One of the biggest steps you will take in your amazing journey from girl to woman is the first time you get your period. There is a lot of hype about this, lots of discussion at school about who has and who has not got their period, but in the end it is a rite of passage. The occasion is given its own scientific name called Menarche. Every girl might feel a different way about this change in their bodies; you might feel reassured that you are finally becoming a young woman, or you might feel a little scared about the whole thing. Emotional reactions are perfectly natural, but having all the info about your first period should give you the confidence to take charge of the situation!

What is a period
For those who don't know; a period is a small amount of bleeding that takes place from your vagina. The bleeding will last for a few days and happens about every month.

Why do girls get periods
We get many questions from girls all over Australia and a common one is 'why do girls even have periods?'. The answer is actually pretty easy. As women, one of the things that your bodies have been designed to do is have babies. The whole baby making process has been around for ages and you are one of the billions of women around the world (and through history) who have gotten (or are about to start) their very own menstrual cycle. So what? Well getting your period means that your body has prepared itself to be able to hold a fertilised egg and make a baby. Women's bodies are amazing, and the idea that they can grow a baby from nearly nothing is something that makes them special, so be proud!

Every month your body gets itself ready for the possibility that you might get pregnant. One of the biggest things that happens is your womb becomes all nice and cosy with its walls getting an extra fluffy coating so that the baby can live there. When you don't actually get pregnant (which is most of the time), your body doesn't need that comfy layer in your womb and it sheds it by gently sliding it out of your body in the form of your period. The lining is mostly blood and other tissues from your womb walls. If your body didn't get rid of that extra layer in your womb you could get sick, so periods are actually good. It might sound a tad gross, but once you understand the whole process you can easily see that our periods are actually nothing to be embarrassed about.

The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.

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