Girls puberty. It’s a word that carries so much importance for girls, and sometimes, a lot of fear and doubt, especially about getting your period.
If you’re like most girls, you’ve got questions:
- All my friends have their periods already … shouldn’t I have mine by now?
- Why do I have cramps during my period? Can’t we make them go away?
- I was getting my period every month, and now it’s stopped. Is this a problem?
Relax! We can take away all the mystery, and help you enjoy this exciting time of your life!
Let’s take some of the worry out of puberty by talking a bit about some things you might be experiencing with your period.
Every girl is different!
First, let’s understand that every girl’s body is individual, and it’s usually not that helpful to compare yourself to others.
A better approach is to learn as much as you can about puberty and how it affects your body. That way, you’ll be more likely to know if something needs a doctor’s attention, or if it’s just the way your body works.
Let’s answer those three questions now.
When should my periods begin?
By fifteen or sixteen, girls usually will have begun to menstruate. Some girls begin their period as young as age ten or eleven!
If you’re not menstruating by the time you turn sixteen, there are a number of possible causes, and it’s no reason for panic. The delay could be caused by anatomical, hormonal or hereditary factors.
Why do I get cramps?
Each month during your period, your uterus contracts in order to expel the unused lining that has built up in preparation for an embryo. This contraction is the cause of the cramps you feel.
Endometriosis is another possible cause of cramping. Basically, endometriosis is a condition where the tissues of the uterus, or endometrium, begin growing on the surface of other organs in your pelvis, such as the fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Painful menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding can be signs of endometriosis However, they may be caused by other things.
Endometriosis is treated with pain medication, hormone treatment, or surgery. But you won’t know whether your cramps and heavy bleeding are caused by this condition, until you visit your doctor.
If your periods stop
During your first 2 years of menstruation, it’s pretty common to have an irregular schedule, and maybe skip a month here and there. But, if you’ve been getting regular periods and they then start to become quite irregular, it’s time to see your gynaecologist to find out what’s going on.
Many things that happen outside your body can cause you to have irregular periods: medication, losing or gaining weight, not eating well, and stress.
When you’re ready to talk about your particular experience with menstruation, and to get all your questions answered, book an appointment.