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Question:

How do I know if I'm having my real first period?

PEER ANSWER

Sometimes it can be tricky to know for sure. The first time you have your period, you may just have some brown spotting in your underwear for a few days and yet that could be it! If you've had boobs for a couple of years and you have some brownish or red discharge for a few days, you're most likely having your first period. You know, talking to your mom or another trusted adult is a good idea if you aren't sure. They'll probably be excited for you and will be able to help you know for sure.

There is no hard and tried way to know for sure -- but there are enough hints and signs that can clue you in. Boobs hurt? Check. Lower level cramping ? Check. Aggressive acne? Check. Excessive moodiness? Check. For a lot of young ladies, the first few starter periods are more of a brownish discharge, as opposed to a red blood. For me, my first real period was a combination of everything I listed above, but I didn’t know it was my FIRST until I got it a month later, and then a month after that and month after that until a cycle started.

EXPERT ANSWER

This is, by far, one of my favorites of the questions I’ve been asked. It’s one of those questions where everyone assumes the answer because no one’s willing to ask. Thing is, I bet that more than half of the girls about to start their period are wondering the same thing. What you want to begin anticipating are the warning signs -- cramps (similar to a stomachache but you feel it in your lower abdominal area), discharge (a clear-ish liquid that comes out of your vagina) and, of course, PMS (which can mean mood swings, headaches, and other symptoms -- every girl is different). Once these start coming around, you’ll know there’s probably a couple of days before your first period. The way you’ll know you’re having your real first period is if you feel something wet around your vagina, you take a look, and see that there’s blood. TA-DA, you’ve just started your period. Another way of telling it’s actually your period is your vagina will be sore. If your vagina is sore, there’s blood and you’ve already gone through all of the warnings, all signs point to “first period”. Welcome to womanhood.

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.