Aunt Vadge: I’m nearly 15 and don’t have my period yet

A 15 year old girl with black curly hair sits on a pink lounge chair, long skinny legs crossed, looking into the camera wondering where her period is.

Hi Aunt Vadge,

I’m 14, almost 15, and I’m worried about my first period. My mom got hers at 16, so I wouldn’t usually be too concerned.

But starting last year, I’ve had a few “false alarms”, where I’ve gotten the symptoms of a period/PMS, with cramps, mood swings, etc., and I’ve even had what I THINK is spotting three times before, but then there’s no blood for months and months on end.

I’m not sure what to make of all this.

Thanks,
Confused

Age 14, Texas, USA

_______________________

Hi Confused,

First of all, thanks for sharing your concerns with me. It sounds like your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, gearing up for menstruation.

It’s completely normal to experience some of the signs of a period without the full show making its appearance right away, especially in the early stages when your body is just getting the hang of things.

You see, our bodies are not machines, but beautifully complex organisms that take their own sweet time to adjust to new changes.

The symptoms you’re experiencing, like cramps and mood swings, are pretty textbook for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and the spotting is a sign that your body is trying out the whole period thing but isn’t quite ready to dive into full-blown menstruation.

It’s also worth noting that genetics play a role in when you might get your period, but it’s not a strict rule. Just because your mom got hers at 16 doesn’t mean you will too. The timeline can be different for every person.

Interestingly – and I don’t know if this applies to you and your mother – tall slim girls tend to get their periods later than everyone else, usually at the 15-16-year-old mark. This delay is because your fat cells convert testosterone to oestrogen, and if you’re carrying less fat, then you have less of this conversion – thus less oestrogen.

You need oestrogen to build the endometrial lining of your uterus, which ultimately becomes your period. If you don’t have quite enough oestrogen yet, your endometrial lining will be thin – hence just spotting.

You’re getting there! It sounds like your period is well on its way. The signs and symptoms mean your hormonal cascade is happening, but like trying to get a good jump on a trampoline, the rhythm has to be just right then it’s go time.

If you’ve got a case of the worries, it might help to keep track of these symptoms and ‘false alarms’ in a little diary. Then, you can look for any patterns or changes over time, which can be super helpful information if you decide to chat with a healthcare provider – which you can do if things keep feeling off, okay?

Remember, your body is your buddy, even when it seems like it’s throwing you curveballs. It’s just finding its groove. Hang in there, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’ve got more questions or just need to talk.

Love,
Aunt Vadge



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