Ask Sam letter


To Sam


what do i need to know about it?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

During puberty, most girls start having periods. Periods are natural and they happen to women and girls once a month.

As a girl develops into a woman, they start having periods so they can have a baby when they grow up. Part of puberty is when the body prepares for a place (called the uterus) for a baby to grow inside the mother. Every month the uterus will build a wall for a possible baby, and when this doesn’t happen, the uterus wall comes off and bleeds a little. This blood comes out of a girl’s/woman’s vagina. This is called a period.

Periods are a normal part of growing up for most girls and will last between three and eight days. Periods will usually first happen during puberty, which generally occurs between the ages of eight and 14. However, we are all different and some people can start it earlier while others can start a bit later.

When someone is having their period, they can use different things to collect the blood. These could be sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups, which can be bought at most supermarkets or chemists. Some people may have stomach aches before or during their period, so it may be a good idea to talk to a trusted adult for help with the pain.  For some people, this might be pain relief tablets, light exercise or using a hot water bottle. Many people find it can be helpful to keep a period kit in their bag, which could have things like sanitary products, spare underwear or a change of trousers to be used when needed.

For most people periods can have a regular pattern, but for some people - especially when someone first starts having their period - it can have an irregular pattern. Keeping a record of your period could help you to see if it has a pattern, and you can use the mood journal to do this.

Sometimes people might feel embarrassed about periods, but remember that they’re a natural part of life. Some people might also notice a change in their emotions or behaviour during or before their periods. This can be from feeling tired, crying, having headaches or being bloated. These symptoms could go from mild to severe, but if you’re finding it difficult to cope with these symptoms it’s always a good idea to speak to a doctor or nurse.

Our message boards are a place where you can speak to other young people about their experience of periods, and if you want to talk to a counsellor you can contact them online or on the phone.

Hope this helps.

Take care,


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