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Teen Talk About Periods

How Do I Know When to Expect My Next Period?

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Updated May 19, 2014

The easiest way to figure out when your period is going to begin is to keep track of it on a calendar. Mark the first day of your period each month. Now count the days between periods. Beginning with the first day you marked and count to the second day you marked. Do this for a few months and then you will be able calculate how many days there usually are between your periods. This will help you prepare yourself for your period and keep you from being surprised.

What does it mean if I skip a period?

There are several reasons why you might skip a period one month:
  • Age - If you have just started having your period, it might not come every month. If you are an older woman who is approaching menopause, (when your periods stop), you might also skip a period.
  • Exercise - Excessive exercise might cause you to skip a period.
  • Stress - Stress and highly emotional times in your life may cause you to miss a period or two.
  • Illness - If you are sick, you might also miss a period.

If you miss more than a period or two (if you have been having regular periods previously), contact your health care provider.

Why would I stop having my period?

The absence of a menstrual period is called Amenorrhea. This condition describes women who have not had a period in their teenage years or women who used to have a regular period that has stopped. There are several causes for Amenorrhea:
  • Pregnancy is the most common reason for a woman to stop having her menstrual period
  • Breastfeeding
  • Extreme weight loss that can be caused by serious illness, eating disorders, or excessive exercising
  • Gland problems (pituitary, thyroid, or adrenal)
  • Reproductive problems

If your period has not started by the age of 16, or if you have stopped having your period, while you are still young, contact your doctor.

Will I have a period for the rest of my life?

No. A woman will no longer be able to reproduce once she reaches menopause. Menopause occurs around the age of 50. Menopause means that a woman is no longer ovulating (producing eggs) and therefore can no longer become pregnant. Like menstruation, menopause can vary from woman to woman and may take several years to occur.

    How do I know if I need to see a doctor about my period?

    You should consult your doctor for the following:

    • If you have not started menstruating by the age of 16
    • If your period has suddenly stopped
    • If you are bleeding for more days than usual
    • If you are bleeding excessively
    • If you suddenly feel sick after using tampons
    • If you bleed between periods (more than just a few drops)
    • If you have unbearable pain during your period

Source:

Teen Health. Healthywomen.gov. http://www.healthywomen.org/healthtopics/teenhealth. Accessed 08/21/2009.

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