My First Period? Involved Sores and the Bahamas

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All I could keep thinking was how this was not what I saw on the tampon commercials

I got my first period when I was 13 years old and had just gotten back from a wedding in the Bahamas with my mom and sister. I was excited to show off my fresh tan at school, but I was feeling a bit under the weather. Soon, I started getting big blisters on my face and inner thighs. Being the dramatic teenager that I was, I convinced myself that I had contracted a deadly disease and immediately broke down in tears. My parents reassured me that I was not dying and calmly took me to the walk-in clinic where I was diagnosed with a common skin infection called Impetigo. I was prescribed a series of medications and sent home to rest.

My first period was dramatic

I was wallowing in our basement watching Reba (an early 2000’s sitcom) reruns while I waited for my sores to start clearing up. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed a dark brown stain in my underwear and thought it had something to do with my medication. I didn’t think much of it in the moment, but it happened again later that day, so I finally went to tell my mom. She looked at me with a wise, knowing grin and said, “It might be something else…” She revealed to me that I just got my first period and I remember feeling confused and embarrassed... How was I supposed to know this is actually went down? It was nothing like the tampon commercials on TV!

My mom quickly got me a pad and showed me how to use it. It wasn’t the best timing given the painful sores on my thighs and I remember being pretty upset at the time. “Why did this have to happen to me? Why now?” Even though it felt like the end of the world at the time, I can’t help but laugh looking back at my first menstruation milestone. I’m glad that I no longer feel embarrassed or ashamed and I wish the same for all the new menstruators out there!

You can read more about Sydney, a YPC guest contributor, on our Our Story page.