Cart 0

Everything you need to know

 
xx-files.png

Period Myths

 
 

01

Tampons can take your virginity away

Totally false. There's only one way to lose your virginity and that’s by having sex. You can’t lose your virginity from using tampons. It's important to move at your own pace though, so use tampons when you're ready. 

Myth 01: You can lose your virginity from tampons

02

Tampons can get lost inside your body

Absolutely false! Tampons can't get past your cervix, which sits between your vagina and your uterus. It's impossible for a tampon to move through the cervix. Tampons are safe as long as you change them regularly. 

Myth 02: Can tampons get lost inside your body?

03

You can't exercise during your period

No, you can definitely exercise during your period. It can improve your mood as exercise releases endorphins, and can help reduce cramps. But many girls lack energy and feel tired during their periods, and that's okay. 

Myth 03: Don't exercise when you have your period
 

04

Periods are gross

False again, periods are not gross. Your body is amazing. Regular periods are a sign of a healthy body. Period blood is just blood with a bit of tissue, nothing worse than a common nose bleed.

Myth 04: Periods are gross

05

PMS is in your head

Wrong, erm PMS is real. Hormones are strong, and can make you feel all kinds of terrible. Feeling sad, angry, or teary is sometimes just part of the deal. Eating chocolate and hanging out with people you love will help.

Myth 05: PMS is in your head

06

The blood is different

Nope, it's regular blood from your body. It's made from the same stuff as the rest of your blood. Although some people are squeamish, and don't like the sight of blood, period blood is just blood. 

Myth 06: The blood is different
 

07

You need to rest due to the blood lose

False, it may seem like you lose a lot of blood, but you don't actually. The average girl loses about a four tablespoons of blood each month (it can seem way more). BTW, having a nap is always a good idea though!

Myth 07: You need to rest because you lose a lot of blood

08

Sharks will eat me if I swim on my period

False! Poor sharks, they get such a bad rap. Any shark attack is rare, and no shark attack has ever been linked to girls swimming during their periods. So, don't let your period stop you enjoying a day at the beach. 

Myth 08: Sharks will attack you during your period

09

Your need to use vaginal wipes

No!! This is just marketing guff. Your vagina is very sensitive and can get easily irritated. It's self-cleaning, so you don't need to do anything more than shower daily, wash with mild soap, and wear fresh undies. 

Myth 09: You need to use vaginal wipes during your period
 

Use our hashtag

#bloodymyth

on Facebook and Instagram 

Disposal & Environment

We're not gonna lie to you, tampons and pads aren't great for the environment. So, until we develop magic tampons that disintegrate into thin air, we're stuck trying to minimise the effect they have on the planet. Flushing tampons or pads down the toilet is not cool! They can clog up sewerage pipes (embarrassing) and wash up in rivers and on beaches (poor fishies).

 
 
 

How to get rid of tampons

Don't flush tampons down the toilet. If available, use a disposal bin. If this isn’t available, wrap the tampon in some toilet paper or use a disposal bag and throw it in the rubbish.

How to get rid of plastic applicators

Don't flush applicators down the toilet either. If available, use a disposal bin. If this isn’t available, throw the applicator in the rubbish. You don't really need a disposal bag for applicators, that just adds to the plastic waste woes. 

How to dispose of pads & liners

Same again Lunatics, don't flush pads or liners down the toilet. Roll them up and if available, use a disposal bin. If this isn’t available, wrap the pad or liner in toilet paper, or use a disposal bag and throw it in the rubbish.

bg-disposal.png

Period FAQs

Learn all about your body with our period FAQs
We get that you might be nervous about starting your period and have burning questions. Knowledge is power and through period education, you’ll feel confident and empowered to tackle this head on like the boss babe you are.

From period pain and period cramps to period blood, our period education FAQs cover everything you need to know. There's heaps of info on our blog too, check it out!

If you still have questions? Let us know!
There’s a lot to get your head around when it comes to periods and you probably still have questions, which works out well because we love mail. Luna’s here to make sure you get the best period education in NZ. 

For girls who have started their periods:

Haven't started your period? 

Click on the arrow for the answer to each question. 

See Anatomy Guide

 
 
 

Q

Why do girls get periods?

A

When you start your period it means your body is ready to make a baby – that’s an intense thought, so let’s just focus on the physical.

You have a pear-shaped organ inside your body called a uterus, this is where a baby grows.

The wall of the uterus is covered in layers of tissue and blood called the uterine lining. When your body realises you’re not pregnant, the lining breaks away and comes out as period blood.

 

Q

How long does it last for?

A

Your first period is often light and may only last a day or two. Generally periods last anywhere from 2 – 7 days.

Bleeding will be the heaviest at the start of your period, with it becoming lighter towards the end. It’s normal for bleeding patterns to change from period to period for the first few years.

 

Q

Why does it hurt?

A

At the beginning of your period, your uterus may spasm randomly causing a dull ache around the tummy area. These spasms are commonly known as period cramps.

This is caused by a chemical called prostaglandin. It means the lining of your uterus is coming apart from the uterine wall and will soon exist your body as period blood.

 

Q

What can I do to take the pain away?

A

You can take simple pain relief such as paracetamol, but it’s always good to speak to a doctor before taking any medication.

A hot water bottle or a wheat pack on your tummy is also really helpful to relieve period pain.

 

Q

Why is it heavier on some days, lighter on others?

A

For many girls, the first three days are the heaviest, this is also often when girls experience cramps as the majority of the lining is coming away.

The last few days are ‘left-over’ blood, which is why your flow is lighter, and why the blood might be slightly darker in colour (that’s normal).

 

Q

Why do I feel emotional before and during my period?

A

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – oh ya it’s a real thing! A lot of hormones go into preparing the body for pregnancy, and as they peak they cause a whole lot of side effects.

I often feel a bit annoyed during my periods – this is normal. And it’s okay to feel like that.

 

Q

Why do my boobs and lower back hurt?

A

Sometimes your boobs can hurt in the week leading up to your period. This is because hormones cause the glands in your boobs to swell up, which makes them feel tender and sore. Wearing a supportive sports bra when exercising will help with the pain.

Your lower back can also hurt before your period because the nerves that give feeling to your uterus are also connected to, and give feeling to, your back.

This means the pain feels like it’s in your lower back but it is really coming from your uterus. Best to just eat chocolate and nap when you feel like this (that’s what I do).

 

Q

Why does my skin break out?

A

Your old mate hormones are responsible for this one too. They have a lot to answer for.

You might also find that your hair is greasier than usual during your period. Again, this is totally normal!

 

Q

Does it matter how old you are when you start your period?

A

No, not really. Most girls start between 10 to 14 years of age, but some start as young as 8 and some as late as 17. If you’re worried, go have a chat to your GP.

 

Q

Does using a tampon hurt?

A

Nope, if inserted correctly, a tampon should never hurt. If it hurts or you can feel it, the tampon isn’t in high enough and you need to push it further up your vagina.

A lot of girls use applicator tampons because they’re easier to insert than standard tampons, which you need to do manually using your fingers.  

 

Q

What’s the benefit of using a tampon?

A

Using a tampon gives you more freedom to continue doing the things you did before you started your period without worrying about it – such as swimming, horse riding or playing sport.

But it’s important to move at your own pace, and only use tampons if you want to use them. Don’t let anyone peer pressure you – it’s your body.

 

Q

What happens if I forget to remove my tampon?

A

It’s extremely rare, but if you leave a tampon in for too long you can get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

I don’t want to scare you but I need you to be safe too. If you change your tampon regularly every 4 – 8 hours you’ll be fine. If you’re worried about forgetting to take out your tampon, you could set up a reminder on your phone.

It’s also important to give your body a break from tampons, which is why all Luna packs include pads.

Some signs you may have left a tampon in too long are smelly, thick, or green vaginal discharge, blood spotting and cramps when you don’t have your period. If you experience any of these, go and see your GP.

 

Q

How do I know when my period is going to start?

A

Haha, we don’t know. No, seriously, this is different from girl to girl. Your body works on a 28-day cycle, in the beginning the time between your periods can be longer. 

There are some general signs to look out for such as getting a brownish discharge, which is old period blood. Skin breakouts, feeling bloated and, or constipated and feeling a bit sensitive are also common signs Shark Week is on its way.

 

Q

It seems to be different every time, why?

A

In the beginning, you don’t always release an egg (a tiny, tiny egg – not like a chicken egg). This confuses your uterus and lining.

The time between periods and the length of bleeding can change from cycle to cycle.

Don’t stress about this, while it’s annoying, after a few years your period will become more regular and it will become easier to predict – your body is just adjusting to this new experience.

 

Q

It seems heavier at night, is it really?

A

Periods don’t always start during the day. If you start your period in the middle of the night, your flow might be heavier than if you started during the day.

But, generally, there’s no reason why your period should be heavier at night. It might seem like it is because you don’t go to the bathroom as often during the night as you do during the day, so the build-up over the night is more than during the day.

 

Q

What can I do at night to ensure I don’t mess up my sheets?

A

It’s best to use night-time pads that are longer than daytime pads and can absorb more blood. If you do get blood on your sheets, don’t panic.

Just rub some stain remover into the stain and wash them on a hot cycle. Friendly tip, the sooner you do this the easier the blood will come out, it’s harder to remove once it's dry.

 

Q

What are blood clots?

A

This is normal, promise! Blood clots are common during the heaviest days of your period, and while they look alarming, they’re harmless.

They’re just jelly-like blobs of blood and tissue that your body hasn’t had time to break down (coagulate) because your flow is at its heaviest.

 

Q

How do I know my period is normal?

A

Normal is specific to you. Some girls have really heavy periods and use tampons and pads at the same time, some girls just use mini tampons.

If you feel something is off (and you’re the best person to know this), chat to your mum or dad, or go see your GP.  Or email us, we're always here for you.

 

Q

Why do I have pubic hair?

A

Because we’re basically monkeys. Haha, that’s not the reason. I don’t actually know why but it marks the start of puberty in both boys and girls.

 

Q

Why do I sometimes get a brown discharge before my period starts?

A

This is a small amount of period blood in your normal discharge and a sign your next period is coming.

 

Q

Why do I get a white discharge in between my period?

A

This is down to hormones, once you hit puberty your vagina and cervix begin to produce mucus.

This discharge helps keep your vagina clean and healthy. If you’re getting a burning, itching sensation or very thick smelly discharge please see your GP.

It’s important to maintain good personal hygiene during and between your periods. Wash your hands before and after inserting tampons.

When showering, wash with mild soap and warm water, use clean towels and wear clean undies everyday – you don’t need anything else – I promise (the rest is just marketing guff).

 

For girls who haven’t started their periods:

Click on the arrow for the answer to each question. If you still have questions, please email us at luna@lunagirl.co.nz. There’s no such thing as a dumb question, we’re in this together, so if you’re confused, just hola xx

See Anatomy Guide

 
 
 

Q

Why do girls get periods?

A

When you start your period it means your body is ready to make a baby – that’s an intense thought, so let’s just focus on the physical.

You have a pear-shaped organ inside your body called a uterus, this is where a baby grows.

The wall of the uterus is covered in layers of tissue and blood called the uterine lining. When your body realises you’re not pregnant, the lining breaks away and comes out as period blood.

 

Q

Why haven’t I started my period yet?

A

Don’t stress, everyone starts at different times! Your body has to prepare you for your first period.

Before you get you first period, you’ll notice signs of puberty such pubic hair growth, pimples, hips widening and boobs! Your period will follow on a year or two after this.

 

Q

Is it bad if I haven’t started yet?

A

Most girls start before they are 16. So, just relax and it will happen. If you’re worried why your period hasn’t started yet, go see your GP.

 

Q

Does it matter how old you are when you start your period?

A

Your body is pretty amazing and there is all this cool stuff going on that you can’t see or feel!

When you start your period it means your body is getting ready to be able to produce a baby – that’s an intense thought. So, let’s focus on the physical.

Each month your body goes through a hormone cycle and in the middle of the cycle, your body releases an egg from one of your ovaries – it’s not the size of a chicken egg, it’s a tiny, tiny little egg. Smaller than a pin prick on a piece of paper.

This egg travels to your uterus, a pear-shaped organ. If the egg is fertilised, it will implant into the lining of the uterus. The lining is covered in layers of tissue and blood that you need if you're pregnant.

If you're not pregnant, your body will break the lining down and it will exit your body as period blood, and the cycle starts all over again.

 

Q

I don’t want to feel left out; can I do anything to make it start sooner?

A

No, you’ll start your period when your body is ready. Remember you are unique and special, and your body works at its own pace.

If you want to feel part of the club, you could order a New Moon pack, it will help prepare you for your first period and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

Being prepared and knowing what to do is important and will help alleviate any anxiety about starting your period.

 

Q

What can I expect when I do start?

A

One day you will notice some blood spots in your undies, these could be a red or brownish in colour. This is your period starting.

Keep a pad in your bag, so you can be prepared if it starts at school. Your first period is often just light spotting and lasts between 1 – 2 days, although some girls do have normal length periods from the start.

For the first few years it can be a bit random with no real pattern or logic – this is normal! With time it will get more predictable.

All you need to do is carry some pads and tampons with you in case it catches you by surprise (which it does to everyone).

 

Q

I’ve heard periods can hurt, why?

A

At the start of your period your uterus may spasm randomly causing a dull ache around the tummy area.

This is caused by a chemical called prostaglandin. It means the lining of your uterus is coming apart from the uterine wall and will soon exist your body as period blood.

 

Q

How do you know when it’s going to start? Are there signs?

A

Sometimes it will happen without any warning, however other times you will get tender boobs and, or feel a bit moody or irritable a week before your period.

If you get sore boobs, wear a good supportive bra especially when exercising and do something fun with your friends and family to shake the grumpiness. And eat chocolate, drink tea and cuddle pets – my favourite!

 

Q

How much blood will there be?

A

It seems like a lot, but it isn’t. Your very first period is often pretty light, just a teaspoon or so of blood.

It may get heavier after this but usually the bleeding is a lot less than it feels. The average blood loss over a whole period is about 2.5 to 4 tablespoons. Not really much at all when you think about it!

 

Q

What happens if I get blood on my undies or in my bed?

A

Don’t worry, this happens to everyone. You can always carry a spare pair of undies with you in your bag just in case, wearing dark or black undies during your period helps too as it covers up stains.

If you get blood on your sheets, soak them in some hot water with stain remover. Using a night pad will help reduce spillage when sleeping.

 

Q

How long does it last for?

A

Your first period is often light and may only last a day or two. Generally, periods last anywhere from 2 – 7 days.

Bleeding will be the heaviest at the start of your period, with it becoming lighter towards the end. It’s normal for bleeding patterns to change from period to period for the first few years.

 

Q

Should I use tampons straight away?

A

Only if you want to, and if your period is heavy enough to need them. Often in the beginning, you’ll only need a panty liner or thin pad because your bleeding will be light.

But if your period is heavier straight away then there’s no reason why you can’t use tampons as long as you’re comfortable using them – remember your body, your rules.

 

Q

How do you use tampons?

A

First off, get a mirror and check out what’s down there – get familiar with your vagina, and what the rest of the external genitalia looks like – here’s an anatomy guide to help you out.

Most beginners use applicator tampons because they’re easier to insert. Place the first half of the applicator in your vagina aiming it up and slightly towards your back.

Then use the applicator to push the tampon into place. If you have it in the right position, you shouldn’t be able to feel it.

If you can feel the tampon it’s probably not in far enough and you can use your finger/s to push it further into place.

With standard tampons, you’ll need to insert it yourself (from the beginning) using your fingers.

 

Q

How will I know what to use when it starts?

A

The most important thing is to be comfortable! In the beginning, I recommend using liners and pads.

There are different types for daytime and night-time, and for different absorbency levels like super pads you can use when your period is heavy.

 

Q

Can I swim if I have my period?

A

Yes, you can but you’ll need to use a tampon because unfortunately your period doesn’t stop when you swim.

 

Q

Does it stop at night?

A

Unfortunately, your period doesn’t stop at night (or when you swim), sometimes it even starts at night.

What can we say, periods beat to the sound of their own drum, they just do what they bloody like – haha.

 

Q

How can I be prepared?

A

Well, you’re onto a good start by reading these FAQs. Have a read of our period blogs online too, and order a New Moon pack.

You can also carry a pad or two with you in your bag just in case it catches you by surprise.

 

Q

Why do I have pubic hair?

A

Hmmmmm, I don’t really know. It’s very annoying for girls, we spend a lot of time controlling and getting rid of it. Pubes poking out your togs is less than ideal.

 

Q

I’ve started getting this white discharge, why?

A

This is also down to hormones, which cause your vagina and cervix to produce mucus.

This discharge helps keep your vagina clean and healthy. If you’re getting a burning, itching sensation or very thick smelly discharge please see your GP.

It’s important to maintain good personal hygiene during and between your periods.

Wash your hands before and after inserting tampons. When showering, wash with mild soap and warm water, use clean towels and wear clean undies every day. You don’t need anything else – I promise (the rest is just marketing guff).

 

Q

Everything seems to be changing. Why?

A

I know puberty can be tough, and it can seem like nobody understands you. Suddenly you start growing boobs and getting hair in weird places.

But puberty can also be a great thing. It means you’re growing up and there are lots of things to look forward to such as high school, university and having more freedom to do the things you want to do.

Change can be scary but remember all your friends are going through the same things! Talk to them about it.

Believe it or not your parents have also been there, so talk to them about it too. And I’m always here for you, email me anytime; luna@lunagirl.co.nz.

 

Q

When I start, how will I know my period is normal?

A

Normal is specific to you. Some girls have really heavy periods and use a tampon and pad at the same time, while some girls just use mini tampons. It’s important to remember that every girl’s body is unique and amazing.

If you feel something is off (and you’re the best person for this), chat to your mum or dad, or go see your GP. 

Anatomy guide

Outside your body

 
Outside your body

Labia majora
These are the external skin folds or "lips" that cover your vagina. They protect the softer tissue of the vulva.

When people refer to a vagina, they generally mean these visible folds and the fatty mound over your pubic bone.

Mons pubis
This is the fatty tissue mentioned above that sits above the pubic bone, under your hip bones. This is where pubic hair grows.

Labia minora
These are the skin folds that protect and open up into the vagina.

Urinary meatus
This is the opening of the urethra, where you pee from. This is not connected to your vagina, so you don’t have to change your tampon when you pee.

Vulva
This is the flesh inside the lips that includes the opening of the vagina, the urinary meatus and the labia minora.

 

Inside your body

 
 
Inside the body

Vagina
This is where period blood exits your body from, and where you insert a tampon. It's completely separate to your urethra (where you pee from), which is above your vagina. So, you don't need to change your tampon when you pee. 

Urethra
This is a tube that connects your bladder to the urinary meatus (the bit above your vaginal opening where you pee from).

Uterus
This is a pear-shaped organ that sits above your cervix and vagina. Each month (when not pregnant) the uterus sheds its lining, which exits your vagina as period blood.

Fallopian tubes
These are two very fine tubes to the left and right of the uterus. They create a pathway for the egg to travel along. Each month a very small egg travels from one (or both) of the ovaries through the tubes to the uterus. If the egg isn't fertilised, you'll get your period.

Ovaries
These are found at the end of each fallopian tube and are where the tiny eggs live.

Ovum 
This is just the technical name for an egg.

Cervix 
This sits at the top of the vagina and at the base of the uterus. Period blood flows through the cervix from your uterus into the vagina.

Cycle guide

Once your body settles down into puberty and your period starts, you'll enter into a monthly cycle that can last anywhere from 28 – 45 days. 

A cycle is counted from the first day of your period to the first day of your next period (roughly a month later). The rise and fall of hormone levels – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone (yes, girls have this too but in tiny quantities) controls your cycle, and is also responsible for PMS, urgh!

 
 
 
 
 

Clue
Track your cycle with Clue. This isn't a Luna app but it's super useful and will teach you heaps about your own period and cycle - download it today.

Clue app
 
bg-plum-pattern.png