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Autism and menstruation

Periods are part of the menstrual cycle.

This will see you bleed from your vagina for a few days.

Periods will start during the time of puberty which happens to everyone – it’s just part of growing up.

Starting your period, which can sometimes be referred to as menstruation, can be a confusing time. There is a lot of information available to try and support you in coping, understanding, and managing your period. Below are 2 links that will provide you with the facts and more about periods and puberty:

How can you prepare?

Autistic individuals often need longer to adjust to and understand changes in their lives. It is often a good idea to start looking into and understanding more about menstruation as early as possible to help you feel better prepared.

  • Talk with someone about it; perhaps a parent, friend or support person in your life
  • Try to learn more about the menstrual cycle. Understanding why it happens, how it may affect you and your daily activities can help you prepare yourself and plan ahead
  • Social stories can be a useful way to prepare you for your period by providing a clear way of knowing what will happen in a step by step process
  • Explore the many types of sanitary products available.

There are many different sanitary products; if you have sensory difficulties, there are alternatives to tampons and sanitary towels/pads, for example:

  • Menstrual cups: a silicon cup which is inserted into your vagina to catch blood. It is easy to empty when full and can be cleaned and reused.
  • Cotton reusable/washable pads and period underwear, which are said to be very comfortable.
  • Dark sanitary pads might be useful if the sight of blood is an issue

Get some great tips and advice on managing your period here.

Take a look at our autism and periods social story too.

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.

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