What happens on your first period

The first rule (menstruation)

What is the rule

The rule, also called menstruation or period, is bleeding that comes out of the vagina. The blood comes from the uterus and indicates the rejection of the uterine lining. Usually this bleeding lasts between three and seven days. It is a completely normal process and a sign of your health and the maturity of your body.

When young girls reach sexual maturity, the body begins to make sex hormones. Hormones are messenger substances that are produced in the body. Together with other systems, they control and regulate the entire organism. The female follicular hormones (estrogens) cause the eggs to mature and thus determine when the period occurs.

Talking to your mom is always a good idea. She can tell you how it was with her and probably give you some good advice. If you don't want to talk to your mom, maybe you have an older sister, aunt, cousin or girlfriend? They will definitely help you!

When does the first rule apply?

Nowadays, a young girl gets her first period between the ages of 10 and 16. The average age is around 12.5 years. The first menstrual period marks the last part of puberty, which began with the growth of the breast and pubic hair.

If you have not had a menstrual period by the age of 16, this usually has no serious reason. Nevertheless, in such a case you should consult your family doctor or, even better, a gynecologist.

The bleeding accompanies the mature woman from the first period (menarche) to the menopause (climacteric) between the ages of 45 and 55 years. The period stops during pregnancy.

How often does the rule occur?

The menstrual period occurs once a month for three to seven days. There is a break of usually 24 days between the individual bleeds. But that is different for every woman. The days of the menstrual period and the subsequent break until the next bleeding are called the (menstrual) cycle.

A normal cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days. The first few cycles in particular are often very irregular. That is normal. After a few months, however, it becomes regular. If you write down the days of your period in a calendar, you will soon recognize your personal cycle and can easily work out when the next period will occur.

What is happening in the body?

With the onset of puberty, the girl's internal genital organs mature: the uterus, two ovaries and two fallopian tubes.

The ovaries do two things:

  • The formation of the female sex hormones estrogen and progestin;
  • The maturation of egg cells;

One egg matures in every menstrual cycle. It is getting bigger and bigger. During this ripening process, estrogens are first produced. These ensure that the lining of the uterus is built up. Ovulation occurs after about two weeks (the middle of the menstrual cycle). The matured egg cell is released from the ovary into a fallopian tube. This has the task of transporting the egg into the uterus.

The ovary is now starting to produce mainly progestin. This hormone initially causes the uterine lining to thicken further. If the egg migrating through the fallopian tube is fertilized by male semen, the fertilized egg nests in the lining of the uterus - this is the beginning of a pregnancy.

If fertilization does not occur, the ovary stops producing progestin. As the progestin decreases, the lining of the uterus begins to thin and peel off. This is exactly when you get your menstrual period. Then the processes described start all over again.

Before the first rule

Be well prepared for the first rule: It is best if you already have pads or tampons at home. Maybe you put it in your school bag too. When the first bleeding occurs, you don't need to use cotton or paper towels. Cotton wool or paper are not very absorbent, and they are usually very uncomfortable to wear on the body.

Sanitary towels are absorbent and comfortable to wear: they are simply attached to the underwear. Nowadays, sanitary towels are individually wrapped in colored foil. So you can always put a pad or two in your pocket.

Unlike sanitary towels, tampons are inserted into the vagina and suck up the blood there. You are not noticeable. At its end there is a thread for easy removal from the vagina. They have to be changed several times a day.

If the first rule applies during school hours, you can also ask your teacher or friend for a pad or tampon. Most of the time, both are also available in the school secretariat's first aid kit.

Dispose of sanitary towels and tampons

You should either wrap the used pad or tampon in toilet paper or in the plastic wrap of the new, clean pad and throw it into a toilet bucket. If you don't have one, you can put the wrapped pad in your pocket and dispose of it later.

tip! A pad does not belong in the toilet. It soaks up water, swells, and can clog the drain.

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