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Period (Menstrual Cycle)

Becoming a woman

What is period?

A period is also known as menses or menstruation. It shows that you are becoming a woman
When it occurs, you will notice bleeding through the vagina. Periods occur differently from woman to woman.
Each menses lasts for 3 – 7 days. The interval between the periods may vary from 21-35 days.

My first period

  • Girls can begin menstruating between ages 8-16 years
  • The average age for a girl to start periods is 12 years
  • Menstruation occurs when the reproductive system is mature
  • It happens as a result of hormones interacting in your body


Do you have problems with your periods?

Problems may occur sometimes. Usual ones are:

The Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

  • It occurs in the days preceding your periods
  • You may experience increased anger, depression and cravings
  • Your body may feel bloated, your breast may feel sore and acne may flare
  • It is only temporary and you will feel better again in a day or two after your periods begin

Period cramps

  • It is common in the first few days of your periods
  • It also known as dysmenorrheal
  • It is felt as pain or cramps in the lower part of your abdomen, or lower back and legs
  • It can be relieved by painkillers like paracetamol
  • If severe and prolonged, please visit your doctor

Heavy periods

May occur as a result of hormonal imbalances.

With heavy periods you may experience:

  • Bleeding for longer duration
  • Period cramps
  • Frequent periods within a short interval

Missed periods

  • Do not be alarmed, it is common in the first year
  • It may be caused by hormonal imbalance causing an irregular menstrual cycle
  • If a girl has been sexually active, missed periods may indicate that she is pregnant
  • Please consult your doctor for advice

Irregular periods

Irregular periods are periods that are erratic:

  • The periods may occur too soon or are delayed for too long
  • It may be caused by hormonal disturbances causing an irregular menstrual cycle

If this problem occurs, then it is advisable:

  • Keep a diary of your cycle each month
  • Document the lengths of the periods
  • Document the presence of periods cramp


What to do during periods?

Remember, menses is a normal event in a girl’s life.

  • You can still exercise and do everything you enjoy
  • Maintain hygiene by regular changing of pads
  • You may use painkillers in the event of severe cramps
  • Use tampons properly. Read the instructions carefully

Note: If you have fever, vomiting, dizziness or feel unwell when using tampons, see your doctor immediately. You may have a serious condition known as Toxic Shock Syndrome.


Is it necessary to take medications for irregular and heavy periods?

  • It may be necessary to take medications to regulate your period
  • Do not take medication on your own, without consulting a doctor
  • Please consult your doctor for advice


Need help with your periods?

Should you have a problem, please get advice from your:

  • Mother
  • Doctor or nurse
  • Teacher


Last reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu
    Dr. Jemah bt. Sajari
Reviewer : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu