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Photo: Getty Images

Puberty and early adolescence is a very delicate stage in the development of any person. In addition to the psychological confusion and the increased vigilance of society also occur many physical changes, both with regard to physiological processes in appearance.

For women, this time of life is usually marked by the first period, technically called menarche, and brings with it a series of questions. Dealing with insecurities and the new care required with your body requires a lot of support from parents. "The dialogue on the subject and orientation without taboos generate complicity and trust," said Dr. Claudio Basbaum, gynecologist and obstetrician's Hospital and Maternity São Luiz, São Paulo.

Until the adaptation to this new phenomenon happens, it is necessary that the girl feel comfortable to answer your questions, and if the parents do not feel prepared to give the necessary guidelines for daughter, a first visit to the gynecologist can be a good option .

If you are experiencing this moment now or know someone who is, the Women Tips selected 16 questions that commonly appear in the minds of women when menarche approaching or actually happens. The questions were answered by gynecologists and obstetricians Dr. Alfonso Massaguer, Clinic Mother of São Paulo, and Dr. Claudio Basbaum.

Frequently asked questions about first menstruation

Although it is quite intimate and totally on individual and personal factors, the relationship with menstruation still raises recurring questions in many women. As it is a new process of the body, it may be that some of the news seem intimidating at first, but this is a case where no one is alone and easily their questions and insecurities can be solved.

Also read: 3 tips for the first gynecological

1. After all, what is the period?

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

It can be said that menstruation acts as a warning that the body of a woman's body can now generate a baby. Thus, when there is no fertilization of the egg, menstrual bleeding occurs and this "is nothing more than the peeling of the surface layer of the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus internally," explains Dr. Claudio.

As it is a cyclical process, monthly menstruation should happen as a result of the action of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are produced by the ovaries. Delays flow therefore can indicate hormonal imbalances or pregnancy, since the endometrium does not flake to keep the embryo during pregnancy.

2. How do I know that I will menstruate for the first time?

Generally, the bodily changes that signal the proximity of menarche happen about 24 to 30 months in advance of menstruation. These "first events announcing menarche are thelarche, represented by the appearance of the breast bud, followed by pubarche, marked by the appearance of pubic hair and underarm", says the gynecologist.

The menarche depends on several individual and even external features, such as the place where the girl lives, but usually occurs between 10 and 14 years.

3. Why do all my friends already menstruated and I do not?

Dr. Claudio highlights the factors racial, ethnic, habitat, climate, food, nutrition, as well as the sun brightness effect on the hypothalamus and the characteristics of the body mass index (BMI) of each girl as the possible variables to old patterns in the occurrence of menarche are most common. However, "if the menstrual phenomena occur before or after the age recognized as physiological for these conditions, it is essential that we make a special assessment on endocrine-gynecological field," he warns.

4. People will know that I menstruei?

The menarche brings a series of quite natural bodily changes to women. As they occur over time, there is nothing that effectively indicates that from that moment you are a girl who menstruate.

After the first period, the cyclical hormonal actions "have an important transformation in the growth cycle, promote the distribution of body fat considered feminine, beyond the genital modifications themselves, are internal, such as growth of the uterus; and external, such as breast enlargement, growth spurt - Rapid growth - by change of color of the external genitalia and "exemplifies the doctor.

5. Is it true that I will stop growing after menstruating for the first time?

Medical Clinic Mother, Dr. Alfonso Massaguer says that growth does not completely parks after menarche, but remains slowed pace for about 2-4 years. "Girls who menstruate early tend to grow longer than girls who menstruate late" he says.

This variation is because growth does not depend solely on the hormonal factor. genetic, nutritional and environmental characteristics also collaborate in the formation of the stature of a girl.

6. With what should I care after menstruation?

The greatest care needed after menarche concerns the possibility of pregnancy, as the internal genitals are already prepared for possible fertilization. However, the onset of sexual activity should be accompanied by prevention, particularly by means of condoms, that prevent both unwanted pregnancy and the infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Dr. Claudio also points to the need for good personal hygiene, since the menstrual blood makes the region more likely the proliferation of bacteria. If you are interested, it can also be done using intimate soaps, but with enough caution.

In addition, other factors most remembered also require attention, such as the choice of a sanitary napkin which suits you well and the management of other symptoms of menstruation, such as cramps.

7. Menstruation cause changes in my routine?

Many myths surround the period. Some believe that in those days, women should not wash your hair or eating frozen foods, for example, but the truth is that "under normal conditions, there are no specific restrictions on women's activities."

Restrictions because of menstruation take place according to the needs of each woman. abundant flow and pain can cause limitations because of the discomfort. In some cases, you may need to seek (a) doctor (a) and make use of medicines.

8. It is normal to feel a lot of colic?

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Photo: Getty Images

When the occurrence of very painful cramps is high and "harms women's quality of life, ie, prevents routine activities are carried out and generate psychological, social or professional damage, an investigation needs to be done by (a) doctor ( a) "says Dr. Alfonso Massaguer, warning of the risk of diseases such as endometriosis, adenomyosis and fibroids.

9. What is the TPM and how should I handle it?

The famous premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the set of symptoms prior to the menstrual period. These manifestations can be both physical and psychic, Dr. Alfonso list as the following most common: "irritability, fatigue, depression, mental confusion, breast pain, headache, bloating, weight gain, bloating and even acne discreet. "

As with cramps, PMS only becomes worrying when it starts to affect the quality of life of women. If the case is not that, living with the symptoms can be guided according to their well-being, "some food and even medicines can be designed to reduce these discomforts," says Claudio.

10. How long I will have menstrual bleeding?

"The usual duration of flow is 3 to 5 days, and the average blood loss is variable, but is around 30 to 40 ml / day," explains Dr. Claudio. In addition to flow, there are other details that help to characterize its cycle, facilitating control over your period. "The average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, counting from the first day of a flow until the day before the next period," he explains.

Accordingly, it identifies a regular cycle as that in the range of 25 to 34 days between one period and another. Since the intervals over 35 days are considered long cycle and the time when only three weeks (or less), the cycle is short.

11. What should I know about my menstrual cycle?

The best way to know well your menstrual cycle is writing down data on your periods. It is important, even to help in the perception of possible malfunctions or anomalies, keep track of dates, "especially for women who have had their sexual initiation. For these, it is worthwhile to pay attention-their fertile period, and be programmed for safe contraceptive methods, "guides the gynecologist.

Also recommends that Claudio characteristics are recorded as the intensity and flow volume the occurrence of colic in terms of frequency in pain levels. Therefore, it is possible to count on the aid applications for smartphone, such as Glow and SaiCólica (available for Android and iOS), which allow you to enter information like this and still report so you do not forget to take the contraceptive.

12. My period is deregulated: is this normal?

"In the first two years after menarche, female sex hormones are often not yet have a completely regular production, this is called 'immaturity' and resolves spontaneously in most women," reassures Dr. Alfonso.

However, if after the immaturity period you can not understand the patterns of your cycle or realizes that her period is unregulated, with little difference between the dates of the beginning of the flow, it is necessary that a (a) doctor (a) be consulted ( a) to be made a diagnosis of what's going on.

13. It is normal to have balls in period?

According to Dr. Alfonso, the variation of the menstrual blood texture is due to the different volumes of flow. "Blood may become thicker as clot or change color, becoming brown when exposed to oxygen," he explains.

In cases where they are noticed very drastic changes or repeated, talk to (a) his / her doctor (a) for possible evaluation. Especially if the occurrence is accompanied by severe pain or other unusual symptoms to their physiology.

14. Now that menstruei, must take birth?

For younger girls who have just had their menarche, contraceptives are often designed primarily to regulate the cycle and menstrual flow. However, the predominant use of this drug is to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

In any case, it is essential that the contraceptive is prescribed by a (a) doctor (a) genecologista because, as alert Alfonso Massaguer, the use of this medicine "brings greater risks than benefits, being contraindicated in cases of breast cancer, liver or genitals; venous thrombosis, heart attack or stroke, as well as severe liver disease, migraine with aura, pregnancy and allergy to components of the formula. " There may also be restrictions for female smokers, obese and suffering from diseases such as lupus and epilepsy.

The expert also notes that the use of condoms should never be abandoned, because this is the only contraceptive method that prevents sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy.

15. It is true that contraceptive use helps fight pimples?

It is important to keep in mind that the use of birth control should not be done because of the single improve acne goal. Some remedies, prescribed both for preventing pregnancy and for the regulation of the menstrual cycle, can help improve the appearance of the skin, but there is also the risk of the situation getting worse if the product is not suitable.

Therefore, the choice of this method "should only be done by a (a) gynecologist or dermatologist, since every hormone can cause risks and side effects", says Dr. Alfonso.

16. How often do you need to go to the gynecologist?

Except in cases where the parents prefer that the child receives the first guidelines about menstruation directly from a (a) gynecologist, it is common that the first visit to a (a) doctor (a) is soon after menarche. If there is non-recurring changes in the cycle and the menstrual flow, an annual visit is enough.

The frequency should increase "if any discomfort or irregularities in the menstrual cycle or volume, skin changes, emotional or sexual debut," indicates Alfonso. In these situations, the frequency of consultations is determined according to the needs of each woman.

When I talk to my daughter about menstruation?

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

"Although it is a natural, physiological phenomenon, it is important that parents clarify transparently what exactly is menstruation," suggests the gynecologist Claudio Basbaum. To fulfill this mission, it is important that the language used in conversation is simple and is compatible to the intellectual development of his daughter.

The doctor believes that the best time to introduce the subject in a didactic way is when the girl's body begins to go through changes in thelarche and pubarche, which announces that the period should take place within two and a half years. In general, it is this close relationship that shows the girl that she can rely on their parents to deal with this news.

If parents do not feel prepared or informed enough to talk to her daughter about her menarche, take it to a first consultation with a (a) gynecologist before the menstrual cycle begins is a good option. In this case, it is assertive look "one (a) gynecologist who has not only the clinical talent, but above all the tact and the ability to establish a relationship of complicity and trust necessary in this relationship and in this time of transition," advises the doctor.

On the other hand, a (a) doctor (a) should be consulted (a) where parents suspect that your daughter is going through puberty early, it may be necessary to delay the first period. These cases do not involve only "the assessment of the development of female sexual characteristics, but also the pace of this development as well as growth and bone age," says Dr. Alfonso Massaguer. The evaluation of (a) expert combined with specific tests guide the appropriate treatment for each case.

But if the concern is the delay of menarche, there are risks that anatomical characteristics and reproductive performance are compromised, so it is essential that the diagnosis from clinical evaluation and specific tests, be quick. "Taking the necessary precautions in time, you can correct the causal factors, minimizing the possibility of disturbances," says Claudio.

How to choose the best absorbent for me?

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Photo: Getty Images

The most common types of sanitary pads are disposable: internal and external, but there menstrual collectors, which are internal and reusable. The big secret to hit the choice is experiencing the models to which you have access to find out which is the most comfortable for you. After all, as noted Alfonso, "the best absorbent is one that brings comfort and tranquility to the woman, so being an individual choice."

External absorbers are the most democratic because they can be used by any woman at any age and are also the most popular in Brazil and can be found easily. Already the most recommended tampons for younger girls are mini size, for "menarche may have happened even with the development of internal and external genitals underway," he explains.

With regard to size, you need to analyze what is your menstrual volume to choose the absorbent to leave you better protected. At first, it may be that this is a process of trial and error, which means that you should always have another absorbent purse to exchange your case the blood leak.

If this accident happens, evaluate whether the next time will be more accurate to buy a larger absorbent or if this can be avoided by making the exchange guard in smaller time intervals. Incidentally, it is important to remember that it is not very hygienic and can also be dangerous to your health remain long with the same absorbent. "The external models should be replaced whenever the layer in contact with the skin is wet or earlier, according to the preference of every woman," says the gynecologist.

The care with the use of common tampons are larger, since there is a risk occur called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Typically, manufacturers the recommended time for the exchange is between 4 to 8 hours, according to the manufacturer. However, it is worth opting for this type of absorbent for shorter times and merge its use with external.

The question that remains: using tampons "takes your virginity?"

Commonly, it is considered that the virginity of a girl is lost when held their first sexual intercourse with penetration, breaking the hymen - which in some cases can cause bleeding. If this is the concept of virginity with which you identify, no need to stop using tampons or menstrual collectors to remain a virgin.

"Normal hymen has a small opening which allows menstrual blood to exit the vagina," explains the gynecologist Mother Clinic. It is this natural opening and the tampon collectors are accommodated, which does not rupture the membrane. If you have questions, difficulties or pain, the ideal is that his / her doctor (a) be consulted (a) for guidance.

You are not alone!

When it happens menarche until the first months of the menstrual cycle, it is normal that the girl feel very confused, do not know to deal with so many new features, hate menstruating and even feel embarrassed to tell her friends and family that now is someone who menstruate. To minimize discomfort and the desires of this new phase, it is always important that the girl has to talk about it and feel free to enlighten you.

Check out reports of women who also have experienced it and have many experiences to share.

"Menstruating not bad" by Mayra Resende

With proper naturalness, the user of YouTube Mayra Resende shares his knowledge about menstruation, napkins and menstrual cup, emphasizing the need for this taboo is broken. It is part of the woman's physiology and talk about menstruation should be as commonplace as talking about the weather or the TV schedule.

Understanding the menstrual cycle Dani David Philibert

the Women's Self-Esteem channel A youtuber talks about the importance of marking the date of your period and explains how the menstrual cycle, making the days count from the date of the onset of the menstrual flow.

Anxiety for the first period by Renata Castilho

The blogger Renata Castilho talks about how some girls may miss having someone of similar age who has had the menarche to ask questions. In this video, it is also addressed an issue that can scare a lot of people, "and my first period comes and I'm in the classroom?".

If you as a parent need a help to deal with the matter, count on the help of a gynecologist and a psychologist also, if deemed necessary. And as a teenager, be sure to ask advice to a woman who has been there and also has the support of the aforementioned professionals. Information is the best "weapon" against unwanted situations.