Changes in Your Body (Puber ty) 55
Monthly bleeding (period, menstruation)
Monthly bleeding is a sign that your body can become
pregnant. No girl can know exactly when she will get her first
monthly bleeding. It usually happens after her breasts and the
hair on her body start to grow. Several months before her first
monthly bleeding, she may notice some wetness coming from
the vagina. It may stain her underclothes. This is normal.
Some girls are happy when they have their first monthly
bleeding, especially if they know what to expect. Girls who
were never told about it often worry when the bleeding starts.
It is something that happens to all women, and you can feel
accepting and even proud of it. Do not let anyone make you
think it is something dirty or shameful.
Caring for yourself during your monthly bleeding
Staying clean. Many girls prefer to make pads of folded cloth
or wads of cotton to catch the blood as it leaves the vagina.
They stay in place with a belt, pin, or underwear. The pads
should be changed several times each day, and washed well
with soap and water if they are to be used again.
Some women put something inside the vagina that they
buy or make from cotton, cloth, or a sponge. These are called
tampons. If you use tampons, be sure to change them at least
3 times each day. Leaving one in longer may cause a serious
Wash your outside genitals with water each day to remove
any blood that is left. Use a mild soap if you can.
Activities. You can continue all your regular activities.
It is healthy to bathe during
your monthly bleeding.
Exercise can make the pain that some girls
have with monthly bleeding feel better.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012