How Many Days Will I Bleed?
First periods usually only last a couple of days. It takes a few months for your period to settle into a regular schedule and consistency.
Once it does, your period may will last from two to seven days each month.
How Much Blood Will There Be?
Initially because you are not used to periods you will think you are loosing a lot of blood. However, first periods are light as your hormones are settling into a regular cycle. It can also bring a few spots of reddish, brown blood during your week.
You should tell a trusted adult if you:
- have to change your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup every one to two hours
- feel lightheaded
- feel dizzy
- feel like your heart is racing
- have bleeding that lasts more than seven days
Your guardian or other adult may need to take you to see a doctor to talk about your symptoms. The doctor can help determine whether you’re losing too much blood. They may be able to give you medication to help relieve your symptoms.
What Do I Use To Collect The Blood?
There are several different options you can use to collect your period and keep fresh & dry. Most girls find pads and liners the easiest and most comfortable at the start of your periods then when you are comfortable to try tampons or if you are a regular swimmer or horse rider, you may want to try tampons too.
Each brand of pad, liner & tampon is slightly different and you will find some more comfortable than others. You may also find that your needs change over time, so keep updated with new products available.
If you are a subscription member with Bloody Marvellous we will keep you updated with new and changing products.
Pads and Panty Liners
Pads which fit into your underwear sticking with a strip on the bottom, typically need to be changed every four to eight hours. This depends on how light/heavy your flow is so change if the material feels sticky or wet.
Even the largest pads are still quite thin, so you should not be able to see it through your clothes. If you’re worried that people might be able to tell, stick to looser-fit bottoms.
You should start your period with a light or normal pad, move to a more absorbent pad, long or heavy as your period gets heavier then go back to light at the end. You can also use liners when you are expecting your period to start and at the end of your period to keep you dry.
There are now teenager ranges of pads, tampons and liners which are smaller and easier to handle. They work best for lighter flows.
Regular tampons are considered average in size and absorbency.
Super or super-plus tampons are the largest in size. They work best for heavier flows.
Some have extra sticky material on the sides, known as “wings,” that you fold over the edges of your underwear. This helps keep the pad in place great for sports and during the night when we move about in our sleep.
They come in different sizes. Each size is made to accommodate a different level of bleeding.
Generally speaking, the smaller the pad, the less blood it can hold.
You may also find it helpful to wear a heavier pad overnight so you don’t have to worry about leakage.
Tampons must be changed every 6 to eight hours at most. Leaving a tampon in for more than eight hours can increase your risk for irritation or infection as a result of the bacteria present.
Tampons are absorbent, tubelike menstrual products. They’re inserted into the vagina so they can absorb the period blood before it reaches your underwear.
Tampons are sold with plastic or cardboard applicator tubes to help you insert them comfortably or no applicator so you just push in with your clean finger. All tampons have a string on one end to pull it out.
As with pads, tampons come in different sizes and overall absorbencies.
When it’s time to insert, gently push the tampon inside your vaginal canal until only the string remains outside of the body. If you can feel the tampon it is not in the right place.
If your tampon has an applicator, position the end with the tampon at the entry of your vaginal canal and use the applicator to push the tampon into your vagina. Then dispose of the applicator in an environmentally friendly day.
When it’s time to remove the tampon, pull on the string until the tampon is free.
Cups must be changed every 12 hours at most. Leaving a cup in for more than 12 hours can increase your risk for irritation or infection as a result of the bacteria present.
Menstrual cups are another option. Similar to tampons, cups are inserted into the vagina where they collect blood before it exits the body.
Cups typically come in two size options — small or large — that are based on overall age and experience with childbirth.
You’ll likely find the smaller model more comfortable and easier to insert.
The insertion process is similar to that of a tampon. Although your product should come with step-by-step directions, you can also check out our guide to insertion and removal.
Unlike pads or tampons, most cups are reusable. This means that when it’s time to change the cup, you simply take it out, clean it, and reinsert.
Depending on the brand, reusable cups can last anywhere from 6 months to 10 years with proper care.
Period underwear is a relatively new invention. It’s like regular underwear, except it’s created with a special fabric that absorbs menstrual tissue and traps it within the fabric.
You can usually use one or two pairs throughout your entire period. Just make sure you wash them according to the manufacturer’s directions after each wear.
Different types have different levels of absorbency. If you have a lighter period, you may be able to rely on only these.
If you have a heavier period, you may enjoy using period underwear as a backup to prevent accidental leakage.
There are different brands out there, but they all work in a similar way. Modibodi.co.uk have pairs specifically for tweens and teens.
Article by Rachel Nall from healthline.com
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