Autism and managing your periods
There are lots of things you can do to help make managing your period easier.
- Use a 28-day cycle calendar once menstruation has started. This can help with awareness and predictability about when menstruation will happen. You could colour days 1 – 5 in red to represent the menstrual bleeding.
- Have someone that you can go and talk to at school or college if you start your period; for example the school nurse
- Have easy access to your sanitary products so that you feel prepared. It may be a good idea to carry around spare underwear and sanitary products
- Be aware of how and where to buy products when you need to
- You could make a box for the bathroom with all the things you need each month
- You may like to use special toilet wipes or a flannel for cleaning yourself
- You may find that an activity or special interest during this time can help distract from physical or emotional discomfort
- A hot water bottle, loose clothing or a comfort blanket may help with any discomfort, such as stomach cramps
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet – you may find that eating frequent smaller meals (every 2-3 hours) suits you better than eating 3 larger meals a day
- Get plenty of sleep
- Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can be taken to ease physical discomfort, however it is advisable to speak with an adult or your GP to ensure these medications are safe and appropriate for you
Talking about your period
Talking about your period and how you are feeling during this time is important, and will help to make it less stressful. Some things to consider when thinking about communication and periods include:
- There is a time and place to talk about menstruation and there are boundaries and appropriate social rules to consider
- You may need to ask someone if they have a sanitary product for you if your period comes unexpectedly…and this is ok
- You may need a member of staff if you’re at school or college to help you deal with any issues
How might you feel when you have a period?
Everyone is different and so you may have different symptoms, which can vary each month.
You can experience physical and emotional changes just before or during the first few days of your period. You may:
- Feel angry and irritable
- Have trouble concentrating
- Feel depressed, anxious, and tearful
- Feel tired or have trouble sleeping
- Experience bloating or tummy pain
- Have breast tenderness
- Experience nausea
- Have headaches
- Develop spotty skin and/or greasy hair
How to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.