I experienced my first period when I was 12 and wearing beige pants (#MurphysLaw). It
was during 6 th grade gym class and I was outside on the sidelines when I felt a new
sensation. To my surprise, my period had finally arrived!

Prior to this, I waited for my period to arrive for over a year. It was then that I read ‘Are
You There God? It’s Me Margaret’ cover to cover about 4 times, blushed and giggled when
we covered the topic in our family life textbook, and watched a video about the period
earlier in the year. I remember that day quite fondly as well – the boys were sent out of the
portable, the windows were closed, blinds were drawn and lights were shut off. My male
teacher wasn’t even in the room! Our female science teacher filled in, as we watched a
cartoon likely sponsored by a pad or tampon company. After the video was over, she asked
if we had any questions and unsurprisingly, no one raised their hands.

Looking back, my classroom experience wasn’t the most ideal. Moreover, it really cemented
that period were a big secret that no one liked to talk about. Ultimately, this feeling of
secrecy made me hide my period from my mom for 2 days! While I was able to get by with
pads that I found in the bathroom, I shared my news when my stash ran out. My mom and I
had never sat down to talk about it before – what to expect, what products I should have on
hand just in case, and what it meant! Nevertheless, when I told her she was excited for me,
and gave me an idea of what I could expect going forward!

As I enter my 30s, and am actively talking to women and teens about their periods – it’s
become incredibly important for me to educate all about menstruation (men included!).
Having a period is not a taboo subject. It acts as a monthly report card and gives us a
glimpse of what’s going on within the body. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I work with women
to help them have as healthy flow using natural means if possible.

You can see more information about Dr Alexsia Priolo here and read about what it means to be a Naturopathic Doctor with a special interest in women’s health.

Have a first-period story you’d like to submit?  Click here or email me at april@thevaginablog.com!

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