What is a period and why do we have them? It’s normal female biology! And, it’s a major sign of physical maturity of becoming a woman. VERY simply, a period is when a woman’s body releases tissue it no longer needs. This tissue comes from the uterus, which is where a baby (fetus) develops in the female body. Every month or so, the uterus lining gets thicker. This is to prepare for a fertilized egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, that lining is released from the body through the vagina. This is called menstruation. So when a girl has her period, she is not "bleeding," her body is just getting rid of a small amount of blood and some unneeded tissue. It is a natural, normal body process. What does menstruation feel like? The actual flow of your period doesn’t feel like much; you can’t feel it coming out. When you actually get a period, you may feel some dampness in the crotch area—this is probably a few spots of blood on your underwear. Does having your period smell? It shouldn’t! Menstrual odor happens when menstrual fluid comes in contact with air. When menstrual fluid is absorbed within the vagina, it is not exposed to the air, so there shouldn’t be an odor. Using tampons or changing pads frequently usually takes care of the problem. Does having your period hurt? The period itself doesn’t hurt, but some girls and women get cramps or other symptoms during their periods that may be uncomfortable. Do people/boys know when you are menstruating? If you use menstrual protection and are careful about personal cleanliness, people won’t know you are menstruating unless you tell them. Do boys menstruate? Menstruation is a part of the female reproductive function. Boys have a different reproductive system from women, so they don’t get periods. But they do go through physical changes at puberty including voice changes, the beginnings of facial, underarm and pubic hair, and the ability to produce sperm. Wondering what is a period? Read helpful information, tips and advice at BeingGirl.com.