In our last blog, we discussed causes for period irregularity in adult women. This post will address the common concern among girls (and their mothers) when it comes to irregular periods in teens and young women.
One of the biggest milestones in a female’s life is starting her period. This milestone indicates that a young girl is making her way toward womanhood. With the onset of the menstrual cycle, many changes are on the way. While these changes are positive changes that signify a maturing individual, some changes can also bring stress and confusion. One of the most common stresses a teen and young woman faces is often irregular periods.
It is quite common for girls to experience irregular periods during her first two years of menstruating. The hormones in a young woman’s body are working their way towards fluctuation, and this takes time. A girl’s body is still growing, and the menstrual cycle will be affected until her growth is complete. So much energy and so many hormones go into developing a girl’s body; until that growth is finished, the hormonal fluctuations will vary each month. A girl going through a major growth spurt will generally find that her period is very abnormal.
Hormones also affect how long a period will last. Again, a girl who is still growing will often find that her periods are often very short during a growth spurt or a full seven days when her growth spurt has paused. Missing or skipping periods is not abnormal for a teen. Once she has her first menstrual cycle, much to her dismay, it will often be hard to predict her next cycle. Using a calendar or an app is very helpful for teens (and adults). Marking the day when her period starts and the day it ends each month will help her begin to gauge when her cycle will begin again. This may take a few months, or even a year or more, but tracking her period will help her stay alert. Tracking her period will also give you information to take to the gynecologist to determine whether irregular periods are normal or if they may indicate a medical problem.
At Marietta OB/GYN, we are here for you and your daughter during this time. Once your daughter begins menstruation, it is important to keep regular gynecologist appointments. Please call us today.