Jan 07, 2018

When Will She Get Her First Period?

Some girls start menstruation as early as 9 or 10, others not until they are 15 or 16 with the average being 12.5 years of age.

Periods start when the body is ready and is determined by genes, hormones and being sufficiently physically developed. Weight can also play a role in when periods start, the current scientific consensus being that more weight is likely to trigger periods and less can delay it.

Strangely, there is also quite a bit of research that suggests that girls growing up in households without their biological fathers will also head into puberty a bit before their peers.

If you’re the mum, what age you were when you first got your period is a good indicator of when your daughter will start. Other indicators include having:

  • Pubic hair for about a year
  • Regular discharge
  • Around 20% body fat as a minimum
  • Other indicators of puberty – growing taller, widening hips and breast development

Factors that can delay puberty include poor nutrition, being underweight or having a prolonged or serious illness.

For many girls, their period will be heralded by a rust-coloured discharge and their first period is likely to start in the next day or two. Others don’t get such a clear warning.

Be prepared

We’ve all heard horror stories from generations past when girls got their first period and had no idea what was going on – in some cases, they even thought they were dying! Thankfully those days are well and truly over.

In addition to knowing about periods, it’s also a good idea to have some products on standby. Girls are curious so show them what the pads look like, how the wings wrap around the undies and how to stick them into place. It’s also important to explain how to dispose of used products and emphasis that they should never be flushed down the toilet.

A little kit or purse, with a couple of small pads and liners, is a good idea for girls to keep in their school bag – just in case! If they’re going on camp or a sleepover, a few more pads might be an idea.

However, reassure your daughter that if she is ever caught short, she should always just ask a friend or the school nurse for a pad. We’re all girls and happy to help each other out!

Why not order a sample from us here at Libra, which has a GirlTalk booklet with loads of information on everything from periods, handling a leak, eating well and keeping happy.