Preparing For Periods: When Will The Flo’ Arrive?

Preparing For Periods: When Will The Flo’ Arrive?


If you’re new to experiencing it, menstruation can often be a messy, confusing, uncomfortable, or even frightening ordeal. But good news – it doesn’t have to be that way! When going through puberty, one of the biggest changes you may face is getting your period. This is a part of what’s known as the menstrual cycle. This normally happens between the ages of 8 and 13 years. Some other changes you may notice during this time as well  can be  an increase in body hair and breast development – these can possibly indicate that you’re about to get your first period.

Menstruations prepares your body so that one day, (if you want to), you can have a baby. Ordinarily, once a month, blood comes out of your vagina. Your uterus creates a thick lining of blood on a monthly basis, so that if you become pregnant, the embryo (which is the baby’s first stage of development) can have a comfortable place to grow called the endometrium. If there’s no pregnancy, the uterus empties the lining out of your vagina (this is  known as period blood is) and the cycle starts all over again.  The average period lasts for 2-7 days.

Understanding your menstrual cycle is a huge part of knowing when something isn’t quite right. However, everyone’s menstrual rhythm is different – the symptoms you experience may not be the same as those experienced by your friends – so comparing cycles may not be the most reliable way to identify any ‘abnormalities’.

One of the first things to know about your menstrual cycle is when your period is due. Whether you’re waiting for your first period or have experienced menstruation previously – knowing exactly when your period will arrive can be tricky. Not only does an unexpected period interfere with pre-planned activities, but it can also help in identifying menstrual conditions when having irregular periods.

Luckily, there are some tell-tale signs that may occur before the start of a period. PMS or the Premenstrual Syndrome is the term used to describe the physical and emotional symptoms that many people experience due to hormone induced changes a week or two before their period comes knocking every month. During PMS, you might experience acne, bloating, fatigue, backache, breast soreness, headaches, body pains, constipation, diarrhea, food craving, moodiness, stress, or irritability. You may also have some light cramping in your lower back as well as a change in vaginal discharge.

Boy, that’s a long list. But don’t worry! Not everyone experiences all of these and some of these symptoms usually disappear when your period begins.

Once you notice the aforementioned changes, you can start preparing for your period. Remember to keep your preferred menstrual hygiene product with you as well as anything you use to cope with menstrual cramps.  If you don’t have a menstrual hygiene product at hand, don’t be shy to ask a parent, friend, or adult around for one. And if you leak a little, that’s okay, just wrap something around you until you’re able to change.

So now that you know the signs of your period, you may be wondering, do I need to keep track of all this? YES! Keeping track of your cycle and the accompanying symptoms can help in identifying any abnormalities that may show up, such as, starting your period early, spotting and strange looking or smelling discharge. Keeping a log of these changes will be helpful in diagnosing any menstrual conditions, if needed.

If noting things down in a notebook doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of apps you can use.

We’ve listed some below:

  • FLO Period & Ovulation Tracker: This app is perfect for those who want to take control of their menstrual health – it includes a tracker, ovulation and fertility calendar. By logging in your symptoms, the app converts the information into easy-to-read graphs that feed you all the stats you need about your body. The more you log in, the more accurate the app’s predications become, thereby helping those with irregular cycles as well.
  • EVE by Glow: This app covers all the basics with its sex, health and period logs. Information is presented daily in a “cyclescope” that forecasts what menstrual cycle phase you’re in and the symptoms you may experience. An added bonus are some quizzes and articles offering information needed to understand your cycle and body.
  • CLUE Period Tracker: This app helps you with all your menstrual-related needs. The more information you log in, the more accurate your reminders for your next period and PMS.

Do keep in mind that these apps may not always be entirely accurate. If you feel like your period may be late, stressing over it won’t make it show up any sooner. Instead – relax, breathe and investigate as to why this may be. Look at past patterns that you’ve noted down in your notebook or app. It’s important to note that occasional changes in cycle duration are normal and often due to hormonal, lifestyle and dietary changes, so not every late period is a sign that there’s something wrong or that you’re pregnant.