I remember when I got my first period like it was yesterday –but it has literally been ten years plus. And OMG, they don’t really prepare you on how the feeling of uncertainty and why now, hits you like a truck. But thinking about it now, I find the whole experience to be quite funny. And we literally laugh about it all the time with my sister who was my mortal enemy at the time.
Being sisters who had an age gap of less than a year ,we were always fighting about everything. And on that fateful day, we had fought about the remote as usual. My dad came home and found my sister crying over the scratches I had given her- I am sorry jess. So, my dad thought of a grand way of punishing us as he had caned us severally but we never seemed to get enough of fist punching each other. He said, “ Today you will fight each other in my presence. Whoever wins has officially won all future fights and the loser must respect the winner. And if I ever hear or see you fight again I will take you to a village boarding school.”
The match between Congestina “me” and Fatima Zarika “Jess” officially begun, and both of us were determined to win. But just before we could properly beat each other, my dad came in out of nowhere and whipped us silly. I think that was the first time we begged our dad not to cane us again. That day marked the last day we physically fought. Nowadays we fight using our mouths or silent treatment. I bet you are wondering where in this story did I get my period. Well, I got my period in the middle of my fight with my baby sister. And how did I find this out? My dad noticed I had a red stain on my pants and after the canes he went and told my mum. But before my mum came and talked to me, I had gone to the washroom and I knew I had received my visitor. I just didn’t know how to react or behave.
Now with my ten years plus experience, I believe I am qualified to give my teenage small sisters a small ted talk on what to do on their first period.
When you get your first period, you will either be excited or bummed that it came. But dear young girl, please be happy about it, as it is a sign that you are growing up and that your body is behaving the way it is supposed to.
The first thing you should do is being happy that you are finally becoming a woman. Secondly, tell a grown up about it mostly your mother, aunty or guardian. These are the people who will supply you with your first sanitary towels or tampon. Then go a head and take a shower and put on the sanitary towel or tampon.
How do you put on a sanitary towel? You open up the sanitary towel and lay it on your panty by making sure the folded areas align with the square part of your panty. During your shark week, you need to put on your “grandma’ panties” through out the week.
How do you put on a tampon? You unwrap the tampon then you place your pointer finger on the end of the tampon. The part where there is the string then slowly insert the top thicker half of the tampon into the vagina. Make sure to leave the string out, as that is what you will pull to get it out. When wearing a tampon make sure you have a pad on just incase of leaks though this is a rare case.
During your shark week, you will want to ensure you maintain a proper hygiene and eat right. This will help in easing your menstrual cramps. Make sure to always maintain these four hygiene tips:
- Change your pads or tampons after 4-6 hours
Changing your pads or tampons after every 4-6 hours is the cardinal rule in maintaining a healthy vagina. During your period, the menstrual blood when released from the body attracts various organisms, which multiply in the warmth of the blood, and causes irritations, rashes or urinary tract infection. Changing your pads and tampons curbs the growth of these organisms and prevents infection.
- Take a shower twice a day
Washing your vagina regularly is important and during your period it is now more important. This is because organisms cling to your body after you remove your sanitary towel. Wash your vagina using your hands in motion from the vagina to the anus, not vice-versa.
3. Don’t use soaps or vaginal hygiene products
This is because the vagina has natural cleaning processes that come to play during menstrual cycles and these artificial hygiene products can hamper the natural process leading to infections and growth of bacteria.
- Always carry some essential items in your bag
When you are going to school or leaving the house, make sure you carry 2-3 pads, tissue/ wet wipes, painkillers and an extra pair of undies. Anything can happen and you always need to be prepared.
Dear young girl, “Don’t be ashamed of your growth, be happy. After a couple of months you will get a hang of it and it won’t be weird at all.”
This is basically everything that you need to know when you get your first period. Incase you have any question send as an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a comment below.