Help! I just got my period. Now What?

Help! I just got my period. Now What?

By Brett Hayden, Honeycomb Contributor

For me, it was when I was in 6th grade. I was sitting in my school’s computer lab working on a very exciting project about Fashion Designing. As I was whispering to my best friend about Ben, the cutest boy in class, sitting a few rows up from us, it happened. I didn’t know what “it” was at the time; all I knew was that it was warm, wet, and uncomfortable. I quickly grabbed the bathroom pass and ran down the hall. 

When I looked down, all I could see was what looked like the most horrific crime scene to ever hit my small midwest town. Back then light denim was in style (to my demise), and my new found womanhood had seeped right through the poor quality fabric. My friend swore up and down that she couldn’t see anything, but I knew better. I knew everyone would know the truth: I had gotten my first period. Luckily, I had some spare shorts in my locker for gym class, but they didn’t exactly “go” with the pink top I had picked out specifically to catch Ben’s eye or the Fashion Designer reputation was trying to build. The secret was out and I was mortified. 

It took my mom several hours that night to talk me down from the ledge and convince me that, despite my protests, I would have to go back to school the next day. Being the superhero that she is, she gave me all the advice I needed to be able to handle this life changing experience. Here at Birds N’ Bees, we want to provide just that for anyone who needs a helpful hand or words of encouragement after getting her first period. 

Getting your period for the first time can invoke a whole rainbow of emotions: fear, embarrassment, shock, excitement, and so much more. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone in this experience. Many women have come before you and have dealt with all of the emotions you’re feeling, and spoiler alert - they got through it! With these next few tips and tricks, you’ll be ready to conquer your cycle!

Remain calm - I repeat, REMAIN CALM

First things first, DON’T PANIC. What you’re experiencing is one of the most natural occurrences in the world - literally. It’s new and there’s certainly a learning curve, but believe us when we say, it’s nothing you can’t handle. 

Open up to someone you trust

Whether it be a close friend, your mom, a sister, or even a father figure in your life, let someone you trust know what’s happened. There’s almost a 100% chance you know someone who’s gone through this exact experience who can offer support, words of encouragement, advice, or resources for understanding what’s happening with your body. 

There’s nothing worse than tackling an uncertain experience by yourself. Find someone to help answer any questions, recommend the best products to use, and most importantly, who will make you feel comforted. 

Experiment with different products

You’ll quickly learn that there is a myriad of products on the market for the menstrual cycle. From pads and liners, to tampons, to diva cups, and more, there’s something that works for everyone. It’s a great time to start experimenting with products to see what you feel most comfortable with. 

It’s important to remember that what’s most comfortable for your sister or best friend may not be the best option for you, and that’s okay! Try a bunch of options and see what works for you. If you’re not sure how to use a certain product, Google is your new best friend. It’s all about trial and error, my friend. 

Be sure to check out one of Birds N’ Bee’s reproductive wellness kits that are stocked full of products to help you through this confusing time. You don’t have to feel like you’re searching alone in the dark for things that you need. Our kits are the perfect resource for trying new products you may have never known about. 

Your emotions will likely be on overdrive

When you get your period, a whole bunch of hormones will be coursing through your body. This can be physically and mentally overwhelming, especially the first time. Be aware that you may be feeling extra emotional, irritable, or even frustrated (curse you, PMS!), and don’t beat yourself up over it. 

Getting your period is also tough on your body physically (Hello! Your uterus is literally shedding itself). It's good to keep some soothing things on hand during this time; extra tylenol or ibuprofen, a heating pad, all the snacks, and maybe even your favorite rom-com. Sometimes the best way to combat the heightened emotions is just to let it all out, girlfriend.

Get familiar with your cycle 

Now that you’re at this stage in your life, it’s a great time to be proactive and get familiar with your cycle. This doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. It can be as simple as drawing a red circle in your day planner on the days you have your period, or marking the days on your calendar in your phone. 

This will be incredibly beneficial in the long run; you’ll know what symptoms to look out for when that time of the month comes around and how to combat any that are negative. And knowing when to expect your period will bring comfort so it’s not a surprise every month. Understanding your cycle early on will make you that much more prepared for any future endeavors. 

Do everything you can to not feel shame 

Getting your period can be uncomfortable, and let’s be honest, MESSY. But remember that you are not alone. Did you bleed through a white skirt in P.E. today? It happens! Stuck in bed all day from mind numbing cramps? Sorry to hear that, have a Midol! 

These moments are a part of life, but they’re nothing to dwell on. Lean on your support system in the uncertain times when you have questions, take the time to get to know what works best for you, and give yourself grace when overwhelming emotions come on (and trust us, they will). 

Trust that you will figure it all out

Of course things will be confusing and a bit scary at first, but after a few cycles, it’ll be like riding a bike. Eventually you will learn everything you need to know about tackling “that time of the month.” Understand that it’s a part of life, and a very special one at that. 

Above all else, be proud of yourself for getting through a scary and uncertain time. Congratulate yourself when you start to figure things out, and learn from the mistakes along the way. And remember, anyone who bleeds for a week and doesn’t die HAS to be a badass. You got this!

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