Online Community Manager

Period Preparation

"I am afraid my period is coming soon. How can I be prepared for it? What happens if I get it on a hike or something?"

- Moana

"I am going on a trip and I am bringing some pads. What happens if I get my period, but don't have enough pads?"

- Moana



Hi, Moana!

Since your two questions are related, I’m going to try and respond to them both at once.

Getting your period can be a stressful thing (especially if it’s your first time), but I promise it’s not as scary as the prospect can sometimes seem. Other than making sure that you have good supplies (which it sounds like you’re already doing, since you have pads!), I don’t know that there’s really much else to prepare for it. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend talking to your mom (or other adult female you feel comfortable with—even friends who’ve already gotten their period, if you’re comfortable doing so), just so that you have some idea of what to expect. Reading books or articles about menstruation can also be a good idea, if you’re still nervous. (Although I do advise caution, especially if you look for information on the Internet—it’s probably best to consult with someone like your mother beforehand, as not all of the “information” available online is necessarily the most reliable. :P)

As you may already know, the age of menarche (first period), as well, as the particulars of people’s individual menstrual cycle, once they have their period, often (although not always) tend to run in families, so there’s a decent chance that your experience may be similar to that of some of your female relatives, which is another good reason to talk to your mom about it. (If she got her period when she was 10, it seems probable that you might get it soon; if she didn’t get it until 15, though, while it’s still possible you might just get it at a much younger age than she did, it’s not necessarily quite as likely.)

As for the second part of your first question—actually, there’s a strong likelihood the answer to what would happen if you got your period on a hike is... nothing. xD You might not even notice until you got home! For many people, myself included, the first period isn’t as dramatic as you might think. I know that I didn’t even realize it until I happened to be going to the bathroom. (Which is a pretty common thing, to my understanding.)! If you experience cramps (some people do, some don’t), that could potentially be a bit more of a problem for a physically strenuous activity such as hiking, but I really wouldn’t worry too much about it right now. You’d be fine.

On to your second question! First of all, it depends on how long your trip is and how many pads you’re bringing, I’m inclined to say running out of pads probably isn’t something you need to worry about, unless you’ll be gone for a very long time. It’s always possible, though—and even if you do get your period and then run out of pads, it’s not the end of the world! If you found yourself in a situation where you don’t have pads but need them, there are plenty of potential solutions. If you’re traveling with your mom or older girl/woman you know, then one (and probably the simplest, if there’s someone you could ask) would just be to ask if they have any extra pads you could use. If they do, problem solved! If that didn’t work, you (or a parent) could also almost certainly buy a few extra pads somewhere to tide you over. Disposable pads will usually be available somewhere nearby—many places even have a dispenser right in the bathroom! Even if not, they’d probably be available somewhere else nearby, such as a pharmacy.

If all else fails, in a pinch you can use paper towel or toilet paper as a makeshift pad replacement—just take a bunch of paper towel or toilet paper fold it until it’s the right size and thickness for you, and then place the wad in your underwear, right where you would put a pad. (For added security, you can use an extra piece of toilet paper and tuck/wrap the ends around the crotch area of your underwear, just to prevent it from moving too much.) It may sound weird, but I’ve done it before, and it works just fine as a substitute until you have the chance to get your hands on some regular pads.

I hope some of this helps! And if you have any other menstruation-related questions, feel free to submit another S2S question or just shoot me a private message. In the end, I find that the best way to prepare for your periods (other than having pads ready) is just to not worry about it too much. Everyone’s menstrual experience is different, but it’s not usually as intimidating as it might seem. Don’t stress out about it, and you’ll be fine. :)

~ Sarah

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  • I have a feeling I'm going to get my period when I'm 10 11 or 12 I'm ten.!.!
    • I’m now 11... I’m going camping this weekend and I’m not sure if there’s anything that’s super Important to remember if I get my period while I’m there
  • Hello, there are some miracle underwear that can let you not have to wear any pads. They are life changing and I would defiantly recommend. Have your mom look them up, they're called Thinx.
  • My period is coming soon, should I buy some pads, just to be prepared?
    • Online Community Manager
      That's a good idea! If you get your period and don't have pads yet, you could probably borrow from one of your moms (or someone else) until you can obtain some, so it's not the biggest deal, but there's no reason not to buy some now to be prepared, since there's no harm in letting pads sit on a shelf for a while until you need them. :)
      I use cloth reusable pads, rather than disposable, but my mom and I got some before I got my period, and I was definitely glad I had them already when I reached menarche. :D
      • I just used some cloth pads that were small that my mom had and I like them a lot
      • Thanks Sarah! Your always so nice and caring to people on NMG. You even read that I have two moms, in my bio.
  • This is helpful! I’m stressed out about starting mine (probably next fall or so my mom says) and any information is REALLY nice to have as backup :)
    • Online Community Manager
      No problem! I'm glad this was helpful—feel free to ask if there's anything you're worried about. I'd recommend not stressing out about it too much, though, whether you get it tomorrow, next fall, or not for years; it's not usually as scary as it sounds. :)
  • more question. Sorry!
    I'm having a lot of trouble with using tampons and I swim A LOT. I was wondering if anybody has tips on putting in/using a tampon? Thanks!
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