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Dear Dish-It: Speeding Up Puberty

Dear Dish-it,

I am 12. All my friends have their periods and I really want mine. Is there a way to speed up the process?


First PeriodFirst Period

Dear Moo,

Unfortunately, the answer is no. There’s nothing you can do to “speed up the process” of getting your first period. The good news is, every girl gets her period eventually. It’s just a matter of time – and being patient.

Having said that, no one can say exactly when you'll get your first menstrual period, but you will get it sometime during puberty. Puberty is the time in your life when you begin to become an adult. This means a lot of growing and changing - both inside and out. Some girls start puberty at age 8, and others may start as late as 13 or 14. Each girl goes at her own pace. So don't think you're weird if you start puberty a little earlier or a little later than your friends.

For most girls, their first menstrual period begins two or two-and-a-half years after breast development starts. Some girls may get their period in less than 2 years. For other girls, it may take longer. Every girl is different, and there is a wide range of normal development during puberty. A good sign you're getting close to the time when your first period will arrive is if you notice a thick, white mucous discharge coming from your vagina. Usually, this happens about 6 months before you get your first period.

After you do get your first period (and trust me, you will!), it may take a while (usually 12 to 18 months) for it to become regular. You may get your first period and then not have another for a few months. As you get older, your cycle will become more regular - usually between 21 and 34 days in length.

In terms of thinking about and wondering when your first period will arrive, it may be helpful to know that you're not alone. Lots of girls wonder and wonder - when will it come? If you feel a little worried or anxious about getting your period, it can help to talk to someone you trust, like your mom or older sister.

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