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100 must-know period facts and fun

Whether you’re a veteran when it comes to dealing with Mother Nature’s monthly gift or you’re still waiting for Aunt Flo to come to town, GL’s got all the essential info you need—and, OK, a couple of chuckles—to get you through that time of the month.
 
  • cookies.jpg
    10 symptoms to look for

     

    >> 1. Cravings for sweet ‘n’ salty foods

     

    2. Slight bellyache or cramping right below your tummy

     

    3. Change in sleep habits: Napping a lot, trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night.

     

    4. Irritability. Snapping at your friends over silly things? Hello, PMS.

     

    5. Breasts that are sore to the touch

     

    6. Bloating

     

    7. Upset stomach. Ugh!

     

    8. Big-time breakouts

     

    9. Joint aches.

     

    10. Major mood swings

  • tease.jpg
    10 not-so-weird period Q&As

     

    11. How much blood will I lose? It may seem like a lot, but it’s probably just a few spoonfuls—a cup at the very most.

     

    12. I feel dirty down their during my period. Am I? Nope. Menstrual blood is “clean” and, because your vagina is self-cleaning, you’re just as clean down there when you have your period as when you don’t.

     

    13. My pads are rubbing me the wrong way. What’s going on? You could be sensitive to the chemicals in the pad, like fragrances or the chlorine bleach that makes them white. Or, you might not be changing them frequently enough. Click here for more deets.

     

    14. I got the tampon in, but now I can’t get it out! Did I lose it? Nope. There’s nowhere for it to go, girlie, so while you may have to fish around for the string attached to the tampon, it’s definitely in there. Relax your muscles and you’ll be able to pull it out. Still stuck? Click here for more help. 

     

    15. I use tampons. Am I still a virgin? A virgin is someone who’s never had sex, not someone who’s never used a tampon. Read more here. 

     

    16. I always bleed through! What can I do to prevent it from happening? Either change your pad or tampon more frequently, or up the absorbency factor, girlie. Find more info here. 

     

    >> 17. Can people tell when I’m on my period? Unless you’ve got a big red stain on your bum or announce it in the middle of homeroom, people won’t be able to tell. Sure, menstrual blood has a certain odor, but that whiff you catch while changing your pad isn’t noticeable to the rest of the world, promise. Want more info? Click here. 

     

    18. What exactly happens when I’m menstruating? When you’re on your period, your body is expelling the thickened lining of your uterus along with the unfertilized egg your body released during ovulation.

     

    19. When I’m on my period, I dream about having kids in the future. What’s going on in my head? Getting your period is a sign that your body is ready to have children, even if you’re not. Your mind is preparing itself to deal with these changes…even if kids aren’t even in your ten-year plan. Want more deets? Get ‘em here. 

     

    20. My period is clumpy and brown. Is there something wrong with me? You’re A-OK. When you’re period moves quickly, the blood is red. When your cycle slows down a bit, the blood turns brown because of exposure to air. You’re also getting rid of your uterine lining and some tissue, so clumps are normal. Get the 411 here. 
  • motherdaughter.jpg
    10 ways to break the news

     

    >> 21. To Mom: Be blunt. Mom’s been there, done that and she probably has what ya need underneath her bathroom sink. “Mom, I just got my period!” or “Mom, do you have a pad?” are just fine.

     

    22. To Dad: Yeah, we know it’s embarrassing, but Dad’s not dumb, he’s gonna figure it out sooner or later, anyway. Ask him to run to the store for a box of tampons or pads, or if he knows where Mom keeps her stash.

     

    23. To Mrs. Jones, your math teacher: Chances are she’s been prepped by the nurse on how to deal with in-school sitches. Feel yourself leaking in the middle of class, simply ask to go the restroom. Need help? Writing her a note and handing it over will help ya keep the secret in front of the boys and girls plus get you what you need.

     

    24. To Mr. B, your softball coach: Guys really don’t like talking about it. Telling him that it’s “that time of the month” will do the trick quite nicely, no questions asked.

     

    25. To the school nurse: She really has seen it all before...and she’s prepared with tampons, pads and meds, if necessary. If you need an excuse to go see her, simply tell the Teach you’re feeling ill.

     

    26. To your buds: A cute “I got it!” text or note will probably get the point across. Just make sure you’re not passin’ it in class. Don’t want that sucker to be read aloud, right?

     

    27. To your guy friends: They don’t need to know and trust us, they really don’t want to know. If you have to give an excuse or explain your products, just drop the “that time of the month” excuse. That’ll zip their lips, guaranteed.

     

    28. To your li’l sis: When younger sibs hear you talking about this funky period thing, they’re bound to get curious. If they ask what’s going on, tell ‘em you’re just growing up, that’s all. Redirect embarrassing Qs to the ‘rents.

     

    29. To your doc: Your doc should ask if you’ve gotten your period, and might even have some follow up question—Is it regular? Is it heavy? Do you get a lot of cramping?—so be prepared, not embarrassed.

     

    30. To the guy ringing up your pads: As if! Buying feminine hygiene products is something every woman, young and old, has to deal with. Chances are he’s already sold a boatload that day, but if he tries to get smart-alecky about it, a quick comeback will shut him down. “I’m sorry, did you just bag my pads or your maturity?” Oh, snap!

  • devil.jpg
    10 need-to-know nicknames

     

    31. Aunt Flo

     

    32. On the rag

     

    33. Red sea

     

    34. Crimson tide

     

    35. Riding the cotton pony

     

    >> 36. Little red devil

     

    37. The curse

     

    38. T.O.M. – Time of the month!

     

    39. Painters are in

     

    40. Mother Nature’s little gift

     

    Need more code names? Click here!

  • swimming.jpg
    10 things not to panic about

     

    41. Getting it. OK, blood in your panties is a little freaky. But—hurrah!—you’re maturing. Or as granny would say, “You’re a woman now.”

     

    42. Leaking. It happens to everyone and chances are no one will notice. To prevent it from happening, change your pad or tampon frequently and hit the bathroom if you’re getting anxious.

     

    >> 43. Swimming. As long as you’re wearing a tampon, dive on in, girl!

     

    44. Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS can be serious, yes, but if you change your tampon regularly, chances are you’ll be just fine. Read up on it here.

     

    45. Spotting. Irritating? Yeah. Normal? Totally.

     

    46. Guys finding out. Unless they’re living under a rock, they know what’s going on.

     

    47. Forgetting to pack a pad or tampon. Chances are there are prepared females all around you. Ask your BFF, your teacher or the school nurse.

     

    48. An irregular period. That’s totally OK for the first few years, and if you’re still having trouble, your doc can prescribe birth control to regulate your flow.

     

    49. Buying pads or tampons. Every other person on Earth has to do it, but if you just can’t bring yourself to head to the register, ask Mom to grab ‘em when she’s at the grocery store.

     

    50. Being “normal.” When it comes to periods, every girl is different. If you’re really worried about something, go ahead and call your doc. Chances are you’re just fine so chillax, chica.

  • water.jpg
    10 PMS busters

     

    51. Cut your salt intake. When you consume a lot of salt, your body holds on to extra water. This leads to bloating, which can be super uncomfortable. If you’re prone to bloating and salty food cravings, try to ditch the salt in favor of healthier, more balanced snacks.

     

    >> 52. Drink water. If you’re bloated, your body might be holding on to water to counterbalance all of the sweet or salty treats you’ve been noshing on. More water will help regulate your system.

     

    53. Try over-the-counter drugs. There are drugs made specifically to help you deal with your period, like Midol. You can also try other pain relievers that contain ibuprofen (think Motrin) or naproxen (think Aleve).

     

    54. Get warm. If you’re home, relax on the couch with a heating pad or hot-water bottle behind your back or over your aching tummy. If you’re out and about, try heating pads that stick to your back, like ThermaCare Heat Wraps.

     

    55. Exercise. Getting your body moving will not only take your mind off your period, it’ll also help relieve your discomfort. Something as simple as a walk can help kill cramps.

     

    56. Take a bath. The heat can help ease your backaches and cramping, and let’s just face it—baths are awesome! Just don’t forget the tampon.

     

    57. Tired? Take a nap. Periods can be exhausting, so if your body is telling you it needs a break, give it one!

     

    58. Emotional? If you can’t take the crying over sappy commercials, take a few deep breaths to get your emotions under control.

     

    59. Kill the buzz. Caffeine can cause swelling, bloating and headaches. Cutting out caffeine-filled drinks—like coffee, some teas and certain soft drinks—could help you feel better.

     

    60. Eat healthy. Junk food is so good…but it can also weigh ya down and make you feel lethargic. To up your energy and avoid period fatigue, ditch junk food for healthier alternatives.

  • white.jpg
    No period yet? 10 things to enjoy now

     

    >> 61. Wearing white whenever you want

     

    62. Being your normal, sweet self 24/7/365

     

    63. No weird cravings

     

    64. Your dog not pulling used pads or applicators out of the trash. Ew!

     

    65. Not feeling the need to buy a dozen unnecessary things at the drugstore to disguise the bag of super-absorbent, extra-long pads

     

    66. Your bloat-free bod during bikini season

     

    67. One less embarrassing thing you’ve got to tell your mom

     

    68. Going to the bathroom without sneaking a tampon into your pocket or up your sleeve

     

    69. Your fave pair of undies…without the inevitable blood stains

     

    70. Teasing your buds about their monthly visitor. It’s fun while it lasts!

  • question.jpg
    The 10 questions we always get

     

    >> 71. When am I going to get it? There’s no tried-and-true answer, unfortunately. You might get it when you’re 10, or you might get it when you’re 16. There’s no guarantee you’ll get it when your mom got it or when your sisters got it.

     

    72. Does it hurt? Some girls experience really bad cramping, fatigue, mood swings, soreness and body aches, among other symptoms. Some girls breeze through their periods. It’s totally depends on the person.

     

    73. I got it once…six months ago! Where did my period go? Periods are often irregular for the first few years. If more than a few months go by between periods, you might wanna call your doctor, but don’t stress too much. Want to know more? Click here.

     

    74. What if I get it at school? It’s always best to be prepared. Keep a few pads in your locker, backpack or purse just in case. Caught by surprise? A quick trip to the nurse’s office will fix the sitch. Get more deets here.

     

    75. Can I make it come faster? Sorry girlie, but you’ve gotta wait for Mother Nature on this one. There’s nothing you can do to make your period come sooner than it’s ready to.

     

    76. How long will it last? Most periods last anywhere from three to seven days, but if yours is a day or two shorter or longer, that’s normal, too. If you hit day 14 and you’re still bleeding, it’s time to call your doc.

     

    77. Should I use pads or tampons? Most girls start using pads, but if you’re an athlete, you might be more comfortable training and competing while wearing tampons. It’s all about personal preference. Some girls are freaked out by tampons, and some girls hate the bulk of pads. Use what works best for you. Check out GL’s guide to tampons and pads, pronto.

     

    78. What’s with the white stuff in my undies? That’s discharge girl and, once again, it’s normal. Discharge is a sign that your body is getting ready for a big change. Chances are you’ll get your period within a year, but there’s no guarantee. Read more here.

     

    79. I’ve got my period, but I’m totally flat-chested. When will the rest of my body catch up? There are five stages of puberty. The not-so-cool thing is that many of the stages, like getting your period and growing breast buds, overlap in ages. While you might get your period when you’re 11, your boobs might not be big enough to fill out a bra until you’re 15. Get the 411 here.

     

    80. When do I need to start seeing a gynecologist? It’s recommended that girls start visiting a gynecologist when they are 16 to 18 years old. If you’re thinking about having sex, if you don’t have your period by the age of 16, if you’re having serious problems with your period or if you just have questions, you should go as young as necessary. Get more info here. 

  • canoe.jpg
    GL’s most embarrassing on-the-spot moments, part 1

     

    81. My period decided to start right before a track meet. I was totally unprepared and it was really heavy, so I ran to the bathroom and stuffed my underwear with toilet paper, hoping it would help. During my race, I felt something slip through my shorts. I looked down and saw the soiled toilet paper. After picking it up I noticed all the boys behind me were watching!

     

    82. So this one really cute guy in my class asked me for a tissue. I reached into my bag, not looking, and pulled out a packet of them. He said, “Ummm…never mind.” That was when I realized that I was offering him a pad, not a tissue. Oops!

     

    83. I was going canoeing with my best friend and her mom. I was on my period so I quickly put in a tampon before we left. I was in such a rush that I pushed it in too far and it got stuck. I couldn’t pull out the string! I had to tell my best friend’s mom and she had to help me take it out!

     

    84. I told my friend I was on my period. She would blame my period whenever I got angry. I told her to stop, but she shouted out, "If Chelsea gets mad at you, don't take it personally. She is on her period!" in a crowded hallway at school.

     

    85. I was at rafting camp when I got my first period. My sister told me that since it was light and I would be in the water, I didn’t have to worry about a tampon yet. But during our 30-minute drive to the rafting spot, my period became super heavy and soaked through! I tried to casually cover it with my hat while I got in the water, but someone had already seen it.

     

    86. I was having cramps from my period at church, so I called my dad to have him pick me up. Before he came, my crush came up to me and pulled me into the janitorial closet. I thought he wanted to kiss me, so I leaned in and puckered up. Turned out he was just trying to tell me that I had bled through my white dress.

     

    87. I had just started my period, so I went to the nurse’s office for a pad. In front of all these other students, she screamed down the hall to the other nurse, “This girl just got her period and needs a pad. Can you grab me one?”

     

    88. After swimming in my pool, my friends and I went inside for pizza. I got up from the couch, and my towel had a bloodstain on it! Someone asked, “Is that pizza sauce?” My face turned the same color as the stain.

     

    >> 89. I was canoeing at camp, and I decided to wear a pad instead of a tampon. Of course, my canoe was the one to tip over. Every time I took a step, there was a loud, squishy sound!

     

    90. My friend and I were walking to class when a guy came up and unzipped my backpack. He grabbed a pad, and waved it around saying, “Look what I found in her backpack!” The worst part is that my crush was right behind us.

  • dance.jpg
    GL’s most embarrassing on-the-spot moments, part 2

     

    91. I was swimming in a really ritzy resort, and I had a pad on. I was doing crazy dives, and my pad slid out and started floating around the pool! Everyone pointed and laughed. I swam around so it didn’t seem obvious, and then I ran. Fast.

     

    92. I got my first period on Christmas Eve. My mom called it an early present from Santa. Yeah, not.

     

    93. At camp, one of my guy friends asked me to lend him money for a drink. I went in my bag to pull out some money, but I pulled out a tampon! He laughed and said, “Nice!”

     

    94. I was visiting my cousins and I took a shower in their bathroom. I was on my period, so I wrapped my pad in toilet paper and put it in the trashcan. Later that day, we were all watching TV, and the dog came in with my used pad hanging out of his mouth.

     

    95. Once I was hanging out with my crush and he asked me what I had in my pocket. I told him it was a roll of LifeSavers (but it was really my tampon) and he asked me to share some with him!

     

    96. I was in class when I got my period. I went to the nurse to get a pad, and when I came back, my teacher asked me why I went to the nurse. I just said, “I’m not sure,” and everyone looked at me like I was crazy.

     

    97. I was at the mall with my friends and we saw some cute guys looking at us. So trying to be cool, we walked right by them. Just as we were passing them, one of them jumped in front of me and said, "There is a red spot on your butt!"

     

    98. I had just gotten my period and had to go to school. Everything was fine the whole day, or so I thought. While changing for gym class, I discovered a HUGE stain on the back of my pants! My "friends" told me they had seen it but didn’t tell me because they were afraid they would "hurt my feelings.”

     

    >> 99. It was “Bring Your Family Night” at the dance school I go to, and my crush came to watch. I had my period that night, but everything was fine until my mom came rushing into the dance studio and yelled, “Cassidy! I’ve got your pads!” Everyone was cracking up—I wanted to DIE!

     

    100. I was on my period during gym class and needed to change my pad, but I had left all my pads in my gym locker. My friend and I went to ask if we could go back in, but our teacher said we would have to wait. My friend blurted out, “It’s her time of month…” in front of the whole class, including my crush.

BY GL ON 1/28/2011 1:25:00 PM

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