My Period InformationIt’s that time of the month...or so you thought. So why am I not getting my period? Your friends brag about how their period arrives like clockwork, coming every four weeks. They don’t understand how it feels to not have a clue when your red letter day is due to arrive. If their cycle is what’s called regular or normal, what’s my period called? Not normal? Before you get concerned that something is amiss, keep in mind we don’t believe there's anything irregular about you at all. To better understand your period’s comings and goings, you just need some more information!
It can’t be news that you are different from every other girl in the world. Your periods and menstrual cycles will be different too. Some of your friends feel it coming for days before they get it. Others are hardly aware they have it. Some might bleed for two days one month, and a week the next. In reality, most women don’t get their periods in exactly the same number of days after the last one. For teens, especially, there is a much broader definition of normal. Just as the age you begin to menstruate varies, so does the length of each period. A cycle can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. At some point, as you grow, your light and unpredictable cycle will settle into a recognizable pattern. You can even predict it with a period tracker.
My Period FactsDuring the first year or two of having periods, "irregular" falls within the "normal" tent!
Two out of three girls develop a regular pattern within two years after their period begins. So, within the first couple of years, it is not unusual to skip a period. Be aware that if you participate in sports that require long hours of practice, or are active in strenuous workouts like gymnastics or ballet, you may see less bleeding and/or shorter or less frequent periods. If you are dieting so strictly you’re not getting the calories you need, you’re denying your body the fat it needs to menstruate regularly. And if you’re really worried about an upcoming test...or distressed about a fight with a friend...or concerned about the health of a family member...your unique take on any of these stressors can affect the regularity of your period.
My Period: Things to Look Out ForSee a doctor if you:
- Are 16 and haven’t gotten your period yet.
- Get periods that last longer than seven days for three cycles.
- Experience a dramatic change from your typical periods.
- Miss your period for six months straight.
- Are passing large clots.
- Are soaking through your pad or tampon hourly for two or more hours.
- Are bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Have pelvic pain for longer than a day that seems unrelated to your period.
- Have severe pain while you’re menstruating unrelieved by OTC medication.
- Are sexually active and missed a period.