The First Period

On average, we get our first period between the age of 12 and 14. Some girls start as young as the age of 8. Other girls are 18 years old when they get their first period. We get our first period when our body is ready. It usually arrives during puberty.

Menstrual Flow

A period is the process when a thick fluid consisting of blood, uterus lining, and cervical mucus leaves our body through the vagina as part of the menstrual cycle.

triangles

Some periods last 2 to 3 days and others can last 6 to 7 days. The number of days can be different for the same woman every month. When girls first start their period, they usually only menstruate for 2-3 days. The number of days can increase as they get older. Other young women start with longer periods lasting 6-8 days, and then get shorter periods when they become older. The amount of menstrual flow coming out of the vagina may seem a lot. Women actually only lose between 50 to 80 millilitres (4 to 6 tablespoons) of fluid during all the days of their menstruation.

Menstrual flow usually does not just gush out of the vagina throughout the period. Most periods start as a stain, which becomes a trickle of blood, and then ends as a stain again. The colour of menstrual flow usually changes during the days of a period. On day 1, menstruation may start as a thick brownish red stain. The menstrual flow then becomes a dark blood red when the flow is heaviest and fastest. On the last day, there can be hours when nothing is coming out of the vagina. It may seem like the period has stopped, but then a few more stains will appear before menstruation completely stops.

chart showing the duration and quantity of blood loss during a normal menstrual cycle

First Period Signs

Nobody knows exactly when their first period will start. But the signs of puberty usually show that the first menstruation is coming soon. The first period will usually arrive after we begin to develop breasts and after our pubic hair starts to grow. Many of the signs of puberty signal that a girl will probably get her first period within 1 to 2 years.

One of the first signs that our body is preparing for the first period is cervical mucus leaving the body through the vagina. Cervical mucus can be seen as dry white or clear stains on underwear, which can first be seen at around 6-18 months before a girl has her first period. Once the body starts to produce cervical mucus, it will continue releasing mucus at different times of the menstrual cycle for most of the life of a woman.

Menstrual Hygiene

Washing the genitals area with water cleans away menstrual flow. With the right kind of hygiene products to effectively manage menstrual flow, we can continue with our normal lives while menstruating. Products that can be bought include pads worn outside of the vagina, as well as tampons, sponges, and menstrual cups that are inserted into the vagina in order to collect menstrual flow. More information on these products can be found on other websites.

triangles

Many girls around the world do not have access to safe and effective menstrual hygiene products, usually because they cannot afford the products that are sold in shops. They end up using ineffective and unhygienic products such as pieces of clothes and old blankets, or even newspapers to manage their menstrual flow. These improvised solutions can lead to infections on the genitals and other parts of the reproductive system. Girls are also often afraid to do normal things like going to school, sports or hanging out with their family and friends because they our worried that their menstrual flow will leak onto their clothes.

Koree alongside the Koree product

We at Kalitasha believe there is a worldwide need for more easily accessible, affordable, safe, and effective menstrual hygiene products designed for girls at the early stages of menstruation. We are developing a product called Koree, which addresses this need. The Koree device will be worn outside the vagina. It is designed to allow for a lot of different movements of the body while staying in the same place and preventing menstrual flow from leaking onto clothes. Please keep checking this website for updates on the Koree device.