WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
Parental guidance is recommended.

Video

Boy 1: Aunty Ruby’s Visiting

Boy 2: Ughhh

Boy 1: When my girlfriend’s angry

Kent Riley: Painters are in.

Boy 1: Arsenal are playing home

Hollie-Jay Bowes: I say ‘lady wee’ because that’s a nice term.

Boy 3: You’ve got loads of these haven’t you – i haven’t got any.

*******

Dr Dawn: Periods can be inconvenient, but it’s your body’s way of telling you you’re blossoming into a young woman.

They are certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

Every month our body releases an egg into the womb.

If the egg isn’t fertilised by sperm, the egg and the soft lining of the womb sheds – this is your period.

The average age a girl starts her period is 12-and-a-half, but you could start as early as 8 or as late as your late teens.

*******

Girl 1: Everyone does dread it and i was dreading it. It happened in school but my really good friends were there so it was fine. And i’ve completely got used to it now and it’s not a problem at all.

Girl 2: If i told my mum when i started i wouldn’t have been worried or half as worried as i was.

*******

Dr Dawn: At first periods can be quite unpredictable, but they will settle down.

And every girl is different – you may bleed for just 3 days, but your friend’s period may last twice as long!

BOTH are normal.

You’ll get a period about once a month – usually around every 28 days – but anything from 22 to 35 days is regarded as normal.

If you make a note when you start each period, then you can work out your cycle and will know when you are due.

*******

Girl 2: During their periods i think girls worry most about it coming through or people seeing.

*******

Dr Dawn: When you have a period you’ll need to buy sanitary protection.

And there are lots of products available.

Some girls start with towels and stick with them, whilst others move on to tampons.

Neither is better than the other – it’s about finding what’s comfortable for you.

When trying a tampon for the first time, use a small size and try to relax – the more tense you are, the more difficult inserting a tampon can be.

If you do use tampons change them every four to eight hours.

Choose the right absorbency for your flow.

Always use clean hands.

And remember to remove them.

A tampon left in the vagina for too long, can cause bacteria to grow, and lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome and although very rare this can be extremely serious.

There’s lots of nonsense surrounding periods, so let me put the record straight.

********

Girl 1: I estimate that girls would lose about a few good cups of blood during their period.

********

Dr Dawn: It may seem like you are losing a lot of blood but in fact average blood loss is only about 16 teaspoons.

********

Girl 2: When i was on my period i didn’t like going to sports and i never went swimming.

********

Dr Dawn: Periods won’t stop you playing sport or going for a swim. No-one can tell when you have one. And no a tampon cannot disappear inside you.

Your first few periods probably won’t cause you much bother and you may even wonder what all the fuss is about but some girls find their periods get heavier and possibly more painful 6 months to a year after they start.

If you suffer with painful periods try simple painkillers like paracetamol and use a hot water bottle on your lower tummy.

Supplements of vitamin B1 or vitamin E may also help

Just before a period you may feel bloated, your breasts may feel tender and you can feel quite emotional. These are just some of the symptoms known as Premenstrual Syndrome.

*****

Girl 2: On my period my emotions are just a mixture i can’t control any of them. They’re all over their place.

Yeah i’m not a very good girlfriend at the time of my period

Hollie-Jay Bowes: I think i blame my moods on my period. I go ‘oh sorry i’m in a mood i’m on my period’ – it’s not, i’m just in a mood!

Girl 3: Just before my period i do get a bit emotional a bit upset but i think that it changes for each woman.

*****

Dr Dawn: For most of us the symptoms are just an

irritation but if they are making your life a misery, talk to your GP about it. There are lots of treatments available

Read the video transcript

Am I Normal: Periods

Dr Dawn Harper discusses all matters relating to periods and looks at what is and isn’t normal. Each video looks at different people’s experiences growing up, including the cast of Hollyoaks.

If you’d prefer to watch this video on your mobile, then download our specially produced version for your mobile phone from the Channel 4 Mobile site.

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Explore Am I Normal? >

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Am I Normal?: Mental Health >
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If you think your child may be going through early puberty, check our guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

With thanks to:
Hollyoaks
University of Birmingham Hockey Club
Llanelli Youth Theatre
Tetbury Hospital

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Hi I have a lump on what I would say is my clitiourus hood and I have no idea what it is at all it isn't painful when touched I am still a virgin but I was wondering if it could be from horse riding because sometimes the saddle rubs down there please help





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Hi ! I have two thing.. Firstly what I'm more concerned about. I recently only noticed this because after a few times I have masturbated I found blood. I checked and there's like, some kind of cut just under the cliterous, I'm not even sure how a cut like that would be caused. Secondly.. At least two weeks before or after my period perhaps longer, a quite sharp pain is always over the left side to my womb/ovaries. I'm not sure if this is anything to be worried about it is just that it is hardly ever to the right.





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Hi I'm 15 years old and my vigina is really wired looking it kinda has skin hanging down and the lips are being pushed out a little bit it's very embarrassing can somebody help if it's normal or not !!!





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I'm 18 and i still haven't started my period. what do I do?





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I am 16 years old and I have found kinda of small white bumps on or around my ciltrous.. It is very uncomfortable and tender (sometimes sharps pain) when touch. It's even sometimes uncomfortable when I sit cross legged or even just sitting normally.. Also I haven't had sex yet. I am very worried about going to the doctor about it because I don't want things pushed or prodded (very private). I'm very scared..





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I am having regular periods and I am on contraceptive pills. This time when I was having my periods the blood was reddish brown and not flows as other days of perods





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Hello I'm 17 and I have a strange discharge, which smells and Is similar to cottage cheese, I am sexual ly active and ebarassed to have sex because of the smell and the lumpy discharge, if it's thrush does the doctor have to look inside my vagina or can the doctor just give me some antibiotics? As I'm shy with my privates





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Doctor would give you tablets but would either ask you to do a swab or they would ask to check it out them self nothing scary doesn't hurt

Hi I'm a 15 year old and I have been having periods for about 7 years now (I started young) however my periods still don't come normally some times it can be 2 or 3 months between periods and some times it can only be 2 weeks between, is this normal.





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Hi om 28yrs old I hsf regular periods till I wad 26yrs old and they just stopped was woundrin if there wad anything to worry about been wiv partner 12yrs nevet used snything or had the pill ad my daughter at 18yrs old every thing wad fine till I was 26yrsold





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Hi. I'm having some very embarrassing problems with my vagina, I have a large lump on the inside thats about the size of a £2 coin and its starting to hurt when pressure is applied to it. My boyfriend has also noticed it and says there is nothing to be worried about but it's still quite embarrassing for me and would like some further knowledge of what it is. I would like to know what it is and how I could get rid of it please. Thank you





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Hi I had a lump on my vagina one about the size of a 20p coin and it was getting bigger and I got quite worried about it and in the end after about 2-3 weeks it popped and a yellow substance came out and turn out that it was a swollen gland and i read about it and it said that it will get bigger just like a blister rubbing on your shoe and then eventually it will pop and now it's been fine ever since.


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