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The 1-2-3 of period protection

 
 
Getting your first period can be a tad nerve-wracking. It doesn't help that it can get a li'l awk talking to your mom about certain things! But there are def a few deets you should know, and that’s what we’re here to tell you. 
 
Getting technical

First, let’s go for the technical stuff. Your period is a result of your body ridding itself of unneeded tissue and blood. Where does it come from? During the complete menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one of your two ovaries, and travels down the Fallopian tube to your uterus. 

 

Now, your uterus has been getting ready for this, and for a baby, so it has built up a pretty good sized lining inside. When the egg isn’t fertilized by sperm in the Fallopian tube, the uterus absorbs it, and the egg and lining are flushed through the vagina with extra blood.

 
What does it mean to you?

Approximately every 27 to 31 days you get a period. It’s a little different for every girl, and the length of time your period lasts can be different, too – anywhere from 3 to 7 days long. Before this time, you might notice that your breasts are tender or that you are more emotional. 

 

During your actual period, you might feel stomach cramps, your back and legs may ache or you may get headaches. These are all pretty normal, and magnesium supplements usually help.

 

Whether you start off on tampons or pads is up to you, and is something you should discuss with your mom. Many moms think it's best for their daughters to start with pads, and many do not care either way. 

 
Clean up your act

It’s important for you to know that tampons don’t hurt, and if inserted correctly, you can’t feel them at all. When wearing them, be sure to change them every few hours, though, following the directions on the box. Also, ya might want to wear a panty liner even if you wear a tampon, so that if anything leaks, you have a backup. Either way, you’ll want to change frequently to keep clean.

Taking long, warm showers really helps during this time. If you are wearing tampons, you can even wear one while you take a bath. Using Epsom salts will also help the cramps.

 

When your period is over, you can still have light bleeding from time to time that will only last a day or two. This is also normal, but if you’re having full-blown periods too often, say every other week, you may need to see a doctor. Going too long between periods may also indicate a problem, so if you go a few months between periods, be sure to tell your mom so you can get that checked out.

 
Periods can be a pain, but it’s a part of nature. With the proper supplies in hand, you’ll be ready to face the elements! 
 
 

BY SHELBY CONQUES ON 2/28/2014 12:00:00 AM

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