You've started your first period

That's great! It's a sign you're becoming a young woman.

What do I need?

First of all you'll need some pads. Ask your mum, sister or aunt for some and expect to change them every 3 - 5 hours.

Before you go to bed, you might want to switch to a specially designed night pad as this will give you some more protection as you move around in your sleep and until you wake up the next morning.

How long will it last?

Your period is likely to last for about 2 - 5 days but could be up to 10.

If you make a note in your diary of when it arrives, after a while it'll begin to settle into a routine and give you an idea of when to expect the next one. First periods just like any other period, can vary from girl to girl in the amount of blood released or the length of the period, all of which is normal.

When will I get the next one?

Once you're in a regular pattern it'll arrive between 21 - 34 days later. But to start off with it could take longer than that. It can take your body a few years to fall into its own regular pattern.

Why have I got a period?

It’s a sign that a female has entered a stage in her life where her body (her uterus and endometrium) have matured enough and the passage from the uterus and the cervix to the vagina has opened to allow menstrual fluid to pass. In other words, it’s a way of preparing your body to have a baby at some point in the future.