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Health Information For Teens
A period is a release of blood from a girl’s uterus, out through her vagina. It is a sign that she is getting close to the end of puberty.
There is a lot to learn about periods. Here are some common questions that teens have.
Most girls get their first period when they’re around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK. Every girl’s body has its own schedule.
There isn’t one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon:
A period happens because of changes in
in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the female hormones
. These hormones cause the lining of the uterus (or womb) to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach to and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again.
It usually takes about a month for the lining to build up, then break down. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
Ovulation (pronounced: ov-yoo-LAY-shun) is the release of an egg from the ovaries. The same hormones that cause the uterus lining to build up also cause an egg to leave one of the ovaries. The egg travels through a thin tube called a fallopian tube to the uterus.
If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it attaches to the wall of the uterus, where over time it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus lining breaks down and bleeds, causing a period.
For the first few years after a girl starts her period, it may not come regularly. This is normal at first. By about 2–3 years after her first period, a girl’s periods should be coming around once every 4–5 weeks.
Yes, a girl can get pregnant as soon as her period starts. A girl can even get pregnant right before her very first period. This is because a girl’s hormones might already be active. The hormones may have led to
and the building of the uterine wall. If a girl has sex, she can get pregnant, even though she has never had a period.
Periods usually last about 5 days. But a period can be shorter or last longer.
Periods usually happen about once every 4–5 weeks. But some girls get their periods a little less or more often.
You have many choices about how to deal with period blood. You may need to experiment a bit to find which works best for you. Some girls use only one method and others switch between different methods.
It may look like a lot of blood, but a girl usually only loses a few tablespoons of blood during the whole period. Most girls need to change their pad, tampon, or menstrual cup about 3‒6 times a day.
When women reach menopause (around age 45‒55), their periods will permanently stop. Women also won’t have a period while they are pregnant.
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is when a girl has emotional and physical symptoms that happen before or during her period. These symptoms can include moodiness, sadness, anxiety, bloating, and acne. The symptoms go away after the first few days of a period.
Many girls have cramps with their period, especially in the first few days. If cramps bother you, you can try:
Most girls don’t have any problems with their periods. But call your doctor if you:
Periods are a natural, healthy part of a girl’s life. They shouldn’t get in the way of exercising, having fun, and enjoying life. If you have questions about periods, ask your doctor, a parent, health teacher, school nurse, or older sister.
Get the facts on which period problems are normal and which ones might indicate something’s going on.
Wondering whether it’s normal to have irregular periods? Get the facts about this common problem.
When it comes to pads and tampons, there are lots of choices. It may take some experimenting before you find what works best for you. Here are some tips.
Normal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina and helping to prevent infections. But sometimes discharge indicates there’s a problem. Get the facts on what’s normal and what’s not.
Why do girls get periods? What goes on when a woman gets pregnant? What can go wrong with the female reproductive system? Find the answers to these questions and more in this article for teens.
Breast soreness is common among teens, but it can still seem worrying when it happens to you. Fortunately, breast pain is rarely serious. Find out why your breasts may hurt and what you can do about it.
Girls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit — and why most girls don’t get internal exams.
Now that you’re older, your body may be changing. This is a normal part of growing up. Here’s what’s going on.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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