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One of the most troublesome times for a girl is her period. The sudden physiological and emotional changes along with the social stigma associated with puberty tend to make the whole experience too overwhelming for girls who are still in their teens. Lack of complete information leave the girls confused when they get their period in school.
The onset of menstruation, commonly known as ‘period’, is a regular monthly affair lasting for two to seven days. This causes a lot of discomfort, irritation, lack of concentration and excess fatigue. Proper advice and guidance will mitigate her suffering. MomJunction attempts to explain various issues related to the period in teen girls. Read on.
Menarche is the first menstrual cycle. Menstruation and puberty are not always things to worry about if you understand that they are all about growing up and transforming from a kid to a young lady.
Some girls face a lot of pain and discomfort and they end up associating their period with all their negative emotions. But there are also other girls who take this in their stride and treat their period as something very natural, something not to get anxious about. Be aware of this phase of your life, and stay prepared to deal with your period at school or anywhere outside the home.
Dealing With Your First Period At School:
For girls in puberty, the unpredictability of their period, especially the first one, is an important issue. But that is how the timing of a period is – unpredictable. One question that raises their anxiety levels is, “What if I get my first period in school”. Most girls are anxious on how they would deal with the situation if they get their period at school or outdoors. Staying prepared is the key. Here are a few tips to follow:
1. Talk To Your Teacher:
If this is the first time you have got your period, talk to someone you can rely on. Preferably, speak to your teacher in school instead of talking to your best friend as this is a new situation and you may want to seek support from an elder. The other alternative is to speak to the school nurse.
[ Read: When Will You Get Your First Period ]
2. Do Not Panic:
You might be at school enjoying a snack or on the basketball court playing your best shot, and you may feel dampness indicating that your period has arrived. Don’t panic or lose your calm. You can go to your school nurse or teacher and ask for some supplies if you are unprepared. You might be nervous and may want to have your mother around. You can ask your school counselor to get you in touch with your mom.
3. Have Spare Clothes:
Leave some spare clothes in your school locker. This will help you to change if the dress you are wearing gets stained. However, it is quite unlikely that your first period will be heavy. If you don’t have anything in the locker, use your jacket to cover up the stain. Just tie the jacket around your waist until you can get home. You may want to take permission from your school to leave early. You also can call your mother to bring a set of clothing to school so that you can change.
4. Not Necessary To Share Details:
If you change your clothing, your friends and classmates will notice it. Stay calm. Instead, tell them that you spilled something on yourself and hence, you changed your clothes. There is no need to divulge the details and feel embarrassed.
Managing Your Period At School – What You Should Do?
Getting your period at school, whether it is your first period or the subsequent ones, can be a little embarrassing and uncomfortable, not to mention the feeling of uneasiness and the cramps it brings along. In simple words, surviving your period at school is not easy, but does that mean you miss your school? Of course, not!
Managing your heavy period at school becomes easier when you have a plan and follow a disciplined approach. In most cases, your friends and teachers won’t even know it’s your period. The most important thing is to have your supplies in place so that you are not caught unaware. It is important to understand that you should not be embarrassed but proud to get your period. This will keep you positive and keep your spirits up. As for how to manage your period, here is what you should be doing:
1. Be Prepared:
Always have your pads, tampons, panty liners and everything else you use to get you through your heavy periods without any unpleasant surprises. Here are some tips to help you with your menstrual bleeding:
You can use the menstrual cups too. These are inserted into the vagina, and the blood and discharge are collected at its base. These cups last for about 10 hours so for school trips and other such events, this can be a good option as you may not have to change often.
If you think you will have your period today as per your cycle, put on a pad or your panty liner before you go to school. That way, you will not have to worry about any leaks or stains.
[ Read: Can Girls Swim On Their Period ]
2. Find A Good Place To Stash Your Pads:
You don’t have to worry about someone seeing your sanitary supplies but if you feel embarrassing and don’t want anyone to see your supplies, find a good place to store them. It ‘s nice to have a separate bag within your school bag for your period supplies or in your locker.
3. Pack An Extra Pair Of Underpants:
An unexpected period at school would mean a leak or a stain. Practically, this might not be a problem because when your period starts, you won’t have a heavy flow immediately. The menstrual flow will gradually increase and by then you will have your period supplies in place. However, there can be times when you may have a leak. Hence, having an extra pair of underpants can be a great idea. This will make you feel more confident about yourself, and you will not look worried.
Carry a sweater or sweatshirt or have it in your emergency period bag. You can use it to tie it around your waist to hide any stains if there happens to be a major leak and your dress gets spoilt.
4. Keep Some Chocolate Too:
If you are someone who has the regular premenstrual syndrome (PMS) thingy, you may want to pack in something extra in your period bag to uplift your spirits. Chocolate can do the best job here. Studies indicate that a bar of chocolate can instantly make you feel happy and emotionally stable and of course, who doesn’t love to treat themselves to some delicious, heavenly chocolate!
5. Have A Pain Reliever Before You Go To School:
Period pain at school can not be manageable sometimes. If you are expecting your period today, have a pain reliever that you usually have for your menstrual cramps before leaving home. This will avoid you even the minimal discomfort. Make sure that you don’t use any medications without your doctor’s advice.
6. Know When To Expect Your Period:
During the initial months, chances are high that your period has not yet regularized. This will often create confusion over your next period. In this regard, listen to your body. Understand the symptoms that you usually experience before the onset of your period and keep a track of these.
[ Read: Pre Menstrual Syndrome In Teens ]
7. Make Your DIY Emergency Pad:
If you are running out of options and you are not sure about getting supplies when you have your surprise period, you can try making an emergency pad yourself. Use toilet paper and turn it around your hand for a good ten times. Keep this thick layer of toilet paper on your panty and take another long piece of it and wrap it around again to fasten it. You are set for at least a couple of hours.
Managing Your Period On School Trips:
When you are going on school trips, your period may make you feel less interested and excited about being out with your classmates. But don’t let the period bother you too much. Understand that you can do just about everything when you have your period stain, it all calls for the right protection.
In such situations, cervical or menstrual cups are the best as you will not have to change them often nor will you have to worry about a leak or a stain. Tampons are great too as they don’t smell as much as the sanitary pads and are often more effective than the pads.
Stay hydrated, and ask for regular stop-overs if you are traveling by road with your friends. Remember that you will need to change your pad or tampon regularly to avoid any embarrassment and hence, it is better to make sure that you stop on your way rather than regret later.
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps At School?
Period cramps in school can be quite annoying, especially when you have them at school. You would not want to tell others that you have your period but at the same time find it difficult to deal with the pain.
In such cases, you can have an Ibuprofen before heading to school. Some schools don’t allow their students to take this medication on campus so if your period is regular and you get cramps regularly, try taking the painkiller before going to school.
You can the mini stick-on heating pads under your clothes for some pain relief. Walk around a little, as this helps ease abdominal cramps. Also, have a healthy diet as this will have a major impact on the cramps.
Here are some quick tips that will help you with menstrual cramps at school:
1. Lying down, if possible, is an excellent way to deal with cramps. You can take a nap in the girl’s room if you have something of that sort in your school. Most schools have a sick room for students. Make use of that.
[ Read: How To Use A Tampon ]
2. Gently rub your abdomen when you go to the washroom. This will ease the pain. Massage in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction to ease the cramps.
3. Stretch a little by walking around for some time. Walking relaxes muscles and allows them to get loose. This, in turn, helps with abdominal pain and cramps.
Sometimes, menstrual cramps can be excruciatingly painful, and unbearable. This could be due to an underlying health condition such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Treating the underlying condition is important to alleviate the pain. So consult a qualified gynecologist right away if you suffer from severe menstrual cramp.
If there is no reason for the cramps, the doctor will prescribe a painkiller to help you deal with it. The good news is in most cases menstrual cramps tend to decline on their own as you age.
Home Remedies For Period-Related Issues:
The menstrual problems that you may be facing can range from pain to cramps to irregular periods. Here are a few home remedies that you can try to get some relief.
1. Radish Seeds:
For delayed periods, one of the best home remedies is to grind radish seeds and consume the powder with buttermilk. Drink this concoction on a daily basis for effective results.
Parsley is another very useful herb that eases menstruation-related problems, particularly if you have a delayed period.
Gooseberry, which is high in Vitamin C, is effective if you tend to bleed heavily during your period.
4. Chamomile Tea:
Consuming chamomile tea every morning is an effective way to get relief from menstrual cramps.
5. Hot Water Pack:
Lie down with a hot water pack on your abdomen to ease the pain menstruation brings on. You will find the heat soothing and relaxing.
A low-intensity workout can be helpful in case of abdominal cramps. Yoga and meditation are also very relaxing.
7. Nutrient-Rich Food:
Consume foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, and zinc to deal with monthly menstrual cramps. You can even opt for a cleansing diet right before your menstruation to fortify your system. Studies indicate that this will have a positive impact on menstrual cramps.
[ Read: Irregular Periods In Teens ]
FAQs On How To Deal With Your Period At School:
1. How To Prevent Pads From Leaking While On Period At School:
You can use one or a combination of the following tips to prevent your pads from leaking while you are at school.
- Wear Correct Thickness And Length:
Remember you get pads of varying thickness and length. So coordinate your pads based on the flow. If you have a heavy flow, use a super pad, which is more absorbent and longer than a regular-sized one. On days, when the flow is lighter, wear regular pads. This will go a long way in preventing leaks.
- Place Your Pads Correctly:
Putting your pad correctly in your underwear will prevent leaks. Do not stick the pad too far up or down. Place it snugly at the bottom but the middle of your underwear. Pres it slightly so that it sticks properly to your panty.
- Use Panty Liners In Conjunction:
You can put a panty liner under the pad for extra protection. Place it perpendicular to your pad to get more coverage. Wear a tight underwear that fits the groin region, so that the panty liner does not become loose.
- Wear A Thicker Underwear:
You can reduce the chances of leaks while on your period at school by wearing a thicker panty. Of course, this is not a foolproof method, but it will be more absorbent than a normal one.
2. How To Make A Period Bag For School:
When you enter menarche, which is another name for getting your first period, it will be irregular. The last thing you need is getting caught in school unprepared. So it helps to have a period bag handy with everything you need should you get your period in school.
Here are some of the things you should always have in your period bag for school:
- A Bag With Zipper:
You need a bag which is big enough to carry your period supplies, but small enough to fit into your school bag or locker. A makeup bag is ideal for this purpose, especially because it comes with a zipper and is discreet enough to carry around in your bag.
Always keep a small calendar in your period bag to make note of the day you start your period. This will give you a rough idea about the next period if your menstrual cycle doesn’t follow the 28-day cycle. Remember, in the initial few years your period will be irregular. So it is a good idea to note down the date so that a week before the due date, you can start using panty liners.
- Spare Underwear:
Always keep an extra panty in your period bag so that you can change in case of a leak. The underwear will also come handy if you get your period all of a sudden. If you stain your panty, don’t worry. Rinse it with cold water and soak the stain in hydrogen peroxide before washing it. It will remove the stains.
- Bags For Used Items And Disposables:
After changing your panty liner or sanitary pad, you need to dispose of them hygienically. Don’t try flushing them down the toilet, as they are not flushable. Place several bags in your period bag that you can use to dispose of the used panty liners, tampons, and pads. You can throw the bag in the toilet bin or carry it home and chuck it into your bin. You can get scented bags to keep odors at bay. Menstrual blood does have an odor, and you may not want anyone to get a whiff of it from your disposables.
Menstrual cramps can be debilitating for many girls. If you experience cramps and have not learned to cope with them, you will want to carry painkillers in your period bag. Make sure your doctor gives the go-ahead to take the medication.
Always carry tissue in your period bag. They are perfect for cleaning your genital area and wiping your hands. Never use baby wipes, hand wipes or feminine wipes in your genital region, as they can result in irritation or infection.
3. How To Hide My Period From Everyone:
Before we proceed further, it is important that you realize a period is not something to feel ashamed of. Instead, it is a celebration of womanhood. At the same time, getting your period is something personal, and the last thing you want is declaring it to the world through leaks and stains. So when you are at school or with friends, you will want to hide it from everyone. Here is how you can do this:
- Wear Dark-Colored Clothing:
Dark colored pants can make stains and leaks less obvious. Opt for navy blue, dark brown or black pants (or skirts) when you get your period. If you get a stain, it will be less noticeable.
- Sweater Or Jacket Can Be A Godsend:
If you have managed to sprout a leak, a jacket or sweater can be your best friend. Just tie it around your waist until you can change your clothing at school or home.
- Place A Dark-Colored Towel On Your Bed:
If you don’t want to stain the bedding due to leaks, you can put a dark-colored towel on the bed to catch any leak or accident that occurs while you are sleep. Use an old towel that you don’t mind staining. This way the sheets on your bed will not get stained and no one at home will know you are having your period.
4. How Do I Tell My Mom I Have Got My Period?
It can be overwhelming and frightening or exciting and thrilling when you get your first menstrual period. Regardless of how you feel, it is important you let your mother know about it. This will make it easier to get the necessary supplies, and your mom will also give you tips to deal with your period.
Just go and tell your mom about the blood stain on your panty, and she will understand. Don’t feel shy or embarrassed as she knows that you are of the age to get a period. She must be preparing in her way for it.
5. What Can I Do To Keep My Spirits High During Period At School?
They say, ‘it is all in the mind’. Most problems that we face are created in our minds, and when we develop a positive attitude, we may not find it difficult to sail through the situations.
Your period at school may be a little frustrating to deal with, but if you have a positive attitude and follow the below-mentioned measures, things will get a lot easier for you.
- Stay hydrated
- Eat foods that don’t make you feel bloated
- Don’t skip your gym classes or any regular physical activity; this will help you with your menstrual cramps
- Wear dark-colored clothes to have peace of mind about the leak or the stains
- Maintain a healthy mindset and don’t be embarrassed about your period
6. How Can I Prevent The Period Leak In School?
Your period may be a little heavy at times, and it may cause the leak. Though it will not happen always, it is important to know how to prevent it.
- Typically, the leak will occur when your pad or tampon gets too full and hence, cannot hold on to the blood anymore. This will happen when you are having a heavy period or if you have not changed your pad or tampon for a long time.
- Avoid this situation by changing your pad or tampon regularly. How often you will need to change will depend on your flow and the day of your period.
- Get the right kind of pads or tampons. If you usually have a heavy period, you should try using the extra thick and long pads. Using a double pad on the first and second days of your period will help. This will take care of the heavy flow better than a single pad.
Young girls should maintain their routine and lifestyle during their period. This will ensure that they build a positive attitude towards this ‘girl thing’ and deal with it in a positive manner in years to come.
Do you have a young daughter? How did you teach her about menstruation, and how did she deal with an unexpected period at school. Your comments and experiences will help other mothers learn. So go ahead and pen them down below.