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Here is some information to help girls and mothers find trusted information about periods.

What is a Period?

Put it simply your period or menstruation is when a woman bleeds every month. When you menstruate, or get your period, your body discards the monthly buildup of the lining of your uterus (womb). Menstrual/ Period blood and tissue flow from your uterus through the small opening in your cervix and pass out of your body through your vagina. Women use Sanitary products like, tampons, pads, pants and cups to absorb or collect the menstrual or period blood each month.

What age do girls get their Periods?

Every girls body is different and this is NORMAL.  Your periods will start when YOUR body is ready. That's usually between the ages of 10 and 16.  You will get a rough idea, as usually a girls first period arrives about 2 years after she first develops breast buds.  You may also start getting hair under your arms and pubic hair between your legs.  It can be a scary time for a young girl, but it doesn't need to be.  The more information she has the easier it will be for her and you.

How often should I change my sanitary products?

Each sanitary product is different, and dependent on your flow.  On average you should change your Tampon every 4 - 6 hours, as well as your pads.  Cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, and our Wuka Period Pants can be worn at least 8 hours depending on your flow.  Always remember when changing your period products, to make sure you have washed your hands thoroughly before, and make sure you clean your cup by boiling it for at least 15 minutes.  It is always a good idea to have two cups because of this. 

How do I insert a Tampon?

Inserting a tampon for the first time can be quite scary.  Just take your time, and make sure you have washed your hands properly before touching the tampon. Firstly if you don't know where the tampon goes, then grab a small mirror, so that you can find the opening of your Vagina.  Get comfortable: Try sitting on the toilet with knees apart or standing with one foot on the toilet seat.  Gently insert the tampon into your vagina, and gently push the tampon into your vagina.

Any discomfort? The tampon may not be far enough inside. If this happens, just remove the tampon and try again with a new one. You won't feel anything when the tampon is correctly in place.

Tampon Removal: relax your muscles. Try getting into the position you used during insertion. Gently pull down on the strings. The tampon should slide out easily. Do not flush the used tampon in the toilet. Wrap the tampon in toilet paper and place it in an appropriate waste container.
Wash Hands: Remember to always wash your hands after removing or inserting tampons.  Always remember to take a couple fo tampons to the bathroom with you incase you need to try again.  You got this.    Click on the picture opposite to see a small video on tampon insertion.

How long do periods last for?

When girls first start getting their periods, they can be a little irregular. However most menstrual cycles are around 28 days with bleeding lasting between 3 to 7 days.

Most women loose around 2 - 3 tablespoons of blood, or around 45 - 60 mls of blood.

If you are bleeding through a pad every two hours this is considered heavy and you should discuss with your doctor. 

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is an uncommon but life-threatening condition caused by bacterial infection getting into your bloodstream.

Anyone at any age can get toxic shock syndrome (TSS), but it is more common in women who are having periods and using tampons. TSS is a serious illness and requires immediate medical attention.  Symptoms come on quickly and get worse quickly. They include fever, chills, widespread sunburn-like skin rash and flu-like symptoms. 

TSS can be fatal if not treated promptly. But if it's diagnosed and treated early, most people make a full recovery.  You can reduce your risk of TSS through hand washing and good personal hygiene when you have your period, and also making sure you change your tampon regularly, and make sure you do not use a tampon that is too absorbent for your flow.   There have also been several cases linked with the use of menstrual cups.  Make sure you sterilise your cup properly before use and always, always have clean hands before insertion.  

Parent Resource...

Here is a great pdf booklet that you can use to talk to your daughter about periods.  It covers everything she needs to know.

Click on the link below to download your copy.

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