Every girl has gone through that awkward moment when we learned about periods for the first time. It could be knowing about it from our equally abashed moms. Or, attending seemingly useless sex ed classes in school where everyone finds out how periods work. It’s probably a time no female ever forgets.

Surprisingly smooth first periods or total nightmares. Here are a few ‘first period’ stories that show just how scary, embarrassing, or even empowering getting your period for the first time can be.

Becoming Shy Under Strangers’ Knowing Gazes – Amber, 22 Years Old

When I got my period for the first time at 10 years old, I was in a cramped cubicle of my school’s toilet. I was trying to determine if the blood on my panties came from an injury.

first periods waddleActual footage of me walking after getting my first period. / Image credit: Giphy

After school, I waddled awkwardly to my mom’s car, trying to make sure I wasn’t dripping. Not saying anything about it on the way home, I rushed to the bathroom to check if the blood had magically disappeared. #logic

It was only then that I told my mom about it.

With widened eyes, she gave me a disapproving gaze and pointed to her dresser where she kept her pads. That sums up the “talk” I had with my mom about menstruating or anything to do with the female body and sex for that matter. Needless to say, I was confused. Both about my period and about why my mom was so annoyed at something I had absolutely no control over…

While she was tight-lipped about the topic with me, she certainly didn’t have the same apprehension when telling her colleagues – all men, by the way — about how I had just gotten my first period. In fact, I still remember her words clearly. “It must be the food we’re feeding them nowadays… How else would you explain these girls getting their periods so early?”

Was it wrong for me to get my first period so young? After sharing a chuckle or two with her colleagues, they then looked at me as though they now knew a secret I was trying to keep.

Looking back, I hated that strangers were given permission to know about the changes taking place in my body. Even before I, as the owner of that body, knew what was happening to me. And that I was somehow made to feel like I should have been ashamed for getting my period so young.

I Was A Total Period Pro – Eugenie, 23 Years Old

first periodsImage credit: Shutterstock

I’ve suffered plenty of secondhand embarrassment from listening to my friends’ stories about how their “talk” with their moms went to know that I should be grateful that my mom was completely prepared to give me the “talk”. In fact, she left no stones unturned when giving me the rundown regarding periods, and it was DETAILED.

She left nothing to the imagination when talking about what a bloodbath it can be down there. Like, warning me about the “gushes” post-sneeze. Was I horrified by this information? Yes. Was I even more horrified when my mom told me that I’ll probably face worse periods due to my family’s history of super heavy periods? I was floored. At that moment, I was picturing my future self like a burst fire hydrant gushing blood everywhere.

But by the time I got my period for the first time at 12 years old, I was neither scared nor surprised. It was more like a calm realisation that just sort of went like, “Ah, it’s here.”

Honestly, without my mom’s tips and tricks, I would have probably leaked through most of my clothes during my tween years. Thanks, mom!

Drinking Raw Egg And Sesame Oil, Every Indian Girl’s Nightmare – Anusrii, 22 Years Old

first periods
Image credit: Photo by Melani Sosa from Unsplash

We all know getting your period for the first time isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience. Now imagine going through a WEEK-LONG ceremony to commemorate it! And we’re not talking about the “song and games” type of ceremony here…

I was 11 years old when I first got my period. Being a tomboy who had zero regards or curiosity toward my growing body, I was in for a big surprise.

When I got my first period, I was totally stumped. I wanted to tell my mom, but I didn’t because we had just fought about something. So I went through the entire night without a pad, praying that I wouldn’t bleed through my entire bed.

I woke up the next day and thanked the gods that I didn’t stain my bed. But I couldn’t say the same about my clothes. My mom found out after seeing my stained undies—and my coming of age ceremony began.

I had to go through a week-long coming of age ritual. I was isolated from the men in my family to “allow them the time to adjust to the fact that I was now a woman”. Since I couldn’t sleep in my own room, I slept on the floor of my grandmother’s room.

The mat and pillow I used then had to be thrown out as these items were considered “tainted”. Every piece of clothing I had on when I got my period for the first time were burned. Not exactly the wardrobe revamp I was hoping for…

While most days were still tolerable, there was one part of the routine that made me want to tap out. I had to drink a bizarre concoction made of raw kampung eggs and sesame oil everyday until my week was up. I swear, that mouth-gagging taste is every Indian girl’s nightmare.

But by the fifth day… I felt strangely celebrated. The women in my household bathed me with flowers and sandalwood paste as a form of blessing. I felt moved because it was like an act of solidarity with the close women around me who gathered to celebrate my becoming a woman.

But in hindsight, celebrating my first period was a pretty cool affair! At least I get a cool story to share to whoever asks!

Am I Abnormal For Being A Late Bloomer? – Joyce, 22 Years Old

Image credit: Piqsels

Ah, late bloomers. Everyone, and by that I mean nosey aunties and prying friends, think that girls should have their periods by age 12 latest. When I turned 13 and still hadn’t gotten my period, I was subjected to a slew of remarks and interrogative questions that I didn’t even know how to answer.

When I got my period at 14 years old, my first response was a feeling of… relief.

For over a year, I worried that there was something wrong with my body as I was the last one in my group of friends to get my period. Talk about FOMO.

The almost-daily reminders from my friends and aunts about my body’s “condition” made me doubt myself. It made me feel especially terrible when my aunts kept comparing me to their daughters who had already gotten theirs. Was this some sort of period Olympics??

Now that I’m much older, I know that matters of my period aren’t of anyone’s business and that everybody is different. In fact, it was a blessing in disguise because I got to save myself an additional two to three years of bleeding out of my vagina and terrible period cramps.

What Was Your First Period Like?

Going through puberty is exciting but can be daunting too. On one hand, we’re thrilled to pick out colourful training bras and feel like “real adults”. On the other hand, dealing with periods sometimes feel like a curse. Especially when you feel your insides churning and twisting about.

But no matter how horrific or ridiculous yours may seem, just know that it was an awkward moment for all of us too.