What is normal?
Starting your period is a sign your body is maturing. Leading up to this you will notice physical changes with your body as your breast begin to develop and under arm and pubic hair starts to grow. You may pass a white or yellow-ish fluid -known as vaginal discharge. Don’t panic! This is a sign your first period is on its way.
You might also notice changes in your skin and your mood -you may find you feel more irritable than normal, these are all positive signs your body is developing in the right way.
What is the average age to start having periods?
The average age for periods to start is twelve, however starting your period anywhere between the age of ten to sixteen is considered normal.
If you have not yet started your period by the time you reach the age of sixteen, or if after two years your periods are irregular -meaning your period hasn’t regulated into a typical twenty-eight-day cycle, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your parent/guardian and make an appointment and discuss this with your General Practitioner (GP).
How long does a period last and what should I expect?
The duration of a menstrual period can generally last between 2-8 days, with an average of 4-6 days. It is normal to pass between 20-60ml of blood and anything more than that (more than 80ml) is considered ‘a heavy period’.
For those who experience heavier or faster bleeding, there may be some small blood clots, this is normal. You may also experience some general discomfort, feeling tired, breast pain, changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea) and headaches.
These symptoms are normal, they will usually disappear on their own once your period ends and they should not interfere with your day-to-day life and activities.