How to Tell a Friend You Have Started Your Period

Getting your period for the first time is a major milestone. It can be exciting, scary, or a bit of both. No matter how you feel about it, you will probably want to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing. In addition to talking to family members, your school nurse, or your doctor, a trusted friend can be a great person to talk to about the big changes that are happening to your body. Choose a friend you feel comfortable talking to, decide on the best time and place to tell them, and decide what you want to say to them.

Part1
Choosing a Friend to TellDownload Article

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    Tell a friend you trust. Think about the friends in your life. When talking about a very personal and sensitive topic like your first period, it is important to talk to someone you know will be supportive and who you feel comfortable talking about personal things with. Choose a friend who:[1]
    • Cares about you
    • Accepts you without being judgmental
    • Encourages you when you need support
    • Doesn’t talk about personal things you share without your permission
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    Talk to a friend who has already started their period. If you talk to someone who already knows what you’re going through, they will probably be sympathetic, and may be able to offer some advice or even lend you some supplies (like tampons or sanitary pads).[2]
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    Tell more than one friend, if you want. If you have more than one friend that you feel comfortable enough to talk to about your period, this can be a great way to get different perspectives. No two people have the same experiences with their periods. Periods can start at different ages, last for a longer or shorter amount of time, or cause different kinds of symptoms for different people. Talking to more than one friend may give you a better idea of what sorts of things you can expect.[3]

Part2
Deciding on a Time and Place to TalkDownload Article

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    Wait until you feel ready to talk about it. Even if your friends are all talking about their periods, you don’t have to feel pressured into talking about yours if you aren’t ready.[4]
    • If your friends ask you if you’ve started your period and you don’t feel like talking about it, stand up for yourself, but keep it simple. Just calmly tell them, "I’d rather not talk about it right now."
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    Tell your friend you want to talk about something personal. Once you are ready to talk about it, pick a time when you can approach your friend privately, and tell them you have something important and personal to talk about.
    • If you have a hard time finding a moment to talk to your friend alone (at school, for example), you might try writing down a note on a piece of paper and handing it to them, sending them a text, emailing them, or giving them a call.
    • Ask your friend when would be a good time to have a talk.
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    Pick a place where you feel comfortable talking. This can be any place where you feel safe and will have plenty of privacy: it could be your room at home, your friend’s place, or a quiet corner at school somewhere.

Part3
Deciding What to SayDownload Article

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    Write down what you want to talk about ahead of time. If you’re not sure what you want to say, it can help to get your feelings down on paper before having a conversation. You don’t have to talk about everything you write down, but making a list of thoughts and questions can give you a good place to start.
    • In addition to helping you get ready to talk to a friend, writing down your thoughts and feelings about your period can help you feel better if you’re feeling anxious or upset about it.[5]
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    Tell your friend you want to keep it private. If you don’t want your friend sharing your news with anyone else, make that clear to them right from the start. Just say, "Please don’t tell anyone else what I’m about to tell you," or "Let’s keep this between you and me."
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    Break the ice with a question. If you don’t feel comfortable coming right out and telling your friend that you have started your period, you might start by asking them something about their experiences.[6]
    • Try asking something like, "How did you feel when your period first started?" or "When your period started, who did you tell first?"
    • If your friend isn’t comfortable answering your questions, don’t pressure them.
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    Keep it direct and simple. When you’re ready to tell your friend that your period has started, tell them about it in a clear and simple way. That way, there will be less of a chance that your friend will misunderstand what you are trying to say.
    • If it helps, you can talk about your feelings first.
    • If you’re feeling shy or awkward about it, say something like, "I feel a little embarrassed talking about this, but . . ."
    • However, if you’re feeling more excited and happy, you can start with, "Guess what!" or "I have some exciting news!"
    • Once you’re ready, say something like, "I just got my first period!" or "My period just started."
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    Have a conversation. Once you’ve broken the ice, you might find that you and your friend have a lot to talk about. They might have advice to offer, or they might be happy to have a sympathetic friend who is going through the same things they are. Ask questions, express your feelings, and listen to what your friend has to say. Things you might want to talk about are:[7]
    • Pads vs. tampons. Ask your friend what they prefer, and why.
    • Cramping, bloating, and pimples. Sometimes periods come with some not-so-fun symptoms. Talking about these things with a friend can help both of you feel better.
    • Funny stories and embarrassing moments. Everyone who has a period has had some of these. Swapping awkward period stories can help you and your friend find the humor in these situations and remind you both that you are not alone.

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