If you think you’re going to get your period soon, try to wear an underwear liner or your period underwear in preparation and always take a couple of pads or tampons with you when you go out. If you don’t have any products on you, ask a friend or trusted adult. Some public restrooms still have tampon vending machines or a supply of period products, but you can’t always count on these options. If there’s no other option, you can always fold up some toilet paper and place it in your underwear as a safeguard until you can find a period product.

During your period or PMS you might feel tired and lack motivation to exercise. You actually may find that working out gives you more energy, or you might just need to take it easy. Listen to your body. Working out with a friend can help you stay motivated.

Bleeding through your pants is something that has likely happened at some point to just about everyone who has a period. That means if it happens to you, know that you have half the world in your corner with you. First, no need to freak out! Grab a jacket, sweater, or other top and tie it around your waist. If you don’t have one, ask a friend or trusted adult if you can borrow some clothes until you get home. To prevent any leaks or stains in the future, be sure to add a liner, pad, or wear period underwear when you’re using a tampon or menstrual cup, as they are a great backup to catch any leaks. If you’re really nervous about staining your clothes by accident, keep an extra change of clothes in your bag, backpack or locker.

Yes. With a menstrual cup, this is pretty straightforward. If you’re wearing a tampon, just pull the string to the side so it doesn’t get wet.

Try asking a friend, teacher, or school nurse, or check the nearest restroom — some have a supply of period products. In an emergency, you can always fold up some toilet paper and place it in your underwear as a safeguard until you can find a period product. If you are in the middle of class and feel your period coming on, you can always raise your hand to be excused or privately ask the teacher if you can go to the bathroom.

If you’re feeling PMS symptoms or think your period might be about to start, you can wear a light underwear liner, pad or period underwear for “just-in-case” protection. It’s not a good idea to put a tampon in if you don’t have your period because that can cause an infection. If you’re not bleeding, or even if your flow is very light, then inserting and removing a tampon can also be uncomfortable. It’s better to use a liner, pad, or period underwear instead.

If you’re out and you stain your underwear but not the rest of your clothing, you can simply place some folded toilet paper over the stain or wrap it around the stain and change your pad or tampon to prevent further leaking. If your underwear is really saturated, you can wash it in the bathroom sink with some cold water and soap — this usually gets most of the blood out. Then when you get home, you can throw them in the washing machine. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted adult for help the first time this happens. The person who does the laundry in your household probably has a few tips!

No. Only use one tampon at a time. If you’re worried that your flow is too heavy, use a “Super” absorbency size, or add a pad or liner. When you’re using a tampon or menstrual cup, you can add a liner, pad, or period underwear as a backup to catch any leaks. You can also wear dark clothing on your bottom half or tie a top or jacket around your waist. If you’re really nervous about staining your clothes by accident, keep an extra change of clothes in your backpack or locker. If you’re worried about staining your bedsheets, you can put a towel down to lay on during sleep.

Pretty much! You can expect to get periods from puberty until menopause (when you’re around 45-55 years old). Periods can temporarily stop during pregnancy, some illnesses, or if you use hormonal medication such as some types of birth control.

Tampons and menstrual cups can’t get lost because the cervix, (the opening at the top of the vagina), is too small for them to get through.

Going through puberty and getting your first period can be challenging for anyone, and being transgender adds another emotional layer to that. It can be confusing and stressful when what is going on in your body biologically does not match how you are feeling and identify. The most important thing when learning about periods is to know that they’re normal and that having a period doesn’t mean that you don’t have to identify as a girl or woman. Not every person who identifies as a woman menstruates and not all people who menstruate identify as a woman. To learn more about navigating menstruation as a transgender youth, visit BLOOM’s Menstruation Page.

Tampons and menstrual cups can’t fall out, because they’re held in place by the muscles around the entrance to the vagina. If you feel like your tampon or cup is falling out, that means you need to insert it a little further into the vagina. Watch our video on how to properly insert a tampon and other period products on BLOOM’s Period Products page.

If you’re the first to get your period, it’s up to you if you want to share this with your friends or not. Unless you tell them, they probably won’t notice. If you feel lonely, know that it probably won’t be for long. It’s likely that your friends will get their periods too in the next few months — and when that happens they’ll be coming to you for advice!

Sometimes you try to insert your tampon or cup and just can’t seem to get it in the correct place, or it just doesn’t feel right. It may take some practice to place it comfortably. If attempting to place a tampon is ever painful, there are a couple of simple techniques that you can try. Try to relax, and if the tampon or cup is dry, some KY Jelly or other water-based lubricant can also make insertion easier. The same goes for removal.

If attempting to insert a tampon or cup is very painful or seems impossible, a gynecologist can help identify what may be causing this. This might be Vaginismus, an involuntary tightening or spasm that happens when something is being inserted into the vagina. Or sometimes, there can be changes in the hymen that can make insertion of a tampon difficult.

 

Remember it’s totally normal to not get your period until you are 15, and some people start theirs even later. It’s natural to feel left out if all your friends have experienced something you haven’t, but your body is working hard to grow and develop. So be patient, it will be here before you know it!

If you go to remove your tampon but suddenly can’t find the string, don’t panic. It’s probably just tucked under one of your labia or just inside your vagina. Wash your hands and feel around inside your vagina until you find it, then pull the tampon out as you normally would. If you’re having trouble, try squatting and pushing as if you’re pooping. This will bring the tampon closer to the vaginal entrance, making it easier to find the string. The same trick works if you’re having trouble removing your menstrual cup. If you are still having difficulties, don’t panic, make an appointment with your general practitioner or gynecologist to help.

Only if you tell them! If you are showing facial expressions from painful cramping, or if you look tired, are irritable or sad, these can be clues that you might have your period. But there are many other reasons to look tired! Unless you mention to others that you have your period, it is unlikely that they will notice.

No. It’s not recommended to leave a tampon in overnight or for more than 8 hours. Toxic Shock or TSS is a severe but rare condition that can occur from a bacterial infection. It occurs in about 1 in 100,000 tampon users. TSS can be caused by leaving a tampon in for a long time. This is why it’s very important that you change your tampon every few hours and not leave it in all day or overnight. Most menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours. This means you can wear one all day long, or overnight before you need to empty and rinse it. Again, it’s not good to have old menstrual blood on your products for too long, so keep this in mind.

It is normal for your vagina and vaginal discharge to have a light smell, even when it’s clean. As long as you bathe or shower regularly, and change your pad, tampon or menstrual cup regularly, then it’s very unlikely that anyone will notice any odor due to your period.

It is normal to experience some PMS (premenstrual syndrome) before and during your period. PMS is caused by the changes in your hormones throughout your monthly cycle and these symptoms are often clues that your period is on its way. PMS can start a few days before your period begins and continue through the first few days of bleeding. If you’re experiencing an overload of stress, emotions, and/or moodiness, prioritize your own needs and practice some self-care techniques. Learn more about PMS symptoms and how to manage it by visiting BLOOM’s PMS page.