Menstruation, Monthlies, Code Red or ‘Riding the cotton pony’.

Menstruation is a totally normal part of a woman’s life, and while, at first, it may seem a bit scary, your period is a natural part of growing up. Cottons is a brand that offers you a natural alternative to synthetic materials. Ultimately we try to lesson the impact on the environment, and of course your body!

If you’re just starting, it’s important to understand all you need to know about getting your period so you can make the most informed choice for your body, that’s where we come in.

We have put this little site together just for you where we talk about periods in general, some interesting facts about growing up, and some awesome life-hacks to turn you into a period-pro in no time!

You’re doing it right, we swear!

Puberty, put simply, is ‘growing up’- it’s when your body transforms from a girl to a woman and there are a lot of changes that happen during this time that can make us feel a bit weird.

Usually it happens between the ages of 8 to 18, but it’s different for everyone, so try your best to focus on yourself while puberty takes over. Even though it may seem like your body is going a little crazy, it’s amazing how your body knows exactly what to do and when to do it!

The Basics Explained

Here is an outline to explain what happens to you as your body matures!

From the ages of 8 to 11: 

  1. The pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of your brain, begins to produce the hormones that jump-start the oestrogen in your ovaries.  Oestrogen, is the hormone that is responsible for your menstrual cycle.
  2. You’ll start to grow taller.
  3. Hair begins to sprout up in places it didn’t appear before – this is called pubic hair.
  4. Your body starts to change shape – your nipples get bigger and a little sensitive, your waist becomes more defined and your hips become rounder.  You may notice some body odour as well.

From the ages of 12 to 14: 

  1. Oestrogen hormones increase and your ovaries begin to produce eggs.
  2. Some girls (if they haven’t already) will begin to get their periods – but as we mentioned before it’s different for everyone, so if you haven’t got your period by this stage it’s totally normal – and trust us, you will. With the start of your period, it’s now possible for you to have a baby.
  3. Your body will continue to develop into the shape it’s meant to be – your breasts will grow and your pubic hair will thicken. Hair will begin to appear under your armpits too.
  4. You will start to notice some vaginal discharge, which can be yellowish, white or clear. This is a normal function of your body as your vagina keeps itself moist and clean.
  5. You’ll notice your skin changing a little, maybe it will get a bit oily and some pimples may appear.
  6. With the increase of hormones, you can find yourself experiencing some weird mood swings as well – congratulations you are officially a teenager!

From the ages of 15-18:

  1. Most of you would have reached the end of puberty – the transformation from a girl to a woman is complete!
  2. Your period will have established a cycle and if it hasn’t started yet, it should begin now.

What Should You Expect?

Other than feeling weird and maybe shy or embarrassed about getting your period, your first one is usually very light, maybe only a few spots of red blood or brown discharge.

It can start off being a little bit irregular but before long, your body will settle into its own rhythm and you’ll get used to your own menstrual cycle.

Please Explain…

The series of changes that happens to your body in the lead up to your period is known as the ‘menstrual cycle’. It is through this cycle that human reproduction is made possible.

The adjacent diagram is a basic breakdown of the female anatomy. It is very important to become familiar with your body!

This is how it works:

Stage 1: During ovulation an egg is released from the ovaries and travels through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus.

Stage 2: In preparation for fertilisation, the lining of the uterus increases in thickness and fills with blood.

Stage 3: If the egg is not fertilised and pregnancy doesn’t occur, this lining breaks down and leaves the body. This is when you start bleeding and it’s the bleeding that’s called menstruation and it usually lasts between 2 to 7 days.

Stage 4:The lining of the uterus then prepares itself for the next cycle.