The first menstrual period of a girl is called as menarche. It occurs anywhere between the ages of 10-16 years, the average age being 12-13 years for most girls. Nowadays girls are getting their first period faster owing to better diets and health parameters.
The first period is often exciting, scary and anxiety ridden for most girls. It also tells them that they have come of age and are now stepping into womanhood. All girls have very different experiences when it comes to the first symptoms of menarche. Here are some of the symptoms of first menstruation.
Major Symptoms Of First Menstruation
A girl’s first period is indicated by bright red or dark spotting seen on the underwear. It often occurs unexpectedly or may occur 3-4 days prior to the first bleeding.
This is a precursor to occurrence of the first menstrual period. Most girls may get alarmed seeing a bright red stain in their underwear. It is your duty as a mother to educate her and tell her that it is a normal process of growing up.
The first few periods of a girl’s life can be acutely uncomfortable. Since the body is so young and nubile, the uterus may undergo intense contractions to shed its first lining.
The experience of abdominal cramps may prove to be quite uncomfortable for most young girls. Teenagers are likely to feel painful cramps in the first few menstrual cycles. This can be alleviated by giving the girl painkillers or advising rest.
Some girls complain of weight gain, feeling bloated and puffy and developing water retention during their first period. This may occur a few days before the actual onset of the first period. It is an indication that menarche is about to occur. A vigilant mother can then prepare and educate her child.
Secondary Sex Characteristics
6 months before the onset of the first period, girls experience a spurt in secondary sex characteristics like the development of breasts, elevation of nipples, and growth of pubic hair. This means that the child is maturing and could now get her period anytime.
Aches And Pains
A lot of young girls complain of headaches, back aches and leg cramps while they are on their first period.
This too is very common. It should be tackled with sensitivity especially at school. Good nutrition, rest, massage and painkillers can be provided to the young teen.
Girls start to experience a sudden flow of vaginal discharge. Let her not get anxious and explain to her that this too is normal and is the vagina’s way of self cleaning.
With the onset of puberty, teen girls may face numerous skin problems the most prominent ones being that of acne. Acne can dent her confidence and make her conscious of herself so make sure you give her a healthy diet, lots of water and teach her to follow a good skin care regime.
If her symptoms seem out of proportion or severe, do see a doctor who will advise a full medical checkup.