Most women will start their periods as a tween, but there are many variables that can influence this benchmark.
Is My Period Normal?
By Dr. Lori A. Carrillo, MD FACOG
Most women will start their periods as a tween, but there are many variables that can influence this benchmark. When your period starts, it is normal to have irregular cycles but most girls and young women will start to cycle every month. It is ok if some months it is on the 28th and others on the 26th or 30th, but monthly cycles are what we consider “normal”. If your period is not occurring every month, this is a conversation starter with your pediatrician, family doctor or gynecologist. Many will consider the birth control pill to create a “normal” period, but this is not always the answer as the menstrual cycle is a Vital Sign in women’s healthcare.
Another common concern the symptoms of moodiness, different energy, bloating, breast tenderness, food cravings etc that can occur at different stages of a woman’s life. These symptoms can often improve with a regular exercise program and a diet rich in complex carbs. If the symptoms are so severe that they prevent a woman’s ability to attend school/work/ maintain basic activities of daily living, these symptoms should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
The final symptom surrounding our periods is pain - pain in the week before the onset and pain the first few days of your period. Pain can be worse at various stages of life, but ultimately, the pain should be controllable with basic lifestyle interventions such as Non-steroidal medications, heating pad/hot bath or shower, and/or good diet and exercise. Again, if these symptoms are preventing normal life activities or a heating pad is causing skin changes from excessive use, this is not normal and requires a medical investigation.
Take home, please ask us for help if you are struggling with any of these issues - we want to help! Peace, Lori A. Carrillo, MD FACOG