My Sanford Chart allows you secure online access to your personal health information and your child's health information. It's available anywhere you have internet access. There is no cost to you and registering is quick and simple.

Sign Up for My Sanford Chart
I Think I Had My First Period. How Can I Be Sure?

I had my first period a couple of days ago. At least I think it was my period because I had a red-brown smudge that lasted for a day and a half. The problem is, it lasted for such a short time that I'm not sure if it was my period or not. I am really confused!
Marisol*

How long a girl's period lasts varies. It's perfectly normal for some girls to have their first period for just 2 or 3 days. The amount of blood (also called "menstrual fluid") that a girl has during her period also varies. Some girls will have a very light flow of blood the first couple of times they get their period and others may have what seems like much more. Lots of girls expect their blood to be bright red during their periods. It's completely normal for menstrual blood to be brownish.

Changes in the amount and length of bleeding during your period can happen because the levels of hormones your body manufactures can be different from one menstrual cycle to the next. This is particularly true when you are just beginning to get periods and your body is still adjusting.

Your period may change in how long it lasts and how often it comes for the first couple of years that you menstruate. Lots of other things can also affect menstrual periods, such as nutrition, exercise, and medications. If you're ever concerned about your period, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: July 2009

Have a question? Ask the experts

* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.