Weekly poll #74: How old were you when you had your first menstrual cycle?


  1. It was the day after my 12th birthday. That’s a gift I wished I could have returned.

  2. I got mother natures gift on my 10th birthday exactly. I have to say it really wasn’t what I wanted…

  3. 10

  4. 13 and 3 weeks…but who was counting 😉

  5. I honestly don’t remember I picked 13-16 because that’s my best guess but it could be more like 12. Am I the only one who hasn’t a clue? My mom isn’t sure either.

  6. I was twelve and at my older cousin’s house helping her take care of her babies. I was so unsure of what to do that I sat almost frozen on the couch until my mom arrived to take me home. (I knew WHAT to do, my mom had taught me well. But I think I was in a bit of shock). I told my mom not to tell my dad, but as soon as he walked through the door after work that night he said “well, should I say ‘welcome to womanhood?'” Silly Dad!

  7. I was 12, I remember it well, I was staying at a hotel at the time and it came at night. I was mortified.

  8. Mine started when I was 11.

  9. Unfortunately, my 9-year old daughter just started menstruating– ugh!!!

  10. 9… I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I thought maybe I had appendicitis. 🙂

  11. My mom spilled the beans to my dad too and I then overheard him telling my grandma. I was mortified. Then the same week I started a boy in my class asked me how long a period lasted and I snapped “How would I know?!?” poor kid was just curious but I was sure he’d been talking to my dad!

  12. I meant to add that I remember the day vividly. Just not how old I was.

  13. I started July 30th 2001. I knew what it was but was so embarressed that I waited a few days before I told my mom. That night she told my dad and brother and he teased me about it pretty much for the rest of my teenage years, and my mom sang sunrise sunset. I started almost two months after my 13th birthday. Fun experience after that night I wished I had kept it a secret. To this day my mom doesn’t know I waited two days to tell her lol.

  14. I know what it’s like. 🙂 Make it a special time between the two of you, my Mom made me feel so special, and it helped so much. It’s not really fun being in elementary school and already having your period.

  15. my mom put it on the calendar! she wrote “H gets her P” with a smiley face. Like my big brother couldn’t figure that out!!! 😛

  16. I was 11 and my parents had just left on a trip to England and I was staying with friends of theirs. I was so embarrassed, I didn’t want to leave my soiled pads in the waste basket in the bathroom so I hid them in my suitcase (securely wrapped of course). The lady found them eventually and we had a little chat about hygiene… yeah, I wish my mom had been there. I told her as soon as she got home and about how embarrased I was…. my dad overheard us and said something like “My little girl is growing up” … more embarrassment!!! UGH!

    As much as it is an awkward experience, this is part of how we were created. Menstration is not “THE CURSE” as some refer to it. Something I have wondered about… if we viewed it as a wondrous part of how we are created, does that change our period experience for the better???

  17. On a somewhat related note, how do you explain how some women seem to start their cycle at almost exactly the same time?

  18. It totally does. I remember finally getting to the point where I could spend my worst days (I get terrible cramps) reading through my favorite magazines or books and feeling so blessed that I can bear chidren. Now, having just had my first baby, I’ve realized that blessing over and over again.

  19. What a memory! Thankfully my dad is horrified by all things period related (even with three girls!) that I didn’t have to deal with that embarrassment. He still gets freaked out by the word tampon. I’m the baby and I’m 28!

    I think that if the average woman accepted menstruation as the gift of the ability to bear children, it would change the negative stigma attached to it. I’m my case I wasn’t the average woman. At 16 I was told that I’d never be able to have children. Two days following my 28th birthday (and several surgeries and medications and multiple trips to the hospital) I had a total hysterectomy. For me, all the pain and suffering associated with my period was a curse.

  20. I was 9 too. I must have gone through three pairs of panties that night before I woke my mom up to ask her what was up. She told me I started my period, and I swear I passed out. LOL.

  21. You know, that is a wonderful point! I have always had a bit of the curse mentality. Last year however, I developed a few medical issues and my periods are now not coming naturally. As I am now at an age where I want to start thinking about having kids, I long for them back. I am working with my doctors to solve my medical issues, and I will eventually get them back. But if there is one thing that I have learned it’s that if our periods are a curse then they certainly are a vital one to have around. And you really do miss them when they decide to leave town.

    I guess its like a lot of things in life, some of our biggest blessings in life come with trials to go through first.

  22. HAHA! I didn’t even ask my Mom, I just assumed it would stop eventually, she actually found “the evidence,” realized what was happening, told me I was “growing up,” to which I gave a funny look and ended up explaining everything. I had no idea I was supposed to even expect it, and didn’t have a clue what it was.

  23. I am amazed that some girls start them before the age of 13. I was 13 when I started. I could not imagine my nine year old boy being a girl and starting the menstrual cycle now. He is so innocent. Partly because I homeschool, so he is not exposed to what a lot of kids his age know. I have all boys. I kid my husband that he has to do the sex talk and I get off free of it. I do feel slightly sad that I do not have a girl. But, in some ways I am glad. I can’t wait for grand girls, but it better be a long time from now.

  24. I learned a lot about the “Curse” while my husband was studying Hebrew in seminary. God only says “cursed are you” to the serpent. He doesn’t actually curse Eve or Adam. God uses the same word, “etzev” in Hebrew, to describe both Adam’s “toil” and Eve’s “toil.” There are several Hebrew words to describe a woman’s labor pain- “etzev” is not one of them. “Etzev” means more generally “hard work”, which can include physical aches, but primarily physical, emotional and mental exertion.

    The idea that God particularly cursed women to painful childbirth actually has roots in the gnostic movement, which teaches that everything physical is inherently evil, especially sex (and pregnancy, which is the fruit of sex). Of course we Nymphos reject that idea!

    We know that God blessed us when He said “Be fruitful”, so our fertility is a blessing, not a curse, and I think that has a TON to do with how we experience our periods (and childbirth)!

    It can be hard to be grateful in the moment… sometimes it feels yucky… I really appreciate the testimonies of you ladies who are struggling with fertility issues and now wishing you could have regular periods- it really changes how you look at things. God bless.

  25. I’ve heard it has something to do with hormones or pheremones or something… when a several women are together, their hormones kind of rub off on each other and end up synching their cycles. Then again I’ve also heard it has to do with the fullness of the moon, so I may be completely crazy here 🙂

  26. When I was 10 or 11 I slipped on the monkey bars at a playground and must have broken my hymen, I bled for a few days and it stung SO badly. I thought it was my period, but my mom somehow could tell that the blood didn’t look like period blood and my symptoms didn’t sound like period symptoms. She was really open about that stuff (maybe too open?) When I was twelve I got my real period and just grabbed a pad out of my mom’s closet. I felt pretty well-prepared.

    When my girls are 11 or so I plan on giving them a period bag, like a little zipper tote with a selection of sanitary stuff so they can decide what they like best, a basic cycle chart, and a book about periods to explain what’s going on. I expect them to start their periods around age twelve, so I’d like them to be prepared.

  27. I had also heard that the women will start following the strongest woman’s cycle. I thought it was lunacy until I worked as a manager at a store, I had 4 female employees and sure enough over a bit of time they mirrored me.

  28. 12….i was mortified too! it started when i was spending the night at my grandma’s house and i had to call my mom to ask her what was going on! she came over and the rest of the evening proceded to embarass me infront of my grandma, mom, younger sister, and older cousing…embarassed like crazy and i still get embarassed to tears to this day…. 😛 but the only thing that made it better was my dad…the next day when i woke up there was a bouquete of red carnations and a special card that for the life of me i wish i kept 😦 …that was the only good thing about starting my period. haha

  29. Aww, that was sweet. I thought it was shocking ’cause a few night before, both my parents told me this was due to happen sometime. Then I wake up to a soggy wet red mess. Anxiously I waited for my mom to come out of her room ready to take me and my sister to school. I still remember. “Mom, remember how we talked about it happening?” “Yes?” “It happened.”

  30. A few thoughts Suzanne. Help your boys out now with developing a good dialogue on sex and get them comfortable talking with you. Your future daughter-in-laws will thank you later. After raising 3 boys and watching how my husband interacts with me in our marriage, we are mostly happy with the way they politely treat/communicate with women. Our youngest is 24 and several girls have remarked how lucky the women will be that marries him. Blessings to a Mothers ears! Your husband still has his responsibility, but don’t ever underestimate your role in his relationship with his future mate.

  31. I’m sorry for your past, but now you can break the cycle with your own daughter someday and tell her about how your Dad cared enough.

  32. It was two and a half weeks before my 11th birthday. It happened at school in the middle of gym class. I went to a strict Christian school (it was co-ed, but there were a lot of rules to separate guys and girls). We hadn’t had “the talk” yet and I had no idea what was happening to me. There were no tampon or pad dispensors though I wouldn’t have known what to do with one if it had been around. I thought that I had hurt my insides, but I felt strangely embarrassed to reveal what had happened to me, so I cut my arm, and asked for some gauze from the medbasket (the nurse wasn’t always around, so there was a medical basket in the office supplied with gauze, bandaids, aspirin and the like) then I hid in the washroom trying to decide how to stem the bleeding. I never told my mother what happened and she never explained to me that these changes were natural or what other changes to expect. I am the oldest girl in my family, but I have several older brothers who always seemed embarrassed by a woman’s body. To this day, the female body and the fact that I have one, makes me uncomfortable.

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