Home Women's Health Signs and symptoms of the first menstruation

Signs and symptoms of the first menstruation

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
the first menstruation

A woman’s first menstruation is an important milestone at puberty as the body prepares to stop being a girl and move on to adulthood. This first bleeding is called menarche and usually occurs between 10 and 14 years of age, depending on each woman. It also depends on each body to have some symptoms or others, or none, as is the case with some girls who do not directly feel the arrival of their period until they observe their underwear. However, there is no reason to worry. Even if there is pain, it can be solved with an analgesic, and in case of being very strong, the gynecologist will prescribe some treatment. If you want to know more about this topic, in this FastlyHealarticle, we tell you what the signs and symptoms of the first menstruation are.

When does the first menstruation appear

The first menstruation or menarche occurs between 10 and 15 years of age of a woman. If you are 16 years old and your period has not yet come, you should go to the gynecologist to check if any changes or hormonal problems are causing this delay.

What happens in a girl’s body during puberty, when she approaches her first menstruation, is that the pituitary (a gland that controls sexual activity) releases hormones that stimulate the ovaries to secrete estrogen and progesterone, hormones that influence a woman’s physical growth, as well as her emotions. Therefore, during puberty and menstruation, not only material changes occur in our bodies but also emotional ones.

What happens during the period and its regulation

A normal menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, of which the first seven are bleeding. This also depends on each woman and each girl because, during the first periods, the cycles tend to be more irregular, and the bleeding can last more or fewer days and be more or less abundant.

However, suppose the bleeding lasts more than 15 days. It is advisable to visit the gynecologist since there could be some other external cause, and the girl could suffer anemia due to constant blood loss.

For the rest of the days, the cycle continues. These cycles are the body’s preparation for pregnancy and pregnancy, but since most of the time there is no pregnancy, the body follows its rhythm.

The process is the following. An egg leaves the ovaries once a month, and this is what we call ovulation. Through the fallopian tubes, it reaches the uterus that has been stimulated with estrogen to prepare for a possible pregnancy. That is why there are more fertile days to conceive.

However, in most cases, the egg is not fertilized, so it does not attach to the wall of the uterus. The uterus eliminates the blood and tissue that had formed when stimulated and produces the vaginal bleeding typical of menstruation.

If your menstrual cycles are longer or shorter, you should not worry because each body is different. Unless it is a delay or bleeding of more than a month, you should consult your gynecologist, and it is normal for some cycles to vary. It is considered a regular cycle at 28 days but can last from 21 to 35, depending on the woman. This is counted from the first day of bleeding in one month to the first bleeding in the following month.

In the following article, you can find out about the menstrual cycle phases in more detail.

menstrual cycle

Signs and symptoms of the first period

As we have seen, each woman experiences menstruation differently. However, when the first period occurs, there are some symptoms or signs that you can detect. You will notice changes in your body that you have not experienced before and maybe more evident in the first menstruation than in the following ones.

Breast pain and breast enlargement

It is one of the first symptoms of the period and one of the most notable. The breasts begin to develop about two years before the first menstruation, between 10 and 12. There is a breast enlargement that, depending on the woman, will be lighter or exaggerated. The breasts begin to round and form. This appearance of the breasts is called the larch.

At this time, you may feel your breasts hurt, but don’t worry, it’s normal. This is due to tension in the area produced by the activity of hormones.

Menstrual pain

Menstrual pain depends on each woman; some have it, and some do not. It is a pain in the lower abdomen, in the area closest to the pubis, and you may feel intense pain or sting in the area. It can be annoying or uncomfortable for some women or girls. If so, you can alleviate the pain by taking a pain reliever. It also helps to put heat on the area either with a warm pillow or by taking a warm bath.

This occurs because the uterus muscles, to expel the lining of the endometrium, contract, and it seems that our ovaries hurt, but in reality, it is muscle pain, so the heat will help relax them.

If you feel a lot of intense pain that does not go away, see your doctor for a more specific treatment. Some women feel so much pain that they remain in rest someday during menstruation. It is not expected since typically, the pain, although intense, is bearable. In addition, it may be due to a more significant cause, so, conveniently, you go to your gynecologist to discuss the problem.

Height growth

It is what we call the “lug.” When the first menstruation approaches, development occurs much faster than average, increasing height. This happens months before and can grow about 8 or 10 cm per year. However, once the first menstruation appears, the girl has already reached almost all of her height, and therefore the rate of growth slows down and does not grow as fast. When we have passed the first menstruation, we do not stop growing; we do it more slowly.

The appearance of vaginal discharge

It is widespread for vaginal discharge to appear before the first menstruation. It usually occurs in the years before the appearance of the first period. It is due to an increase in estrogen in the ovaries that causes changes in the lining of the vagina. This discharge is fine, white, and odorless, and it does not cause symptoms, so it does not sting or burn. If this occurs, it may be fungus instead of the premenstrual flow, and it is advisable to consult your doctor.

The premenstrual flow is routine and has no relevance unless, as we have mentioned, it has other symptoms.

Pubic hair

It is the most straightforward and earliest sign of puberty. It appears even before breast development. The hormones present in the girl’s body produce this hair growth that appears first on the pubis and later under the arm, in the armpit area. At first, it will be fine hair and very few hairs.


Although it is usually more of a symptom in older ages, such as adolescence, due to hormonal changes in the body, juvenile acne can be experienced, especially in the face area. They can be isolated cases such as small pimples that appear or more severe acne, in which case it is better to consult with the dermatologist.

Signs and symptoms of the first period

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to the Signs and symptoms of the first menstruation, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.

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