Getting your period unexpectedly when you’re unprepared seems to always be a source of concern for people who menstruate. It doesn’t matter if you’re twelve or forty, if it’s your first period ever or one of your last, no one likes to be caught unprepared. But this fear can be heightened when you’re in school, due to inexperience with periods, inaccessibility to the right products, or even the stigmas still around younger people and periods because it just isn’t the norm yet.
Everyone has different levels of comfort and confidence, but we want to remind you that getting your period is normal. There is no need to feel shame around it. Everyone either has, will have, or knows someone close to them with their period. You are not alone. However, we understand that getting your period unexpectedly and the possibilities like leaking that come with it are never comfortable. Everything else gets pushed to the side because you feel like you have mere moments to sort it all out. But don’t worry, take a deep breath, and follow the steps below. We’ve got your back.
- Get the right supplies and clean up any mess.
Being PREPARED is a great way to reduce stress and worry around period surprises, so have a period emergency kit in your bag at all times! You can clean up anything you need, put on your heavy absorbency period underwear or other emergency products you packed, and move on with your day!
If you don’t have anything packed, don’t stress, there are plenty of options to sort everything out. The first is to visit the school nurse, chat with the school office, or a trusted teacher. They're professionals that deal with this sort of thing all of the time, so they won’t hesitate to help when you say: "I started my period today and I don't have any supplies." They’ll most likely hand you what you need, ask if you need any pain relief and tell you to come back if you need anything else.
If that is too intimidating and you still feel a bit shy to ask, or don’t want to walk across the school to get their help, your second option is to ask a teacher that you know and like. Again, you can just ask if they can help and they can either go to the nurse and get supplies for you, or accompany you there so you don’t have to do it alone.
Finally, if that also sounds too much for you to bear in the moment, you can resort to your friends. Maybe they have their own emergency kit that they can share with you, or they are happy to ask for help on your behalf. Usually, when it comes to the people we love, we find we have more strength and confidence when it comes to helping them than ourselves, so there’s a good chance you’ll find at least one friend willing to go to the nurse with you (or on behalf of you!) and get supplies. If they do get period supplies for you, be aware that the teacher or nurse they ask might come and find you later. This isn’t because you’re in trouble, they’ll just want to check in and make sure you’re okay.
- Call your parents or tell your friends.
Once your period is sorted and there is no risk for any more unexpected occurrences (like the odd leaking accident), make sure you tell whoever you need to feel supported. This might be your friends, as mentioned above, or calling your parents. If it's your first period, you probably will want to tell the important and comforting people in your life what happened and how you're feeling. And it should be added that it’s perfectly acceptable if you want to go home after you get your period unexpectedly, whether it was your first one or not. During this time of your cycle your emotions and hormones are already going through a little upheaval, so, as this can be a stressful experience for some, you might feel uneasy and just needing to be in a comfortable place. Not everyone feels concern about getting their first period. We are ALL DIFFERENT, and we all cope with situations in our own way. Nothing is right or wrong, how you are feeling is 100% OK! BUT if you are feeling uneasy, when you go to the nurse to ask for supplies, you can ask to call your parents or carers then. If not, go after you have sorted everything else and let them know your situation. They’ll be more than willing to help facilitate a call and make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. Everyone has been there, periods have been around since time began, and we're all here to support each other!
- Take a moment to breathe.
Maybe at this point you’ll be waiting for someone to pick you up, or you’re still in the bathroom after sorting everything out about to go back to class. Whatever the case, give yourself a moment. Take a deep breath, splash water on your face and sit down for a minute. Getting your period at school can be (for some) a stressful experience, but you got through it! You should be proud of how well you handled everything!
- Get prepared for next time
When you get home, pack emergency supplies as well as the period products you’ll need for the week. This way, you’ll never be unprepared in an unexpected-school-period-situation again. Plus, if a friend ever comes asking for help from you, you can give them supplies without taking away from what you need in the moment. Just refill your emergency kit when you get home again! We have a fantastic bundle called "Welcome to your first period" and it has all the essentials, and some extras just to make you feel good!You might want to ask your parent or caregiver to read this article, How to make your daughter's first period EASY and FUN!
You'll want to read this article, with your parent or caregiver, to help you prepare your period emergency kit.
Also learn to track your period. It is common for it to be irregular when you first get it, but tracking can severely reduce unexpected periods. We recommend reading this to find the best tracking app for you.
Pro tip: Add our Tween & Teen PMS Roll-On Essential Oil Blend to fight those cramps, mood swings and other period-related symptoms when you’re at school or anywhere!
One final thing to acknowledge with unexpected periods is the chance you leak and bleed through your clothes. If it’s your first period, there’s a good chance you won’t bleed enough to stain through your clothes before you catch it, but it’s always something to keep in mind. If you have a change of clothes, amazing! Just change into them. But if you don’t, the go-to solution is by tying a jumper around your waist, effectively covering the stain after you have dealt with the actual period. If you don’t have a jumper, ask a friend to borrow theirs or even check if there is a spare one in lost-property. If the stain is very big or noticeable (such as if you were wearing white pants), remember you can always tell a nurse or teacher and they’ll do anything they can to help find you spares.
Once you have covered up or changed out of the stained clothes, you can move on with your day, and once you’re home, rinse the stained clothing immediately with cold water and soap to avoid permanent stains. Also remember that everyone has dealt with all of this at some point before, and in twenty years, when you’re living out the future you’ve always dreamed of, no one is going to care about this.
TOP TIP: Period Undies will be your new best friend!! They're leak proof, and you can wear the light-absorbency or pre-period knickers in the days leading up to your period every month, as well as on your lighter days when your period is finishing each month. They feel just like regular knickers, but give you confidence with their protection ... you can wear them (and our heavy absorbency knickers, too) all day long and no worry about leaks, stains, odours, or anything! Just go about your day living your best life being a kid. Or a tween. or a teen. Whatever stage you're at - because Knicked period undies take the worry out of periods!
Our wonderful offer for all first periods, a bundle that's offered at the special price of $69.95 AUD but is actually worth $120.60 AUD! It's called our WELCOME TO YOUR FIRST PERIOD PACK.
What's inside your First Period Starter Pack?
2x Pre-Period/Light Absorbency & 1x Heavy Absorbency Undies (perfect for girls just starting puberty)
2x Overnight/Heavy Absorbency & 1x Pre-Period/Light Absorbency Undies (perfect for girls who've just started menstruating)
24x Healing Hearts
1x Mini Set of Teen Self-Esteem Boosting Inspiration Cards
1x Girls-Can-Do-Anything Bracelet
1x Silk Bag
Get it here. You'll be thrilled by all the 5-star reviews from parents and caregivers, sharing how much it's helped with life with periods!