About Periods – For girls/women with learning difficulty or disability
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Puberty and periods
Most girls go through puberty between the ages of 9 and 16.
During puberty your body changes. Your breasts get bigger and hair starts to grow between your legs.
During puberty most girls will start their period.
What is a period?
A period means that blood comes from inside your body through an opening between your legs. This opening is called a vagina.
Getting periods is healthy. The blood that comes out is healthy blood. You have not been hurt.
Your period will last for a few days. When you have a period you will need to use a pad or a tampon.
What will a period feel like?
Everybody is different. You might feel a bit sick or sore in your tummy. Maybe you will get a bit cranky or tired before your period starts. Some women feel fine.
If you do feel sick or sore, talk to someone you trust, or see your doctor for help.
Other things about periods
Periods are private. You can talk about them with people you know and trust, but not to just anyone.
You will have a period about once a month.
In the first year you might not get a period once a month. It will take time for your body to become used to having periods.
Most women stop having periods when they are about 50.
Mark on a calendar when you start your period. This may help you know when your next period will come.
What is a pad?
A pad is put inside your underpants to keep your clothes clean while you have your period. Pads should be changed every 2 to 4 hours.
Check your pad when you go to the toilet to see if it needs to be changed.
Check your pad:
- in the morning
- morning tea
- before bed
What is a tampon?
A tampon can be used for periods. It is put inside the vagina.
Tampons should be changed at least 4 times a day.
Tampons take time to get used to. They can be good when swimming, dancing and playing some sports.
At night while you are sleeping, you might want to wear a pad.
Some women prefer to use tampons and some women prefer to use pads. Everyone is different.
Changing your pad or tampon
Change your pad or tampon in a private place. The toilet, bathroom and bedroom are private places when the door is closed.
1. Wash your hands.
2. Take off your used pad or remove tampon.
3. Wrap it in toilet paper, or put in a paper bag.
4. Peel strip off clean pad or unwrap tampon.
5. Stick the pad down on your underpants or insert tampon into your vagina.
6. Pull your underpants back up and tidy your clothes.
7. Put the used pad or tampon into a bin.
8. Wash your hands.
If you need help to change your pad or tampon, ask someone you trust.
Get the facts about periods from FPQ
Visit www.fpq.com.au or phone 07 3250 0240
Family Planning Queensland (FPQ) has taken every care to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the time of being published. As information and knowledge is constantly changing, readers are strongly advised to confirm that the information complies with present research, legislation and policy guidelines. FPQ accepts no responsibility for difficulties that may arise as a result of an individual acting on the advice and recommendations it contains.
© Family Planning Queensland
Version 3 / November 2007
P: 11/2007 5m
Funded with assistance by Queensland Health