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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!

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Can You Swim During Your Period?

  • Of course you can.
  • No way! That would be gross!
  • I don't know, I've never tried.
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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

bookwormlestrange
I don't have ADHD, but I know plenty about it. One of my friends has ADHD and Tourette's, and the teachers were always turds about it. Anyway, i think that a good way to deal with ADHD acting up is either changing medication or trying to eat foods or drinks with caffeine. I'm not sure if it works for you, but a lot of people with ADHD have seen significant improvements after putting caffeine in their systems. If your friends are acting like turds, you need better friends. I hope my advice helps.
reply about 19 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
I have one so annoying sister, that it feels like I have 200 of them, oh my god. She's pounding on the door right now, HELP! 
reply 1 day
SmartSunnyShadow
Dad, obviously. I can't even explain what he does to me!
reply 1 day
SmartSunnyShadow
Well, if they are your BFFs, they shouldn't be teasing you to make you feel bad. Me, and my BFFs tease each other all the time playfully, but I understand that this is different, and if it's making you feel bad it isn't playful at all.   Maybe your eldest friend is having some trouble with family issues, bad grades, body changes, etc. It's okay to be angry, so maybe you should leave her space for a few days, and see if it turns better. If it isn't, then try to first make her calm down. Then, make her talk to you about why she is so angry and ask if you can try to help. If nothing turns out better, tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and you want her to talk to you.  For your 3rd eldest friend, support her as much as possible, and stand up for her in this terrible situation. If you are all BFFs, then you should all be very close and comfortable around each other, and the fight shouldn't last long. If not, they are not your real friends, and you have to go on without them. I have tons of advice on how to make new friends, so just ask me if you want to know. Your 2nd eldest friend seems to be the main problem.  First of all, tell her to stop, and say how you don't like her bullying you. You must say what she is doing wrong, and how it makes you feel. If she doesn't care, tell her you're serious, and you hate what she is doing to you. If it continues, ignore what trash she is saying, and just simply walk away. Focus on other things that will help make you feel better. Remember, all she is is a person, and it's up to you to act appropriately.  Stay positive, and calm. Focus on other things, and if she continues, tell her that you can all be friends and you miss her. Go get another friend to stand up with you, and tell her that you will report to an adult if she won't stop. She may be your friend, but she deserves it. I told on my BFF when she was mean, so it's all okay now.  If all else fails, get a trusted adult, and hang out with nicer friends. Your other friends will learn from their mistakes. If not, warn them, and give them a sincere kindness note of how you miss being friends. Then, also give one to the bully.
reply 1 day
AnnaOfExquizurd
Yeah, @CyclonicBass the best option really is to find a girl with a quirky personality. Become friends with her. Possibly, over time, she'll grow close to you and accept a request to be with you. Hope it goes well!
reply 2 days