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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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Comments

Coolbrit

Coolbrit wrote:

Ok
commented: Wed Apr 16, 2014

JesseWesse

JesseWesse wrote:

idk when i started lol around 10 or 9 maybey
commented: Wed Apr 16, 2014

kelsey35

kelsey35 wrote:

i started when i was in 5th grade during volleyball practice
commented: Wed Apr 16, 2014

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

DJwwjd
DJwwjd posted in Family Issues:
coolness just making sure lol :3 derp
reply 29 minutes
greatworldatlas
I really didn't know.
reply 42 minutes
DJwwjd
DJwwjd posted in Family Issues:
np! I think I'm confused was that a joke or did you really not know?
reply about 1 hour
B-who-u-r-and-SING
Well I don't think I can ask her because I can't really say "Hey are you jealous because I can sing better than you?" That would just make her plain mad at me, she does seem disappointed, if I don't walk up to her and start talking to her she would probably act like I'm not even there!
reply about 2 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
"-Karpov-" wrote:I think jealousy would be if she were angry at you for being considered better than her. It sounds more like she's just disappointed, but it's impossible for you to know if you don't ask.  I agree here.
reply about 15 hours

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