Your period

Starting your periods can be exciting as it shows that you are developing into a woman. It can also be scary and confusing as your body changes but don’t worry, you are not on your own.

Puberty starts in most girls when they are 10 and means that you start to develop breasts and grow hair in your armpits and pubic area. Periods start towards the end of puberty when breast and hair growth is almost finished. A period is when a girl bleeds from her vagina for a few days. Don’t worry! This isn’t like normal bleeding. You won’t lose very much blood a day – usually around one tablespoon a day, and around an egg cup full during your whole period.

This usually happens once a month. The most common age for periods to start is between the age of 12 and 13. However starting your periods anywhere between 10 and 16 can be normal.

How long does a period last?

A ‘normal period’ lasts anywhere from a couple of days to a week. Every girl will bleed different amounts. During the heaviest part of your period, you will probably need to change your tampon or towel every 3 to 4 hours.

Are my periods normal?

Most girls have some pain and discomfort, leading up to, during and after their period. This is normal. In fact, the NHS says that 3 in 4 women or young women experience strong period pains. Your period pain should not be so bad that you cannot get up, go to school or college and carry on with your normal life. If it is then you should speak to your doctor.

Most girls get told that their periods will calm down in a couple of years as hormone levels become more settled. That’s right... for most girls. But some girls’ periods won’t settle down. If they don’t and you have other problems such as leg or back pain, very heavy periods and/or pain when going to the toilet, go back to your doctor, or speak to your nurse.

To learn more about periods, how to cope with cope with painful periods and when you should see a doctor, click below to download our information pack

Is this normal? About my periods leaflet

Pain and Symptoms Diary

If you are worried or concerned, you can talk to trained volunteers by calling our free Helpline.