Pad – Pads (also known as sanitary towels) are made of absorbent material that you stick, via an adhesive strip, to the inside of your underwear. They are used to absorb menstrual fluid/blood. Some have extra material on the sides called ‘wings’ that you can fold over the edge of your knickers to make sure your pad doesn’t slip around while you’re busy being fabulous all day.
Pantyliner – Pantyliners are like a smaller version of a pad – they look exactly the same but don’t usually have wings and are a lot thinner. You can barely feel them in your knickers at all! Some girls use them for when their period is really light towards the end, or to prevent discharge stains on to their knickers (vaginal discharge totally comes out in the washing machine though, so don’t worry if you don’t fancy having a permanent pad stuck to your knickers).
Period cravings – Cravings can be one of the symptoms of PMS, and are due to changing hormone levels. This can happen from two weeks before the period (known as the luteal phase) to the time when the period really gets underway (which could take a few days from when it first starts). Calorie requirements increase for many girls during this time of the month, and so there is an increase in hunger – hence the need for that second chocolate bar!
Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Or otherwise known as Premenstrual Tension (PMT) or the monthly blues. Physically, PMS might make you feel a little bloated, tired or achey. Some people have headaches or backache and some get a few cramps before their period actually arrives. You might find your skin gets a little spotty too. Emotionally, you might find yourself feeling more irritable, anxious or weepy. It generally affects three in four women but don’t fear – exercise and a healthy diet will help ease PMS. Chat to your doctor or someone else who could help you, such as a teacher, parent, carer or friend, if you’re worried.
Pubic hair – Pubic hair is body hair which grows when you hit puberty (hence the name!) and is usually located on and around your private parts. It’s totally normal, so don’t worry!