit of pain during each cycle (you can actually see and feel the muscles contracting).

    If I have any advice, it's if something seems a bit off or not normal, go and get it checked out. Nine times out of ten, it's going to be nothing to worry about, because it can take a while for hormones to settle into a regular pattern, but intense pain can be a sign of endometriosis or a problem with the thyroid gland that controls hormones. I wish I'd got my pain sorted sooner!

  7. I started a few days before secondary school which was interesting to say the least! I now take the contraceptive pill to reduce the pain! This is because I reacted very badly, fainting and becoming quite ill, never useful in college when the nurse is busy! The best thing about the pill is that, as well as stopping the really bad symptoms, I can definitely predict my periods!

  8. I don't think I mentioned, I'm now on tranexamic acid tablets. This streamlines my blood vessels whilst I'm on my period because I previously got a lot of blood clots which are never pleasant...

  9. I started at 12 (15 now) and even though I knew what it was and I had like no cramps, I was really awful at dealing with pads and stuff. I think I had one period on panty liners (I was too embarrassing to ask for pads) and then I leaked really badly one day and just went 'nope, sorry guys but tampons for me ta very much'. I get very bad cramps on the first and second days but overall, my periods are pretty boring apart from the invariable annoyance they cause.

  10. I haven't started yet and I'm NOT looking forward too either!

  11. I'm 12 in exactly a week not had mine yet but to learn more about them I reccomend'girls only' it is really good and not at all boring if you know what i mean



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...