In part two of our two part special on puberty and periods our subject matter expert leads though a discussion on getting your period for the first time. We talk about what to do to prepare for it, how to handle it and what changes you go through once your menstrual cycle starts.
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welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison whale is a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges,:
the teenage years.:
Welcome to insights into teams. And this is episode 19, The p Word art too. I am your host, Joseph Waylon and my lovely and talented cohost Madison Waylon. Hi everyone. How are you doing today, Maddie? Pretty good. So you’re sitting in a slightly different position than usual. Yep. Why is that? Because we have a guest and who was our guest today? My mother would show Waylon. Hello mother. Michelle. Hi:
Mother Michelle is here, uh, because we are dealing with Mama Mama per per second part of our two part series here, which deals with uh, getting your period for the first time. And I think I am just going to sit back, run the board. I might ask a few questions, but I will tell you you’re not an expert in this. I am by no means an expert in this. But, uh, just do a quick rundown of what you guys will be talking about. We’re going to talk about what a period is, what your ministration menstrual cycle is, some details on that. Uh, then we answering questions and answers to go back and forth with that are fairly common questions and we’ve got some interesting statistics on, on periods to talk about. And then a little direct question and answer between you and I with Madison. Sure. And, uh, then we will finish up with Madison’s closing remarks and uh, hopefully I’ll push all the buttons in the right way and put the right people in the screen because we’re playing musical chairs here today. Yes, we are. All right. Are we ready to get into it? Sure. All right.:
Turn it over to you, Mommy.:
Sure. So let’s just do a quick definition of what a period is. So your period is when you shed tissue fluid and blood from your uterine lining. It leaves your body through your vagina. Most girls and women, it happens each month and last between three and seven days. It may come as a surprise when you first get it. But that’s okay cause a lot of girls aren’t really quite prepared. So does that seem like a quick, quick overview of, of what it’s like to see? It definitely sums up a lot of points about you, period. Let me just say that. I definitely think that’s the main definition. I’m, there’s nothing really need to say about it other than basically all the things you need to change when, well let, well that’s just like a, a real quick definition of what it is. So I’m going to give you a little bit more detail just so you know, and I’m sure you, because you, you went through the movie in class and stuff and, and more of the biology behind what it is that that’s happening to, to you and to me and most women that go through this.:
So this will help you understand. So the preop ovulation is when, so females have two ovaries are most women because there are some that don’t, um, have two ovaries that contain thousands of eggs. Basically all the eggs that you’re ever gonna need are already in your body. Right now, the estrogen, which is a hormone in your body, tells your ovary to release an egg every month. Usually it’s switches sides, one side, one month, one side another month, so the egg releases, and at the same time the soft lining called the endometrium of the uterus starts to thicken. That’s when you might get some cramps kind of beforehand. So then during Avi Elation is when the mature egg is released from the ovary and it travels through the Fallopian tubes to that thicker lining. Now if there happens to be sperm involved, which is the male reproductive cell and the egg meet, then a baby would develop pre-menstrual is if the egg isn’t fertilized, it starts to break down and you’re lining actually will start to shed.:
And when the shedding happens, that’s actually your period. It’s just your body cleaning itself. Totally natural. Okay. Yeah, so it can be kind of scary, but that’s basically what happens is that your body is thinking, oh, maybe you know it. It’s basically your body’s way of maybe somewhere down the line. Having a baby or if you never have children that’s fine, but it’s just the way that your body goes through the cycle to prepare itself. So that’s actually what’s happening throughout your body during a period. Okay. Any much pre pretty much know what honey it that that is right. And it’s a lot like when you think about, you know, it’s kind of amazing that your body knows to do that and you know that it realizes, you know, as the egg goes, if it’s fertilized or if it’s not fertilized and your body just kind of cleans itself and prepares itself, you know, for the next month.:
So Daddy, when he was preparing all of this data, he found some common questions from various different uh, websites. One was kidshealth.org uh, the American College of Obstetrics and gynecology and kind of put together a little Q and a for us to go through. One of them is when will my period start? When, when did your start? Well, my period actually started when? In the summer when I was 11 years old. Excellent. Not quite long ago. And so it’s almost been a year now. It’s almost been a year. Yes. And when I got, and it was shocking, it’s from to say, right, well we, we kind of knew it was going to be coming soon. We kind of knew that the different stages of puberty you, you were starting to go through. So we kind of knew this was the, the next big one. So it was a little bit of a shock of when it happened, but we were, we were a little prepared because we had actually, um, talked about it a little bit and I had already seen the videos in school.:
Right. And you had seen the videos in school, which I think kind of help. I think when you get it, you’re still that, that still, you still get that initial shock of it’s finally, you know, Oh my God, I finally got it. And the same thing happened to me many, many years ago. I was actually 12 when I got mine. So not that much older than when you got you yours. I was almost 13 at the time. And again, I had, you know, seen them, the movies in school, and it was a shock. Now the relationship that I had with my mom was, we really didn’t talk about it as much. Now she had supplies in the house for when I got it, but we hadn’t really talked about it. We hadn’t really looked through the things. It was Kinda like, Oh, here’s your period, here’s your stuff.:
You know? So I think that we’ve been a little bit more open with it, talking about it and not being ashamed to talk about it. Um, because it’s a very natural thing. And, and it’s interesting to see through the years how, how much more open people are to talk about it now than, you know, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 50 years ago, hundred years ago even. So. So I think it’s good that we have that openness that we can, we can talk about it. So another question is, how long do they last? And according to this, um, sometimes it lasts a few days. So anywhere between two to seven days. Would you say that that’s a fair, fair assessment? Yeah, I would definitely say it. The first time I got my period, I think it lasted for four days. Now they last about a week or so. Yeah.:
And that’s kind of kind of normal and some months honestly would, you know, there are some times when it lasts three days for me and some were at lasts like eight days. So it really depends. Like you know, I don’t have a set schedule and, and at some point maybe you’ll have more of a set schedule and sometimes you won’t. It’s, it’s just your body’s way of doing, you know, what it, what it needs to do. So then of course, how often will you get your period is another common question. And do you know what the, the answer is to that? Monthly, monthly, monthly, right. And usually most women, most girls, most women have a cycle. That’s usually about 28 days between 21 and actually 45 days is kind of normal. But sometimes, especially when it’s very new to you to, you know, to your body, it might actually take almost six years for your cycle to actually become regular.:
Now for me when I was around your age, I actually, well obviously a little bit older, I would actually go like three months without getting it. And that was just because it was my body’s way of trying to get into a cycle. It’s just one of those things where you know, you gotta give your body time to, to adjust to, you know, to the, the new schedule and it’ll come whenever, whenever it wants to. One of the other things is why is it a good idea to keep track of my period? And do you know why? Well, it’s a good reason to keep checking your period because it might be able to help you whenever you gave you period. Next, write it this way. You can kind of figure out when you’re late or when you’re early or if there might be a problem that you would need to maybe contact, uh, your doctor about.:
Um, so there’s multiple ways that you can track your period. Um, and how do you keep track of it? Well, when I first got my period and you were there, you recommended this one app that I use and using it ever since that that’s one of the nice things of technology this day and age is that most people have a smart phone and there are multiple apps out there for keeping track of it. And I’ve been using it, you taught me how to use it and it’s actually been uh, quite an easy thing and right. And one of the nice things about it is it kind of lets you know when your period is over, when you should be expecting to get your period again. And what it also does is after so many months of tracking, it’ll actually reevaluate when it thinks. So if you know you were 21 weeks, one time or 21 days, one time and 45 days, another time and 30 days time it’ll actually average out and think, oh, we think this is when you’re going to get, you know, your period next.:
And I use an APP as well for mine as well. And it does the same thing. And it’s funny because there are days when I just don’t feel right. Something feels off. And I’ll actually look at the APP and I’ll see that my period is actually a couple of weeks away and I realized that I’m going through pms and that’s why I kind of don’t feel like myself. So it’s kind of interesting that your body kind of tells you the signs and gives you the signs ahead of time and that, oh, look at that. Now back in the day before smart phones, I actually had to use a calendar and that’s actually a, a common way of doing it for most people. You know, that don’t want to put it on their phone. Am I keeping you up sweetie? No, no, no. I know it’s been a long day for you.:
Um, so that’s one of the things, um, that you can do too is just mark it on a calendar. Um, and just, you know, you start an x for the first day of your period and you know, your last day is another x and then you just can count off and kind of figure out when your next period, uh, would be kind of easy. Yeah, it really does. When you get your period, the next fun thing is the different products that are out there to use. Now back in the day, and this was even before, before you know, mommy, we’re talking like grandma’s time. They actually had something where you actually had to wear a belt and you wear under your clothes and the belt actually attached to a pad. And that was how women protected themselves while they went through their period. But nowadays we have a lot more things out there.:
So just to kind of go through for, for the audience, one of the things, probably one of the most common things to use our pads and basically what it does is it captures, it soaks up your, uh, your menstrual flow and they’re disposable and you just throw them out when you’re done. Then as we’ve talked, there are tampons where though they are usually cotton based and that’s actually inserted into the body and again absorbs the blood and you take it out and you throw that out. Then a while back there were were new things that kind of came up and one of them is called a menstrual cup. Now that’s also something that’s inserted into the body and that kind of helps to capture the blood and that some of them are one time use that, you know, you’d take it out and you throw it out or some of them are actually meant to be reused where you wash it out and use it.:
Again. One of the other things that have kind of come out more recently, our underwear that can be worn during your period without having to wear any other protection because they’re made of a, a thicker, more absorbent material. And also there are companies that are starting to make reusable pads, kind of being environmentally savvy nowadays. And that’s why a lot of people are using the menstrual cups because they’re, um, recyclable, reusable. So there’s not the waste that goes into the landfills, um, with a regular traditional pads. And so now they’re different companies out there that are making these reusable pads and these reusable underwear as well. So another question that came up was how has a pad used? Like I had mentioned before, back in the day, they didn’t have a sticky adhesive. So like I said, it was attached to you wore like a belt and you attached it and you would attach it.:
Nowadays pads have an adhesive and some of them even have wings, which we kind of know them out. Um, and basically the idea of the wings is that it folds over the edges of your underwear to Kinda help from any, any leaks to help to protect your, your underwear. And they make, as we know, they make all sorts of sizes. I remember really just one kind of size maybe too. Um, but now they make all sorts of sizes, all sorts of thickness because not everybody has the same flow. Some people have very light periods, some people have very thick periods. And what I kind of thought was interesting was I bought smaller ones for you thinking that you, you would prefer those, but you actually prefer the larger ones. Um, you feel more comfortable having something larger and that’s fine because it’s anybody’s preference. There’s fortunately there’s enough out there, there’s a number of brands out there that there’s kind of something for everyone, you know, something that to help you feel comfortable.:
And that’s really the biggest thing is that whatever it is that you decide to use, that it’s because it makes you feel comfortable. How often should you change your pad? You should change it a couple hours a day. My schedule is two and a half hours. Um, but I’m not the same for everyone. You probably, people can also have other schedules, so, but my schedule right now was two and a half hours. Okay. And that’s a good schedule to have. Usually I find for myself during the beginning of the week, I change it more often. And during the end of my cycle, I don’t have to change it as often because I’m not leading as, yeah. That’s Kinda how I do it as well. Right. So you kind of, you kind of have to gauge it how it is for the week. Now obviously not everybody, as we said, uses pads. There are some people that use tampons and there is a little bit of a health factor with using tampons.:
They, they basically say with that you should change it at least every four to eight hours and never really leaving it in more than that because you, you can get sick from leaving it in longer and it’s on all the packaging. So you know, if you’re unsure, obviously read the package to, to see what’s on there. And again, just like with, you know, what kind of pad should I use? What kind of Tampon should you use? There’s various different kinds of, of tampons out there. Honestly, I’ve never used one, so I’m really not, uh, an expert to say what kind, you know, you should use. And again, it’s a personal preference. There are some women that that’s all they use or tampons, they don’t like using pads. And then there are some women who don’t want to use tampons. So it, it’s, it’s who are us, who are us.:
Right. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing, there’s no right or wrong decision, you know, as to, as to what you, what you use the menstrual cups. You kind of cringed when, when I mentioned it and honestly the first time I heard about a Menstrual Cup, I kinda did the same thing because it just didn’t seem like it was for me. And, and again, it’s another personal preference. I’m, I actually know a lot of women who love the Menstrual Cup. They, some of them actually call a, some of the brands or diva cups. Uh, that’s some of you know what there or moon cups and they actually prefer that more than anything else. So again, you have to feel comfortable with it. Um, you know, the, they say for them, they just feel like they have more, a movement that they’re, they’re not as restricted.:
My whole thing is being someplace where you can take it out and clean it. Like, how do you do that in a public bathroom and you know it, you know, my mind starts thinking of other things and just realize that, yeah, it doesn’t seem so easy. It seems too much like work. I don’t want to have to, you know, be be working and, and doing it. I just want to go change it and be done. But again, there are some women that, that that’s what they’re into and that’s totally okay. So one of the other questions was, does having a period cause pain or discomfort sit? Does it, I mean for me, when I get my periods, when I first realize, oh hey, I’m bleeding, I start getting stomach cramps. I mean I not one of those people who have the cramps before their period. I mean, I do get moody and I do have:
discharge coming on me, but other than that, there’s nothing really that can help me sense when I’m having my period. But when it happens, I start, my stomach putting much hurts. I’ve actually already been through it multiple times, but, and like sometimes when you’re sitting down and it gets a little uncomfortable. And I remember the first few times I had my period always feelings like gushing blood coming out of you didn’t feel comfortable.:
Right. Right. In it. And it’s a, when you’re not used to it, it is a very weird sensation. You kinda don’t feel right, but you’re not really sure. But then after you kind of get used to it, you’re like, oh, okay, just a bodily function that everybody else’s, you know, all the other women you know, are going through. It’s not uncommon.:
Yeah. And also, um, some women might get their cramps before them.:
Right? Right. So, you know, and usually when you’re getting cramps, it’s sometimes, um, your lower abdomen, which is, you know, near where your fallopian tubes are. Sometimes it can be your back basically from the, from the same area depending on, on where it is. Some of the discomfort that you might get our, um, is tenderness in your breasts. And that’s actually something that, that I get that’s, that’s kind of how I know my period is coming. It’s, it’s one of the little telltale signs where I, it hurts, you know, to take off my bra or to put on a bra or if I bump into, you know, something, it, I get the, the tenderness. Um, usually, you know right before and sometimes even during, um, there are some, some girls and some women who actually will get headaches or feel dizzy or even get nauseous because of the cramps that they’re, they’re getting.:
So what is pms? Have you heard that term? No, pms is actually p premenstrual syndrome pms. That’s what it stands for. And it refers to the symptoms that some girls, women experience one to 14 days before their period, which is what we were kind of talking about where you were saying you actually get some of the symptoms during your period. Um, so these symptoms are caused by changing the changing hormone levels and they can include, like we were saying, headaches, backaches, food cravings when somebody wants some chocolate or depression or moodiness. Cause we don’t know anybody that gets moody. Um, or again, the breast tenderness, pain in your joints, you were saying the other day, how, you know, your, your legs were bothering you and you were thinking maybe it was a growth spurt. It could be a sign of, of pms, a general tiredness. You know, there are some, some days when we’re just really extra tired or feeling bloated or a weight gain.:
And that’s, I definitely notice that usually before my period that I kind of get bloated. My rings don’t fit right. My clothes don’t fit right. And sometimes people even notice getting a skin blemishes and I’ll even get pimples on my face from time to time, usually right before. Um, so that’s part of my pms cycle. So, so everybody’s different. Um, but I know you go through a couple of these different, uh, different things, uh, right beforehand cramps. Now you said you’d normally get cramps usually during. Yep. Um, where I usually get my cramps usually, you know, in the beginning. And what are some of the things that I’ve done for you to help you with your cramps? Well, what did we do this morning before you went to school? You took some medicine. It took some pain medicine. And that’s actually a very common thing is to to just take some, some Tylenol or Motrin, which is what we did.:
Uh, another thing that they kind of suggest doing is, you know, if the cramps were really bad to put a heating pad, you know, on, on your, on your belly. I’ve never actually tried it because my cramps usually haven’t been been too bad. Um, years haven’t been too bad for the most part. So one of the other questions is, what if I’m having heavy bleeding? This is something that fortunately we’ve, we’ve never had to deal with, but just to let our viewers know that, you know, if you’re changing your pad or your Tampon, every one to two hours or your period is lasting more than seven days, you, you probably should contact your doctor. And it might not be anything serious, but you definitely, you know, want to see a doctor right away if you’re lightheaded, dizzy, or if you have a racing pulse because it could be something, something more serious.:
But if things don’t seem, seem as normal than obviously nothing to be concerned about. Yeah. So irregular periods. And I know again, being kind of new with it, you’re, you’re still coming into your cycle. Um, so in the beginning your period may be irregular. You could have one period and then wait as long as six months for the next one. Now you haven’t had to to wait that long. But I think there was one time where it was a couple of months in between. It was actually after I got my first period, three months till I actually got my second one right. And that’s totally normal. So you know, and you might even still get a period where it just lasts one day or you could get a period where it lasts 10 days. And this happens a lot for girls and even some, some women, oftentimes it takes a, a girl’s body. You know, it takes a couple of cycles a couple of years to actually get into a regular, a regular routine. And again, if you’re concerned about anything, if something just doesn’t seem right, obviously call a doctor to get checked out. So some interesting statistics that teddy found regarding periods where:
some of them, I don’t know, they seemed a little bit to be Whoa, wives’ tale ish, you know, my resources, I don’t make these thoughts. Right. Yeah. One of the few times I talked in this process to defend myself, right? So one of the things that daddy found was getting your period can worsen asthma symptoms, which that totally baffled May. And even if you think about it, it kind of makes sense because you get swelling. True. And Asthma is inflammation in your lungs. True. I could definitely see that. That’s how I’m explaining to you to please,:
uh, I’ll, I’ll go with that. I’m sleeping with a nightlight can help regulate your, your cycle light exposure affects the secretion of the sleep hormone, which helps control the release of the female reproductive hormone that depend on when your menstrual cycle begins and ends. So this is more like, are more like fun facts than statistics. Fun fact, if you want to regulate your period, but on a night, on the night light, the sound of your voice changes during your period. Yes. Because when you get your period, you get angry, yell. No, no, not really. No. Mommy, I, I’ve never noticed my voice changing. But again, you ever noticed my voice changing? Well, you’re kind of at that stage where you know, every day you sound a little different. But I don’t know if it’s because of you just changing or just Kinda, you know, normal. But maybe again, it goes with the whole, you’re swollen.:
Maybe your vocal cords are your, you know, your, your neck is swollen. So you sound different. I Dunno, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll go with that. Another fun fact or statistic, um, is that the average woman, the average woman has more than 400 periods in her lifetime. And that between the average woman’s cycle and menopause, she could expect some 450 cycles. That’s a lot. Yeah. And that’s why a lot of women are starting to use different types of products during their period because they know they’re going to have it so many times throughout their lifetime. And that’s a lot of, of waste to, to have to try and find a home for because it’s not really, you know,:
the agenda. The next fact that you could go through 15,000 period products in your lifetime, can you imagine how much waste that does generate? I mean, that’s, that’s monumental,:
right? And like I said, that why, you know, I’m starting to see a lot of different companies pop up, you know, I know I use thinks has, you know, the one of the, the brands, I can’t remember the, the brand, uh, for the kids version, but there’s like at least five or 10 different companies out there that are starting to make washable reusable products, which really does make sense.:
So you said one of the things that you didn’t like was it felt like you were gushing blood when in reality, on average the average woman loses about 60 milliliters are about 2.7 ounces, which is significant, but it’s probably less than you actually realize. Yeah.:
Now do you, do you know how much like 2.7 ounces is fluid ounces? It’s less than the cop, right? I was going to say, when you drink, you’re a can of soda that’s 12 ounces right there. But yet it kind of feels like each period you’re losing a whole lot more when really in actuality you’re not really losing all that much.:
And it wouldn’t be a podcast with your mommy if we didn’t have a Disney time.:
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And, and this was actually news to me when, when I was reading over your notes that back in the 1940s Disney actually made a movie about periods. Uh, it was called the story of menstruation and it was actually funded by Kotex, which is a very popular brand of female products. And essentially it was a movie for tweens that told them about what was gonna be happening to their body soon. It’d be funny to, to see if we could find did on you. It’d be interesting. Maybe we’ll have to, well, yeah, we’ll have to see if, um, we, uh, we can find it.:
So you didn’t, you obviously don’t like the concept of a Tampon. Nope. Would it surprise you to know that the first Tampon pat and was actually filed by a man? Clearly someone who doesn’t use it,:
someone who would never use one was the one that invented back in 1931. Yeah. 1931 the first patent for, for a Tampon was introduced. But actually 1921, which really wasn’t all that long ago, um, was when the first disposable pad was sold. Um, and it was basically packaged in a plane wrapped unidentified box because nobody really wanted to talk about it. And basically a woman would put money on the counter and they would just kind of slide. It was some kind of illegal transactions. And the sad thing is, and we’ve talked about this before, is that in some countries it’s still kind of seen that way. Um, there’s a very good documentary which might not be such a bad idea for, for you to sit down and watch an appreciate that was done in India and talked about there were, there are girls who, because they would get their period and didn’t have access to feminine protection, who would have to drop out of school or wouldn’t go to school on the days that they had their period and because they would miss so much school because you figure four to seven days a month, they would get left behind or they end up having to drop out of school all because they didn’t have something to wear to be able to go to school while they had their period.:
So there are a couple of women who kind of went into some of these towns in India and actually showed women how to make them. And actually these women’s started producing them. Because the other thing too is you can kind of find paths to buy, but they’re very expensive and they’re very hard to find. And a lot of women again are ashamed, which, and this is something that no woman should ever be ashamed to, to have to find or buy feminine protection. And they’ve basically, they’re there these, this organization that went in and basically empower these women to start earning a living for themselves, making pads. And basically they became kind of door to door sales women and they would go to visiting neighboring towns with these pads, selling them a lot cheaper than the brands that you could get in the store. And they were made by other women and, and, and it empowered them to be able to, you know, like these younger girls to actually go to school and finish school all because they had something to wear when they had their period.:
So as much of an inconvenience is having your period is to you as you’ve expressed, you can imagine people elsewhere have it a lot harder because they don’t even have access to the basic supplies that you have access to. Now imagine going through the day without being able to change that pattern every two and a half hours. I can’t imagine what it would be like.:
Yeah. So you’re, you’re very fortunate and very lucky to live in a time and in a place where it’s easily accessible where you’re not chastised for having to go to the restroom, you know, to change it throughout the day either. It’s just it’s a normal thing and that’s how it should be.:
And it’s a bodily processes like breathing or having to go to the bathroom. It’s like you have no control over it, so no one else has any right to tell you how you go about doing that. It’s natural.:
Absolutely. One of the other fun facts that, that daddy found was that during your period, researchers in the UK have found that more money is spent by women while they’re on their period, they can defend not just on suppliers and know. I can see that, I can see that, that basically the impulse to to shop kind of comes out while, while:
we’re having our, our cycle, which I would be curious to know how much, uh, is chocolate chocolate is purchased. That’s what I’d like to know is, is you know, where’s the Hershey’s? And the reality is I couldn’t, you know, that’s where I want Daddy. That would be so fun. That would be fun. We need to know. So this next one I totally disagree with. Um, it says that your period probably isn’t sinking up with your roommates or your friends that run researchers monitored the cycles of 186 women living in the same dorm for more than a year. They found that their periods didn’t sync up at all. I totally think that’s false. Well, I, in their defense, they have a slightly larger sample size then the sample size of two that you’ve got. Right. But I’m not saying that it’s just too, I lived in, you know, in a, in a dorm in college and I had an apartment in college.:
More Times than not, we were kind of within, you know, it wasn’t like one was one week, one was another one. You know, we’re, no, I don’t think overlap possible, but there’s nothing from a, a hormonal thing there. Right. You’re not, it’s not like you’re giving us some kind of scent that’s triggering it. But if you ask another woman, they will say that they sync up with, with other women say no. Well, and that’s why you’re here sweetheart. I’m not as expert. So on this was probably done by by some men. So we don’t want, we don’t want to, yeah, we’re not gonna pay that much attention to it. I’m not gonna argue the bullet. False. It’s false information. Mythbusters. You know, so, so I think that’s it for the fun facts. Let’s come back with some questions and answers and then, uh, we’ll let Maddie a finished with her closing remarks. Sure. So there was just some questions that I had here and you’ve answered some of them already, but I think just for the sake of clarity, we’ll ask the questions again. And the first one we’ve, we have talked about, how old were you when you start at your cycle?:
I was 11 years old, like I said before. Okay.:
Okay. Well thank you for re reiterating. Yeah. Mommy, I’ll, I’ll leave the rest of the questions. Uh, sure. So the next one is how do you cope with the discomfort associated with your cycle?:
Well, I’ve had my period for multiple, multiple times now, and I’ve, I know that when I start bleeding, I know like the immediate day, once I started becoming heavy, it starts getting uncomfortable. I start my cramping, but I kind of cope with it. I mean, yes, of course. When I first get on my pad, I’ve a couple of weeks without wearing it. It’s get uncomfortable, feels like a more on a diaper. Still feels like it, but I mean, I’ve had it multiple times to know how it actually feels. I’m getting used to it now.:
Let me follow that up with when you feel like you’ve talked about the discomfort, the cramps and so forth, when you feel the discomfort, do you take medicines for it? Do you soak in a tub? Like what do you do to try to compensate or to try to get past the cramping?:
Oh, the only thing I really do is basically taking medicine. I don’t actually sit in a warm bath, even though that does help. Whenever I, I have my shower. It’s nice to have it nice and warm. Definitely helps me get rid of the pain. Also, I noticed eating food, it takes my mind off of it and apparently it doesn’t actually hurt us bad.:
No, there’s certain foods that are better.:
I don’t, I don’t know. I mean like when I had my period, I noticed after like I had my stomach cramps that when I was eating, when we had snack at school, I actually felt better and my stomach cramps for an as awful.:
And when you take medicine, wouldn’t medicine, do you typically take in much Tylenol and pain medicine? Is it, is it Acetaminophen? Is that Ibuprofen? What’s the proof? What is the recommended? So that’s the, the common brand names, Motrin for that. Okay. Next question.:
How does it affect how you treat other people around you? Well, honestly it does. I don’t really treat people differently with my period, but before my period I do get, tend to get a bit of me really that was mommy poking the cage. Yes. And, and I get, I get the same way where there are times when I don’t realize I’m being moody. And it’s not until after the fact that, you know, and I apologize when I realized that I’m kind of being a little cheap. But yeah, it’s, it’s just one of those things where you just, you don’t realize the, the way that you’re feeling and it, because it’s, it’s part of the hormone. So, and the final question is, what activities do you avoid or can’t do as a result? Well, I get a little tired and my period, unfortunately now we had actually had field day today, but I was actually going through my period today.:
And did you find that you couldn’t do anything? I couldn’t do anything. Just said I didn’t have a lot of energy. Like, okay, why don’t we went on the inflatables? I realized I can only do it once because I, because like already halfway through the first time I was like completely exhausted. And again, I was outside the entire day and I was having my bodily functions effect. Right. And that could have also just been because of it. It being warm, not necessarily because there are some people that find that when they have their period, they’re actually more active or that doing more activity kind of helps, kind of helps the cramps by being more active. But one of things you know:
is that there’s nothing that you can’t do, that your period shouldn’t stop you from doing things that you enjoy. So if you like sports or you’re a dancer or you know you’re active in, in other things that having your period really shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you enjoy. You’re going out. Um, you know, obviously if you have cramps and, and you’re not feeling well, that’s one thing, but you shouldn’t let your period dictate you doing things that you enjoy doing. Okay. Before we cut to the last segment here, did you have any questions for mommy about the subject?:
Well, I just want to ask this one question. Do you ever tend to be more addicted to food and less addicted to certain foods that you would be, that you would enjoy?:
Yup. It’s funny that usually right before my period or sometimes during my period I tend to crave salty or food, things that you know, like popcorn or pretzels or, or just adding extra salt to things that I normally wouldn’t and sometimes I go through a like a sweet, um, KCI phase. So I really don’t get the chocolate craving as much. But definitely I can see the way, you know, I, I crave certain things throughout the month and I also see how it affects my body because when I’m craving all those extra salts, um, extra thirsty and I kind of get bloated because I’m retaining water from the extra salt.:
And I can actually relate to that because I’m the exact opposite problem. I do not like salty things like when we have potato chips at aftercare for snack and whenever I tried to eat them having my period, I just think they taste disgusting and that’s like even really know makes me gag inside. Like, yeah, I feel like gagging throwing up. Yup. That’s, that’s it.:
Total normal thing. And that kind of, you know, relates to pregnancy and different cravings that that people go through during pregnancy. What you crave, anything when you were pregnant with those reports? Really, really? What did I crave that entire period you are so upset because you were waiting for the ice cream and the donuts and I was craving like pickles and like, no, I really wasn’t made ohs or something. No, it was just tomatoes, tomatoes and oranges and grapefruits. That’s what I was craving. And you were like, where’s the ice cream? When are you creeping? The chief of the thing I like, yeah, I was craving and avocado. I remember I was craving avocado g and who likes Avocados and:
ty wander or did you have any other questions for mommy? I think that was pretty much it. Okay. All right. I think that’s it for what we had to present today. So come back and you can do your closing remarks and your shout outs. I turn it over to Uw Madison.:
Well for my closing remarks, I just want to say for any women who are my age and having gotten your period yet, just make sure you are aware of it and know a bit about, a bit of background knowledge about it. I also recommend having people who care about you a lot and who will help you through the steps, this difficult time and um, make sure you’re prepared and for people who are going through your period, it’s, it’s definitely natural. Don’t be ashamed about it. It’s the most natural thing anyone will love it. Go through and um, I hope that you are able to cope with it as much as I have. When I first started, I wasn’t cope. I didn’t cope with it too well. But luckily I adapt pretty quickly. I’m not like everyone else. My schedule is not like yours. You’ll probably have a different schedule, but just some ways to cope would be nice for you. All right.:
Any shout outs today?:
Well, I would mainly like to give a shout out to I guess mommy. Thank you sweetie. Thank you mommy. Thank you daddy. Would you soon. Thank you. That one.:
Mommy. Mommy save. No, this one. I don’t think I could have did this.:
Let’s see. Yeah, so I just want to thank you for being there to support me and helping me through the difficult time I’ve had with it. I also want to thank you for all the useful information you have been able to pass down onto me, and I’m glad you are not like my grand mom and have kept it inside and say, well, you got your period. Here’s your supplies, then enjoy.:
All right. I think that is it. Uh, we’ll bring this to partner to a close. I think we did a fantastic job and we’ll be back next week with another great podcast. See everyone:
What is a “period”
- A quick definition – Your period is when you shed tissue, fluid & blood from your uterine lining. It leaves your body through your vagina. For most girls & woman, it usually happens each month and lasts between 3 to 7 days. It may come as a surprise when you get your first one – that’s ok. A lot of girls aren’t quiet prepared.
- The Whole Story – this will help you understand your cycle
- Pre-Ovulation – Females have 2 ovaries that contain thousands of eggs. Estrogen tells an ovary to release an egg every month. At the same time, the soft lining, called endometrium, of the uterus starts to thicken
- Ovulation – This occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary. After the egg is released it travels through the fallopian tubes to the thickened endometrium. If sperm the male reproductive cell, fertilizes the egg, a baby develops.
- Premenstrual – If the egg isn’t fertilized, it breaks down and the endometrium isn’t needed. As a result, hormone levels drop causing it to shed
- Menstruation – The endometrium leaves the body through the vagine as a reddish fluid containing blood. This is a period.
Common questions about your period
- Kidshealth – https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/menstruation.html
- American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology – https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Your-First-Period-Especially-for-Teens?IsMobileSet=false
- When will I start my period?
Most girls start their periods between the ages of 12 years and 13 years, but some start earlier or later.
- How long do periods last?
When you first start having your period, it may last only a few days. Your first few periods may be very light. You may only see a few spots of reddish brown blood. Anywhere from 2 to 7 days is normal.
- How often will I get my period?
A menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of bleeding in one month to the first day of bleeding in the next month. The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but cycles that are 21–45 days also are normal. It may take 6 years or more after your period starts for your cycle to get regular.
- Why is it a good idea to track my period?
If you track your period every month, you may notice a pattern. It may become easier to tell when you will get your next period. Check online or on your smartphone for apps that can help you track your period.
- How can I track my period on a calendar?
To track your period on a calendar, mark the first day your bleeding starts on a calendar with an “X.” Put an X on each of the following days that you have bleeding. Count the first “X” as day 1. Keep counting the days until you have your next period.
- What personal care products are available for me during my menstrual period?
Pads are used to soak up the menstrual flow. Tampons and menstrual cups catch the flow from inside your vagina. Pads, tampons, and menstrual cups can be used at different times. Some also can be used together. Period Panties are now out there made by different brands as well as reusable pads
- How are pads used?
Pads are worn inside your underwear to collect your menstrual flow. They come in different sizes, styles, and thicknesses. Some have extra material on the sides called “wings” that fold over the edges of your underwear to help keep the pad in place and give better protection. A thinner, shorter version of a pad is a “panty liner.” Some girls wear panty liners on the last days of their periods when the flow is light or on days when they think their periods will come.
Reusable pads are used much the same way and have velco or a nap to attach to your underwear
- How often should I change my pad?
Change your pad at least every 4–8 hours or whenever it seems full or feels wet and uncomfortable. Some girls change their pads each time they urinate.
- How are tampons used?
Some tampons have a plastic or cardboard applicator tube that helps slide the tampon in place. Some tampons do not have applicators and are inserted with just your fingers. A short string attached to the end of the tampon hangs out of your vagina to help you remove it later.
- How do I choose a tampon?
Just like pads, tampons come in different sizes for heavier and lighter periods. The tampon package will tell you how much fluid it will absorb. A “super” tampon, for example, is thicker and is meant for heavy flow. A “slim” or “junior” tampon is slender and is meant for lighter flow.
- How often should I change my tampon?
You should change your tampon at least every 4–8 hours. Leaving a tampon in for a long time has been linked to toxic shock syndrome. When your flow is heavier, you may need to change it more often.
- What are menstrual cups?
Menstrual cups are made of plastic or rubber. They are inserted into the vagina to catch the menstrual flow. You remove and empty the cup every 8–12 hours. Some cups are used only once and thrown away. Others can be washed and reused.
- Does having a period cause pain or discomfort?
Some girls have a cramping pain in the lower abdomen or back or breast tenderness just before and during their periods. Others get headaches or feel dizzy. Some get nausea or diarrhea.
- What Is PMS?
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) refers to the symptoms some girls and women experience 1 to 14 days before their period. These symptoms are caused by changing hormone levels and may include: headaches, backaches, food cravings, depression, moodiness, breast tenderness, pain in joints, general tiredness, & weight gain or a bloated feeling. Skin blemishes may also flare up.
- What Can I Do About Cramps?
Many girls have cramps with their period, especially in the first few days. If cramps bother you, you can try:
- a warm heating pad on your belly
- taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or store brand) or naproxen (Aleve or store brand)
- What if I am having heavy bleeding?
If you are bleeding so much that you need to change your pad or tampon every 1–2 hours or if your period lasts for more than 7 days, you should see your doctor. See your doctor right away if you are light-headed, dizzy, or have a racing pulse.
- What if I have irregular periods?
In the beginning, your period may be irregular. You could have 1 period and then wait as long as 6 months for the next one. Or 1 period may last 1 day, while the next lasts 10 days. This happens to a lot of girls. Oftentimes, it takes a while before a girls body settles into a regular cycle. In fact, it may take up to 2 to 3 years. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor.
- Interesting Statistics Regarding Periods
- Getting your period can worsen asthma symptoms
- In the week leading up to your period, an increased sensitivity to allergens, paired with a lower-than-normal lung capacity, causes between 19 and 40 percent of women with asthma to experience premenstrual asthma (PMA)
- Sleeping with a nightlight can help regulate your cycle.
- Light exposure affects the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps control the release of the female reproductive hormones that determine when your menstrual cycle begins and ends. The key is to sleep with the light on during the last two weeks of your cycle. Keeping it on at all times might actually make your periods more irregular, since shift workers report irregular periods.
- The sound of your voice changes during your period.
- Vocalization researchers theorize that female reproductive hormones actually impact your vocal chords, altering your voice.
- The average woman has more than 400 periods in her lifetime.
- Between the average woman’s first cycle and menopause, you can expect some 450 cycles
- You could go through up to 15,000 period products in your lifetime
- You probably bleed a lot less than you think. On average, a woman only loses about 60 milliliters, or 2.7 ounces, of blood during each period
- Disney made a movie about periods in the 1940s.
- The magical Disney production you’ve never seen is called “The Story of Menstruation” and was funded by Kotex. Essentially, it’s an explainer for tweens on what’s about to hit their ovaries very soon.
- Women paid for the first disposable pads by putting money in a box on the store counter.
- 1921, the first disposable pads in the U.S. were sold in a plainly wrapped, unidentified box to keep period product purchasing on the DL, according to Kimberly-Clark, Kotex’s parent company.
- The first tampon patent was filed by a dude in 1931.
- The original tampon with a cardboard applicator was patented more than a decade after disposable pads made their secretive store debut, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You can thank Earle C. Haas from Denver, Colorado for his contribution to your cycle.
- You might spend more money during your period.
- When researchers from the U.K.’s University of Hertfordshire surveyed more than 400 menstruating women on their spending habits during different parts of their cycle, they found that women spent more money and shopped more impulsively while menstruating than during other phases of their cycle.
- Your period probably isn’t syncing up with your roommates’ or friends’.
- When researchers monitored the cycles of 186 women living in the same dorm for more than a year, they found that the women’s periods didn’t sync up after all
- When researchers monitored the cycles of 186 women living in the same dorm for more than a year, they found that the women’s periods didn’t sync up after all
- How your period affects you
- Hold old where you when you started your cycles?
- How do you cope with the discomfort associated with your cycle?
- How does it affect how you treat other people around you?
- What activities do you avoid or can’t do as a result?
- No! It doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you usually enjoy doing.
- Closing remarks and shoutouts
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