Periods are something that most women go through and it isn’t something that you should feel ashamed about. Whilst on your period, you can feel more emotional as your hormones are changing levels. However, there are also the perceptions of periods and now knowing enough about them that can also affect your well-being.   

Fact – Heavy periods could mean you have a hormone imbalance. 

What is a period?

Usually a woman starts her period, also known as a menstrual cycle between the age of 10-14. This is when a woman bleeds (menstrual flow) from her vagina between 2-7 days. Periods come on average every 28 days. 

Periods can fluctuate when they arrive and how long they last so don’t be worried if they are late or you miss one cycle here and there. Some menstrual cycles can be shorter or longer e.g. 21 or 40 days. However, if you have any concerns at all you can speak in confidence to your GP or the nurse at the surgery. If you have not had your period by the age of 16 you should get checked out by your GP. 

Tip – If you’re under 40, and experiencing very long gaps between your periods, or your periods seem to have stopped completely, it’s worth seeing your GP to get some blood tests. You should also see your GP if you bleed between periods or after sex.  

Fact Heavy periods could mean you have a hormone imbalance. 

Here is more information about periods? – 

Why do we have periods?

Women have periods because the body readies itself for pregnancy and to release any unwanted tissue. The lining of your uterus thickens to prepare the body for nurturing a fertilized egg. However, if an egg is not fertilized, your body no longer needs the thicker lining of the uterus, so it starts to break down and eventually be released, along with some blood, from the vagina.  

Tip Don’t be afraid to take a day off school or work because of your period.

Fact Sleeping with a nightlight can help regulate your cycle. 

Stereotypes of Periods 

  1. The only time that women are moody or upset is when they are on their periods.

False – Just because a woman is upset doesn’t mean she is on her period.  Comments like “are you on your period?” are not helpful and are likely to make her more annoyed.  Try finding what is wrong and why she may be upset.

  1. Having sex whilst on your period is not ok!

 False – It is perfectly ok to have sex whilst you are on your period as there is no evidence to suggest that it is harmful to do so. However, you still can get pregnant whilst having sex on your period so don’t use your period as a contraceptive. 

Fact Nearly a decade ago, the average age for a woman to get her period was 16/17. Now it is around 12 years old.


Periods are often a taboo topic that aren’t spoken about enough, however, they should be. Women should not need to feel like they are dirty or gross when they are on their periods. It’s a natural part of a woman’s body that should be celebrated.