I'm 14 and I don't have my period yet. Is this normal? – Christy*
A girl's period, also known as menstruation,
begins about 2 to 2½ years after her first signs of puberty.
Breast development is usually the first sign of puberty, but sometimes pubic hair
comes first. Girls usually get their first periods between the ages of 8 and 15. However,
some girls start puberty a little earlier or later than others.
A clue you can use to figure out when you might get your period is to check your
underwear for vaginal discharge.
This clear or whitish, mucus-like discharge usually appears about 6 months to a year
before the first period does.
You can also ask your mom how old she was when she got her first period. Girls
who get their first period later than average often find that their moms or other
female relatives also went through puberty later than average.
Just because you're 14 and haven't gotten your period yet doesn't necessarily mean
that anything's wrong with you. Some girls, though, might not be getting their first
periods for other reasons. Some don't get their periods because of hormone imbalances.
Girls who are underweight or who have eating
disorders may notice a delay in the start of their periods. Girls who are
very athletic might not get their periods until they stop exercising
or competing so vigorously. Severe stress or some illnesses also can delay menstruation.
It's also possible for a girl who has had sex to become pregnant before she gets
her first period.
If you have questions or concerns about when you'll get your period, talk to your
doctor. And let your doctor know if you don't get your period by the time you're 15,
or by 3 years after you started puberty.