All content within this page has been reviewed and endorsed by
Dr Tariq Miskry, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician
How long does a first period last?
How long your first period lasts is individual just to you. But the general average is from 3 to 5 days. However, some girls get their period for just two days (lucky them!) and some bleed for seven days. Neither is any cause for concern.
If your period is a little shorter or a little longer than average, don’t worry! If your friend’s period is longer or shorter than yours – also, don’t worry! It’s all perfectly normal. These small differences between our bodies are part of what makes each of us an individual – kind of like having blue eyes or green eyes.
Will my period last for the same number of days every time?
When you start menstruating, your first periods might be irregular. Many girls have unpredictable periods for the first few cycles. So it’s hard to say exactly how many days your period should last, especially at the beginning.
However, your first few periods may be quite short and light. It may get somewhat heavier and longer as your body grows accustomed to this whole new menstruation thing.
Here are a few reasons for a short period:
And for a long period:
When will my period settle down?
Once your period becomes regular (this takes about a year), you’ll notice that your period tends to last the same number of days each month. Your menstrual cycle becomes more regular.
When to see a doctor?
Once you’ve had a few periods, they should happen at least every 45 days, but no more often than every 21 days. If you don’t have your period in that range of days, you can talk to a doctor.
If you're supposed to have your period and it's surprisingly short, exceeds 7 days, or is unusually heavy, you also might want to see a doctor.
How to get prepared?
How long your first period lasts can be helpful to take note of so you can know what to expect each month or how long your next period will be. This way, you won’t be playing a is-my-period-still-here guessing game each morning when you wake up.
While you might not know how long your first period lasts before you get it, knowing what you might expect can help you plan ahead. Maybe you want to toss some extra Always Ultra pads in your school bag in preparation for your first period – no matter how long it is.
How do I know that my first period is coming?
There are a number of changes your body will go through that will tip you off that your first period may be just around the corner. You will develop breast buds, grow pubic hair, and get vaginal discharge – that white or clear fluid you may see in your knickers. Vaginal discharge especially is a clue that your body’s hormones are changing and that you may be starting your period soon.
Once you start experiencing vaginal discharge, you may want to stock up on Always Ultra pads so you’ll be ready for the fateful day you get your first period. Always Ultra have an absorbent core that turns liquid into gel – and gel can’t leak! – so you’ll feel confident and protected on your period. Stash some in your bag or locker so you’ll always be prepared – no matter how long your first period lasts.