Kw-logo-smaller

Dear Dish-It: Is This Normal?

Dear Dish-It,

When will I get my period? I’m so prepared! I have a purse that I carry with me everywhere I go, with a pad and a change in case I’m in public when it happens. I’ve read about 10 books on it and I still have no idea! Is it normal for an 11-year-old not to have her first period yet?

Miss Period Panic

Dear Miss PP,

Most girls start to go through puberty between the ages of 8 and 13 – not many start earlier, but some definitely do start later. Trust me, you WILL get your period – and it’s great that you’re prepared for when you do. All you need to do is relax, be patient and realize that every body is different, and yours will start to menstruate when it’s ready – not before, not after. In the meantime, here’s some advice and info about your first period …

Pre-Period Signs

About six months or so before you get your first period you may notice an increased amount of clear discharge. It’s common and nothing to worry about unless it has a strong smell or makes you feel itchy.

Your First Period

The start of your period is called menarche. It doesn’t happen until all the parts of your reproductive system, which is made up of two ovaries, fallopian tubes and a uterus, have matured and are working together. As you mature and enter into puberty, hormones are released that stimulate your ovaries. Then, about once a month, a tiny egg leaves one of the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. To prepare for the egg, your uterus starts to build up its lining with extra blood and tissue. Your period happens when the blood, tissue and unfertilized egg leave the uterus and come out of your body. This cycle happens almost every month for a few decades, until you reach menopause and your ovaries no longer release any eggs.

Every Month

The amount of time between a girl’s periods is called her menstrual cycle (the cycle is counted from the start of one period to the start of the next). Some girls will find their menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, while others might have a 24-day cycle, a 30-day cycle or longer. Irregular periods are common in girls just starting to menstruate. It may take your body a while to sort out all the changes going on, so you may have a 28-day cycle for 2 months, then miss a month, for example. Usually, after a year or two, your cycle will become more regular.

Pads & Tampons

Once you start menstruating, you'll need to use something to absorb the blood. Most girls use a pad or a tampon. There are so many products out there that it may take some experimenting before you find the one that works best for you. Some girls use only pads (particularly when they first start menstruating), some use only tampons and some switch around – tampons during the day and pads at night, for example. If you have questions about periods, pads, tampons, ask a parent, health teacher, school nurse or older sister.

Have Your Say

Got any good advice for Miss Period Panic? Leave your comment below!

Related Stories
430 Comments

latest videos

F1046798101109

Can You Swim During Your Period?

  • Of course you can.
  • No way! That would be gross!
  • I don't know, I've never tried.
  • I think you can, but I wouldn't.

related stories

Micro_period_micro
double d 2112 asks: "What signs tell you that your period is coming?"
Micro_period_micro
AZ asks: "Is it true that you have to be at least 100 lb before you get your first period???"
Micro_period_micro
saradevi1 asks: "What exactly is a missed period??????"

Dear Dish-It in the forums

Alois_Trancy_
Alois_Trancy_ posted in Style:
Just go to hottopic get too many band t-shirts and a homestuck t-shirt put on black pants and cardigan and anime character shoes and the end 
reply about 1 hour
kittenkid
kittenkid posted in Style:
I sooooooooo agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :) :) :) :)
reply about 1 hour
GlimmeringSky16
"HannahG" wrote: "GlimmeringSky16" wrote: Shouldn't this be titled like, "Suicide Isn't the Answer" or something. I actually didn't make this post. The person who created the post just never posted anything, they only titled it. And besides, even if it was me who created it, titling it "Suicide isn't the answer" wouldn't gather as much of an audience. Say someone here actually WAS thinking of suicide. They'd see this post and think about looking at it to see how many others were too. They'd come here and they might actually change their mind because they'd see my *encouraging* post that was totally unexpected. It's called a head fake. But if they saw "Suicide isn't the answer" as a title, they'd probably not look at it because they'd heard the same thing over and over again. I'm not suicidal, but if I were I wouldn't probably bother looking at a post like that.  I see your point now.
reply about 5 hours
HannahG
HannahG posted in Family Issues:
"GlimmeringSky16" wrote:Shouldn't this be titled like, "Suicide Isn't the Answer" or something.I actually didn't make this post. The person who created the post just never posted anything, they only titled it. And besides, even if it was me who created it, titling it "Suicide isn't the answer" wouldn't gather as much of an audience. Say someone here actually WAS thinking of suicide. They'd see this post and think about looking at it to see how many others were too. They'd come here and they might actually change their mind because they'd see my *encouraging* post that was totally unexpected. It's called a head fake. But if they saw "Suicide isn't the answer" as a title, they'd probably not look at it because they'd heard the same thing over and over again. I'm not suicidal, but if I were I wouldn't probably bother looking at a post like that. 
reply about 5 hours
Serena007
I beg you please don't do it...you have your rest of your life waiting for you...PLEASE DON'T... your frnds still like u...u frnds love u :) :) :)
reply about 9 hours

play online games