It’s a good idea to try to avoid comparing your body and periods to those of your female friends. Some of them will mature earlier than you do and some later. You may feel envious of those whose breasts start to develop while you are still “flat as a pancake.” You may look enviously at your friends who don’t have to worry about finding the right sports bra to make exercise more comfortable, as you do to support your larger-sized breasts. You may feel left out of conversations your friends are having about their periods when yours hasn’t started yet, or embarrassed that it feels as though you are only the girl in your class who has to use pads or tampons.
Puberty and periods during the early teenage years can feel anything but “normal,” but for the most part, this is totally to be expected. Most girls experience all kinds of irregularity in terms of the timing of their periods and the heaviness of their flow. Tracking your periods on a calendar or on an app for your mobile device may be particularly helpful in recognizing your “period patterns.” (Check out the “Period Tracker” app.) It can be very unsettling to have periods that seem to be “late,” especially when a girl is sexually active. Making good decisions about birth control can take away some of this stress.
If you find yourself worrying a lot about your periods, or if your symptoms begin to interfere with your daily life, it’s time to consult a healthcare provider. Schedule an appointment for a check-up with your pediatrician or an OB-GYN so you can discuss your concerns with someone who can provide some reassurance that your symptoms are normal and healthy, or give you treatment options to help manage them more effectively. If fears, negative body image, or anxiety are a problem, you may want to talk to your school counselor or another mental health professional that is experienced in helping girls cope with these challenges.
Girls, thanks for chiming in and helping with your advice, it helps to know you have been in the same spot." - Ruth Anne (UBK MOM)
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