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.