Breanna asks: I’m 9 and I have had my first period, and I don’t know what to do.
Hi Breanna –
Well I think the first thing to say is Congratulations. (I never went through one; I had an operation when I was six months old that kept me from having puppies or developing in the way you have, so I’m impressed!) This is a big event for a young girl, and it’s totally normal for it to be a little scary. So I’m really glad you wrote me about it.
But the first thing to know is – there is absolutely nothing to be scared about! This is part of growing up, and while people don’t talk about it a lot in public, it’s absolutely normal.
The second thing, though, is that, because this is so important, it’s absolutely necessary that you talk to an adult about it. Do you have a good relationship with your mother or another female caregiver, so that you could tell her? Or maybe a teacher or nurse at school? That’d be the best first thing to do. Then, you should definitely see a doctor, just to make sure everything is working as it should.
But once you’ve done those, you’re basically in the clear. Of course you’ll have to deal with it every month, but that’s just like nearly every other woman. Wait, what’s that word I just said? Yes: What’s big and exciting is that this is really the beginning of you becoming a woman!
So what’s important, just as important as getting checked out by a doctor, is that you begin to deal with what becoming a woman means. Your body will have lots of other changes soon, and you’ll get looked at in different ways. So it’s your job to do two things from now on: To hold on to what makes you a great kid, and to start to think about the sort of woman you want to become.
This is your experience, Breanna. And while it makes sense that you don’t want to go around talking about it with everyone, it really does make you part of the world community. So be proud and enjoy it.
But please, please, do talk to some adults and see a doctor. Just to make sure you’re okay!
Thanks, and again, Congratulations!