Sleepover Struggle

Dominique T  •  Illinois  •  25


I got my first period a few months after I turned eleven. Luckily, my mom was proactive - when I displayed my very first signs of pubescence she bought me a ton of What's Happening to My Body? books. We didn't have many conversations about it, but I read the provided literature and knew what was up.

So when, one fall evening, I went pee and discovered underwear full of blood, I was not shocked or confused or scared. I was, however, still panicking.

Dominique T First Period Story

Unfortunately not all moms are as proactive as mine. Some go the opposite direction and hide the details of puberty from their children. And I was at the birthday party of a friend who had hider parents. In retrospect, I have no idea if this friend’s parents were open with her about puberty or not, but at the time I was absolutely certain that if I asked her mom for a pad or tampon, it would cause a scene, ruining the party and my friendship.

And the red icing on the cake - this was a sleepover.

I threw my underwear away, taking care to hide them at the very bottom of the trash can, and layered up the crotch of my second pair with half a roll of toilet paper. I spent the rest of the night clenching my legs and afraid to sit on anything. My flow was heavy and my cramps were severe straight out the gate, so I clenched my teeth tightly too.

When my mom came to pick me up the next morning I told her as soon as we got in the car. And we both laugh-cried about it all the way home.

Dominique T First Period Stories

Period in Flux

Melissa C  •  Texas  •  39


I got my period when I was 13 or 14, about a year or so after my dad died. My Mom was dating some guy and I was with them doing something outside - kinda blocked some of that out. I came inside to use the restroom, then boom the tears came rolling down. I had no idea what was going on with me. Definitely didn't know what a period was.

Melissa C First Period Story

My Mom still didn't explain much to me at the time just gave me a pad and said use this. I was homeless for a while throughout my teen years and lacked access to menstrual products and educational information about periods. I founded the nonprofit organization Menstrual Flux to provide crucial access to menstrual products and education to those in need.

Melissa C First Period Stories

Sorry Stranger

Mae B  •  Idaho  •  16


I was 11 and I was moving to a different city. We were leaving in two days so we were finishing packing and I was going to stay at my friend's house for the night. I had nothing but a pair of clothes, swimsuit, sleeping bag and a toothbrush. So I was like feeling sick all day and I didn't really know what a period was at the time, so I just brushed it off.

Our plan was to go swimming and then go back to her house. We got to the pool and I didn't notice that I had started to bleed through at the time. We played around until I got out and sat on a seat that had someone else's towel on it. I got up and saw that there was blood coming from ME! The stranger saw their towel and asked what happened. I shrugged and then ran to the bathroom/locker-room.

Mae B First Period Story

I pulled off my swimsuit and I saw that it leaked through. Luckily I went into a shower stall so I could wash myself and my swimsuit immediately. I was crying because I thought something bad happed and my friend came and asked if I was ok. I said I don't know and to get her mom.

I told her mom what happened and she told me that I just got my period and I would be fine. I couldn't really go home because my parents were in a hotel so I still slept over. When we got to her house, they gave me a pad and I told my mom. I still feel bad about that towel.

Mae B First Period Stories