Your guide to starting your first period

Your guide to starting your first period

Your most asked questions, answered 🩸

Periods & hormones

Quick summary 📝

1️⃣ Average age: first periods usually start around 12, but a normal range is 8 to 17 or 2 years after your first signs of puberty

2️⃣ Discharge: vaginal discharge doesn't directly indicate your period's arrival, but you do start getting it in puberty which is also when a period comes

3️⃣ Duration: periods last 2 to 7 days, becoming more regular over time

4️⃣ Blood loss: about 1-5 tablespoons of blood is lost during a period

5️⃣ Preparation: keep a period pouch with you including pads, pain killers, liners, and spare underwear in case you start unexpectedly

6️⃣ Predicting periods: you can use luna’s tracker to predict your next period

7️⃣ Irregularity: Irregular cycles can be normal in your first couple of years, but consult a GP if you’ve “lost” your period


Waiting for, and getting, your first period can be an exciting, confusing or even scary time, depending on who you are or who you ask. And luna gets lots of questions all about it – which tells you that you aren’t alone! So, luna’s here to break down the basics about starting your period, and answer your most-asked questions in one place ❤️

What age will my period start?

According to the NHS, the average menstruator will get their first period around 12 years old, but it does vary from person to person ✨ The normal age range to get your first period is between 8 and 17, or 2 years after your first signs of puberty. If you turn 15 and haven't got your period yet, luna would recommend speaking to your GP for personalised advice.

I’m getting discharge, does this mean my period will start soon?

Vaginal discharge won't necessarily mean you're close to starting your period, but you do start getting discharge in puberty as your hormone levels start to change which is also when a period may start – think of them as two things that begin around this stage in your life, but not necessarily as cause and effect 💕

How long will my period last?

A period usually lasts about 2 to 7 days and will come every month or so, but they can be a bit irregular at first which is normal 💯 Once your pattern is a bit more regular, most people’s periods will come between 23 to 35 days (with the average number being 28 days).

How much blood will I lose in one period?

You typically only lose around 1-5 tablespoons of blood 🩸 during each period and your flow may change across those days – usually being a little lighter towards the start and end of it.

What can help me prepare for my period?

It can be helpful to keep a little period pouch/kit with you for when you start 👝Get a little zip-top pouch, and add in a couple of pads, pain killers (like paracetamol or ibuprofen) panty liners and even some spare underwear rolled up (it’s likely you won’t need these, but it can make you feel extra safe if you’re scared of starting your period).

What if I start my period unexpectedly?

The most important thing is: don't stress 🙅 This is a totally normal situation, and one that most people with periods will be in at some point. It's worth noting too that a lot of periods on day 1 are lighter – it's unlikely you'll have any problems with it showing through your clothes ❤️ If this happens, you can speak to a peer or teacher about getting a spare pad or use some rolled up toilet roll until you have a moment to speak to them in private. Remember that half of the population have periods at some point in their life, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

How can I predict my next period?

You can use luna’s tracker 📱 Just mark the first day of your period on the calendar – this is the first day of bleeding, and known as ‘day 1’ of your menstrual cycle. luna then counts the days until your next period, using your ‘average cycle length’, and predicts when it will come 🔮 To make sure the predictions are as accurate as possible for you, you need to log your first 2 periods first.

Why is my period irregular?

Cycles can change from month to month depending on your lifestyle and how you’re feeling. If you’ve just started your period, it can take a couple of years for your body to find its ‘normal’, but if at any point you find that you’re not having your period regularly or you’ve ‘lost’ your period, it’s really important to get advice from your GP about this 🩺

First periods can be a little unpredictable and are different for everyone which is completely normal. With some preparation, you’ll be able to handle it. There’s lots more in the luna app which dives into the things mentioned in this article in more detail, and if you have any questions just Ask luna❣️

How we created this article:

luna's team of experts comprises GPs, Dermatologists, Safeguarding Leads and Junior Doctors as well as Medical Students with specialised interests in paediatric care, mental health and gynaecology. All articles are created by experts, and reviewed by a member of luna's senior review team.

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