Periods are a part of life.
Even if you don’t have them yourself, you will already know someone who has periods. This webpage has lots of resources to help you learn more: for yourself, for friends, for family for a healthier and happier life.
‘Menarche’ (MEN-ar-kee) is the name of the first period. Periods can start anytime between 9 – 16 years for people who have a uterus.
Websites to find out more:
Period tracking is when you record information about your period to help you learn about and keep track of your menstrual cycle. People have been tracking their periods manually for thousands of years, but these days there are apps you can use to help track your menstrual cycle, such as Clue and Flo.
At its most basic level, period tracking can help you predict when your period is due, but there is more to your menstrual cycle than just your period. Tracking every day, or in the days before and after your period, can help you understand your cyclical symptoms. (Taken from Brook)
Your menstrual cycle is more than your period. Tracking your cycle will help you develop a sense of your body’s natural rhythm and better identify any patterns. This cycle tracker will help you easily compare one cycle to the next and help you spot any changes as they arise.
Use a Cycle Tracker to:
- Keep on top of your monthly cycle
- Identify and understand your body’s unique patterns
- Note any similarities or differences that might occur with your period, and throughout the month
- Free printable tracker HERE
There are lots of reason why people with vaginas might not have periods durng their life. Some people are on contraception, or have health conditions that mean their periods stop or they may take medication/have an operation to stop them having periods. Trans women will not have periods and some trans men and non-binary people will have periods.
Periods slow down and then stop completely after approximately 40 years, between the ages of 45 – 55. This is called the menopause. There can be some fluctuations and hormonal changes in the perimenopause (the time leading up to the menopause when periods have completely stopped). Some people think this time is like puberty because of the amount of hormonal changes that are taking place. Puberty is the beginning of the fertility cycle and menopause is the end.
Websites with more info:
Here are some options for products to use, you can mix and match them or choose just one kind. It’s a personal choice, and it might change over time.
Here is a video of some FAQs about using menstrual cups:
Read this blog from a 17 year old who has used a cup since she was 14
- Period Nirvana (US Youtuber) Here’s an example of one of their videos:
Precious Star Vlogs especially this video (How to ask your mum for a menstrual cup)
Gittermary Johnsen especially this video (Menstrual cups- 8 things I wish someone had told me) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMziA2Y2iqg
Some places we know of that sell menstrual cups (we do not have any association with any of these companies and there are plenty more):
- Mooncup https://www.mooncup.co.uk/ (UK made and manufactured)
- Rubycup https://rubycup.com/ (Buy one give one to someone in need- come in different colours)
- Organicup from All Matters https://www.allmatters.com/ (soft and smaller)
- Lily cup by Intimina https://www.intimina.com/lily-cup (designed for teenagers)
If you want to try a cup but don’t have the money to pay for one, talk to your school as menstrual cups can be provided through the free period products scheme. Give them this link for more info if they have not heard of this https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/period-products-in-schools-and-colleges/
How to use and wash: https://www.heygirls.co.uk/reusable-period-pads-washing-instructions/
Real experiences to help parents understand using washable pads: https://www.treehuggerclothpads.com/blogs/resources/teens-and-cloth-pads-q-a
6 tips for using cloth pads at school: https://www.sckoon.com/blogs/sckooncup/81024646-teen-period-advice-6-tips-for-using-cloth-pads-at-school
Precious Star Pads- how to use at school
Hannah Whitton (all reusables but covers pads)
Some place to buy washable pads:
Honour your flow https://www.honouryourflow.co.uk/
Precious Star Padshttps://preciousstars.co.uk/
Cheeky Wipes https://www.cheekywipes.com/cloth-sanitary-pads-kits-1.html Earth Wise Girls https://earthwisegirls.co.uk/
xameliax- how many pairs do you need
Trans guy- I tried period pants
Some places we know of that sell period pants:
Hey girls https://www.heygirls.co.uk/shop/ Modibodi https://www.modibodi.co.uk/
Some of the disposable pad brands we know of (there are LOTS more!):
- Supermarket own brands
How periods affect different people
Trans & non binary menstruators
Understanding non-binary people – how to be respectful and supportive link HERE
In the UK
Period poverty means when someone can’t afford period products, and in the UK that is 1 in 10 girls. Products can be expensive. If you need help talk to your school as they may be able to provide you with free products. If you can, use a menstrual cup that is reusable for several years.
https://www.freeperiods.org/ Amika George started the campaign to get free period products into schools when she was 17.
Period poverty around the world
Stay Away Drama
Dignity without Danger
From rags to cups
Malawi girl guides
Waste and the environment
It’s not just people who are affected by periods- periods also have an impact on our planet.
Places to get help if you’re worried about anything
- Talk to a trusted adult, this could be your parents, or guardian
- Talk to your teacher (also ask them about free periods products available at school)
- Talk to the school nurse
- Get non-urgent medical care from NHS 111. Phone, or online.
- Contact your family doctor