If you've never had your period before, never had the 'talk' or didn't have access to sexual education at your school, you're going to have so many questions about this transition into a life with a period every month. We're going back to the basics here, as no question is too small or insignificant regarding women's reproductive health.
When will I get my first period?
You've probably heard it before, but every girl really is different when it comes to the timing of her first period. The average age range is between 9-16 years of age but usually you can tell when you're coming close it it. You may ask your mother to see when she got hers, or even your sister. Chances are you will be fairly similar, but this also may not be the case! Another thing to keep in mind is that you will soon see the development of breasts, hips, waist, pubic hair as well as a growth spurt during this time. Don't fret if you get a couple of stretch marks too - nearly every single woman has these.
How long will my first period last?
Typically, you'll notice a red-brown discharge that may only last a few days for some. This is completely normal for your first period! It will be very light and maybe last 2-7 days. If you're completely caught off guard and have no idea what to do, see if an adult woman in your family or your friends have any spare hygiene products on them. We've all had to do this before, don't feel embarrassed.
How often will I get my period?
Your cycles may be irregular to begin with, but soon they will follow a pattern that is unique to your body. Most periods will occur every 28-45 days, with 28 days being more common. Your period itself will develop a pattern that is in sync with your hormones and your body that may be completely different to your mum's, sister's or your friend's. Usually it can take about a year for your body to develop its own pattern, so you'll be more prepared for when you get your period.
What does it mean if I have an irregular period?
An irregular period can cause stress and panic for some. Don't immediately think you're pregnant and stress yourself out (if you're sexually active). There are many factors that can cause irregular periods in women, with the most common being a change in diet, weight loss, an increase in exercise or even high stress. The best thing to do is discuss these concerns with your doctor.