Signs Of Your First Period And What Your First Period Says About You

Who would have thought that your first period could reveal so much about you?

Whether you’re waiting for your first period, or you’ve been menstruating for what feels like a lifetime, signs of your first period and what your first period says (or said) about you can be important to set you up for long-term health.

Symptoms and signs are always the best clues.

In anticipation of my first period, I carried around a ‘stayfree’ pad in the bottom of my bag until the ends frayed.  I wasn’t really that keen for it to show and I certainly didn’t want to be the last to join the period club.  I was intrigued, but mostly pretty nervous, like I was waiting for some magical spell to be cast.

Just a few weeks short of high school, my first period arrived.   I remember stumbling out of the bathroom with my jaw on the floor and asked my mum if I could please go to the doctor.  What I saw looked nothing like what I thought my period would actually look like, in fact, I didn’t even associate what I saw with my period.

My first period looked nothings short of a murky, dirty mess in my undies.

Why have a period anyway?

Truthfully at the time, I didn’t really understand what it was all about, besides it being a sign that I was developing as a woman, or so my Beautiful Mum insisted, and that felt so foreign to me as a thirteen year old young girl.

I definitely didn’t understand the importance of my period, no matter how many times I read the 10 page booklet full of line drawings and cross sections of the body that my Mum had given me.  There was nothing in that book that I could actually relate to whatsoever.

I poured my eyes over those pages hundreds of times in fascination.  I definitely didn’t understand the ‘menstrual cycle’ properly and what I quickly figured out was that your period arrived monthly and was kind of a pain in the butt (pun pun pun).

It wasn’t until years later that I’d come to learn that your period is far more than just bleeding.  It’s evidence of the hormone symphony that plays, day in day out.

Your period is your body’s way of talking to you.

Your period can reveal so much to you about the internal landscape of our health and hormones.  If you have pain, or bloating, mood swings, cravings, swelling, you’re tired or you get a headache on the same day every month, it’s possibly your body’s way of asking you to listen.  And this never changes.

Whether your 16 or 46.. this reveal each and every month is something that can give us all the clues we need.

And I say all of this, but your first period is really just the starting point. From here on you can  observe the daily/monthly conversations your body is having with you for the rest of your menstruating days.

Your First Period

Usually it shows up a year or so after you start to show signs of puberty. Most obvious are the breast buds that feel like small peas under your nipples.

If you’re an adult reading this, you’ll likely remember the sensation that comes along with it. It can be sore, itchy and sometimes have a slight tingly or burning feeling.  It’s normal and can come and go frequently.

From this point on you may notice other signs, like body odour and mood swings and then one magical day, your period arrives hopefully without too much fuss.

Period pain isn’t normal. It’s common, but that doesn’t mean it is a given.  And of course I want to lead you towards balanced hormones, free from issues like pain and suffering.

Pain Free Periods Are Possible.

Many of us associate our period with a horrible and dreaded window of time roughly every 28 days.

Truthfully, your period doesn’t have to be awful, or missing or late. There is so much you can do to help guide it to optimal function, the bonus of this is absolutely happier and healthier, hassle free periods.

But What Did Your First Period Actually Reveal To You…

There are a few things that your first period may have communicated to you.  Whether you’re reading this as a young woman or as a woman who has menstruated for many years, this information can be very useful in understanding your hormones on a deeper level.

  • Timing.  How old you are at the time of your first period may tell you a lot.  There are of course variables to consider. For example, a young women who may participate in elite sports may have issues associated with her menstrual cycle as the high level of intense training can pull the handbrake on hormonal development.  Know this, the average age for your period to begin is around age 11.  Getting your period earlier may suggest high oestrogen at an early age and a delayed onset may indicate other hormonal imbalance, such as PCOS or hypothalamic amenorrhea.  Consider your first period a major clue in your own body’s wisdom.  Need to understand your hormones a little better?  Complete my hormone worksheet here to see what’s the deal with your hormones.
  • Pain.  Pain anywhere in the body should always be explored.  If the period is painful from the onset, don’t hope for better days, explore why.  It’s often a result of inflammation, perhaps endometriosis or adenomyosis.  There’s no need to panic or think the worst, but please do not think that pain is a given and it comes as part of your period package.
  • Regularity.  Interestingly, hormones don’t ‘settle’ until around 18 years of age and it can be normal to go through months where periods aren’t necessarily on time.  If your period isn’t regular around 18 years of age, definitely explore why. It is a common symptom of PCOS, but not limited to it.

The more in-depth you can look into your menstrual cycle, the more you are opened up to a world of information.

If this information is completely foreign to you, no matter what phase of your menstrual years, my latest book Beautiful You can help show you the ins and outs of your hormones.  The more clues you have, the more you become the CEO of your body.  After all, you need to live in your own skin, so it’s rather important to make it as amazing as possible.

If you want to dive deeper and understand your menstrual cycle for conception or contraception, my Debunking Ovulation masterclass is here to help no matter what your cycle looks like.  Thousands of women have learnt how to use their own cycles to truly turn their life around.

What did your first period tell you?  In hindsight, maybe you would have explored your signs and symptoms more.  I’d love to hear what you think and how your period has shown you more than you may have initially thought.

22 Comments

  • March 6, 2019 By Jackie 8:03 am

    I had my first period at 14 and was devastated! I swam and danced and the thought Of trying to wear a pad while I did those things was horrible. In those early years I was pretty lucky that my cycle was fairly regular however if I was ever a few days late I always spent the first day vomiting. The girls at school were all over it when I was turning green/grey! We nicknamed our period Johnny. Johnny was visiting and he was an asshole!! I’m now 35 and have just had a daughter so can’t wait to read the book to help her (and me) xx

    • March 6, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:10 am

      Oh I know – like so many of us we really didn’t understand (and somewhat loathed) our period. I truly believe that by talking more about it and being more aware, we may be able to help our daughters have a better experience. Johnny be cool! xo

  • March 6, 2019 By Sarah 2:40 pm

    I started my period at 10 and was desperately hoping my daughter would make it to 11, however, last year at 10.5 years hers started. My curiosity is in the aura migraines connected to periods. I used to get these when I was younger, not so much now but my daughter, to my surprise has now had two. Would you have any information relating to this? Thanks.

    • March 6, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 2:53 pm

      Hi Sarah, I’ve written about how these can be connected and I’d say YES – you might like to check out a previous article I’ve written here.

  • March 6, 2019 By Bridget 7:26 pm

    I didn’t get mine until I was 16 as I didn’t even really start developing until 14-15. I was so excited to get it as I had waited so long and thought that something was wrong with me. I actually knew it was going to start for some reason even though there was no pain or spotting but something in me told me to call my mum and ask for the pads because today was the day. I used a pad for the first time and then a few hours later started my first period. Weird how our body can somehow send us subliminal messages. My subconscious definitely knows my body better than I do!

    • March 6, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 11:32 pm

      Wow amazing!!

  • March 6, 2019 By Sarah 10:14 pm

    I was only about 8 or 9 when my periods started, they used to be very painful for the first few days with a heavy flow and always lasted 7 days. I’ve always been very regular with my cycle except for when I’m on hormonal contraceptives, 4 years since I’ve been off them and my periods have been regular again ever since and my symptoms much much better, now I only get pain the first day from cramps and a much shorter cycle (average 4 days) most of which are very normal. I’ve always had very tender breasts though. I really do wish I had know more much earlier! How early I started really does concern me and my fertility in the future and the change to a shorter menstruation :/

    • March 6, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 11:33 pm

      It’s important for you based on this that you ensure your body is doing the best it can to clear oestrogen. Via the gut and liver and ensure you’re not adding to the oestrogen load by making sure you’re avoiding xenoestrogens. x

      • March 7, 2019 By Sarah 6:11 am

        Thanks so much for your reply Nat!
        Is there anything specific of yours I can read that will help? And what supplements other than magnesium and Vitex can I take long term? Thanks 🙂

        • March 7, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 6:58 am

          YES! I talk about this in Beautiful You – which actually if you use the code ‘GREAT’ at the moment you can get free shipping with booktopia!! You can check it out here. x

  • March 7, 2019 By Angie 1:55 am

    My firsr period lasted for three weeks and wpuld bleed through layers of nightime bads (tampons fell out immediately). I ended up fainting at school due to low iron and was put on the pill immediately and was sadly on it for the next 15 years..my poor body is paying for it now that I have finally come off..my brain doesn’t know how to produce these hormones now!

    • March 7, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 6:55 am

      I’m sorry that you experienced this – I’d love to help more!

  • March 7, 2019 By Kellie 7:34 am

    I had my first period at 11, the first in my group at school. I have been quite fortunate and never had painful or irregular periods.
    I was on the pill and came off 2.5years ago, my periods now come regularly but much lighter than before I was on the pill.
    You’re a wealth of information and I thank you for sharing!!

    • March 7, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:32 am

      So very welcome x

  • March 7, 2019 By Allison 9:10 am

    i got my period when I was 12 and it lasted about 10 days. My next period was 28 days later, and again, lasted 10-12 days. Soon after, my periods were coming every 14 days and still lasting 10-12 days. After a year or two of this, and my mum taking me to male doctors who told me ‘your period will settle over time’, she eventually took me to a female doctor. The only solution was to put me on the pill. I was 14 years old at the time and remained on the pill until I was 29 because of this issue. Surprisingly, when I came off the pill, my periods came every 5 to 6 weeks. I’ve always wondered why this occurred and what it all meant.

    • March 7, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:34 am

      It’s really common for periods to be irregular up until 18 for young women – until their hormones work out their groove. I’d be inclined to implement some specific lifestyle additions if this were a patient of mine at 14 and see what changes we could get that way. Glad your body knew what to do when you transitioned off the pill. For so many women it is a different story.

  • March 7, 2019 By Jess 3:34 pm

    I got my period when I was 11yrs and it was very irregular. If only I knew this information then, that my hormones wouldn’t ‘settle’ until around 18yrs, as my doctor at the time put me on the contraceptive pill at 12yrs old. I had been on it with small breaks here and there until I was 26yrs old, I am now almost 33yrs old and have PBCS which I am working on.

    • March 10, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:26 pm

      I think your situation is like so many women – I can’t even understand how frustrating this is.

  • March 7, 2019 By Anita 4:08 pm

    Weirdly, I don’t remember too much about my first period. I’m 46 now and never really had any pain with it. But I do remember one of my friends telling me she was concerned for me as she’d been informed by her doctor that no pain means no fertility..lol

    • March 10, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:27 pm

      Oh gosh NO WAY!!

  • March 8, 2019 By Ange 6:44 am

    I have two daughters who are almost 12 and 13 and both got their period at 11 years old.
    One has a relatively easy time with her period but her skin is really out of control – the other has a painful period and good skin.

    Is there any rhyme or reason to this?

    • March 10, 2019 By Nat Kringoudis 9:28 pm

      Genetics! They can be tricky but there would certainly be a reason and I’d love to help more.

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