In the book Jelly, the main character Angelica gets her period for the first time. Periods are a perfectly normal part of being biologically female. They usually start between the ages of 10 and 15 and continue until the menopause, which for most women is after the age of 50.

As I write, in 2018, I know for a fact that periods are still something that girls and women find difficult to manage, partly because society doesn’t encourage us to talk about them. Only last week, a school in Hastings was in the news because an 11-year-old girl having her first period wasn’t allowed to go to the toilet during lessons (they have a toilet pass system). The poor girl bled through her clothes whilst sitting in class – how embarrassing and traumatic is that? Other families are so poor they can’t even afford the sanitary wear their daughters need. For an advanced civilisation, we’re really not good at handling something that affects half the population at some point.

If you’re not sure what periods are or you’d like to watch someone being funny about them, then I have made a video especially for you. Find out what the female reproductive system looks like as an alien, and three things to say to a girl if she’s on her period.

Contains mentions of blood, random anger, tampon rockets, terrible puns, and chocolate.