Periods. Menstruation. On the Rag. Aunt Flo. Crimson Tide. Monthlies. Whatever you want to call them, happen once a month when tissue in your uterus comes out. It may sound gross and messy, BUT it’s totally normal for girls to get their periods.

The lining of your uterus builds up every month to prepare for a fertilized egg. If you’re not pregnant (aka, you don’t have fertilized egg), all of that lining comes out. So when you’re having your period, it may look like a lot of blood is coming out, but it’s mixed with a bunch of other stuff. So if your first period looks brown, chunky, or not exactly what you expected, we promise it’s still normal.

You may also be wondering, when will you get your period. Well, that’s regulated by your hormones. Certain hormones are supposed to get higher and then lower over the course of your cycle and that’s what effects the timing your period. There are a ton other factors as well, but if you’re 11 and get your period or if you’re already 16 and don’t have it: don’t worry!