When Do Most Girls Get Their Period
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:
- Most of the time, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop.
- Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
Tender Or Heavy Breasts
Known as cyclical breast pain, its not unusual for our breasts to feel swollen, sore, and heavy before our periods begin.
Again, dipping estrogen and progesterone are the culprits.
This can cause lymph nodes around the armpits and groins to swell, making these areas sensitive to pressure.
Loose clothing and a comfortable bra can ease this pain.
Health Conditions That Can Make Acne Around Menstruation Worse
Acne can also be a symptom of . Consider talking to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms in addition to acne:
- irregular or no periods
- excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back or rear
- weight gain
- hair loss or thinning hair
- struggling to conceive if you are trying to get pregnant.
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Mood Swings And Disorders
Mood swings, anxiety, depression and irritability are common signs your period is on its way. Mood changes are one of those classic PMS symptoms. Some women also experience whats known as enhanced mood disorders or premenstrual dysphoric disorder . This is essentially an extreme form of PMS.
With PMDD, emotions are heightened and mood swings are more severe. Both PMS and PMDD tend to hit around 7 to 10 days before your period starts, lasting until the first days of your period.
What Are Common Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Everyone experiences different symptoms of pregnancy and at different times. Its important not to compare your pregnancy to someone elses because pregnancy symptoms can vary so dramatically.
There are several signs of early pregnancy that you may or may not have. The most common symptoms include:
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How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
Why Am I Gaining Weight During Perimenopause
The shift in hormones slows down your metabolism. Its very common for women in perimenopause to gain weight once their estrogen levels start to decline. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent weight gain during the transition to menopause.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Perimenopause is the transition to menopause. During perimenopause, you may start having menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings or vaginal dryness. Most perimenopause symptoms are manageable. But if you need help managing symptoms, medications and other treatments are available. Perimenopause ends when youve had no period for a full year. At that point, you enter menopause.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
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How To Treat Pms
- Take ibuprofen or aleve for pain
- Start an oral contraceptive to regulate your period
- Speak with a mental health professional about anti-depressants
Note: Because a drop in hormones causes premenstrual symptoms, some providers encourage patients to take birth control pills continuously and skip the “sugar” or placebo pills. However, talk to your doctor before doing this.
Abdominal Bloating And Water Retention
If youve noticed your jeans are tighter than usual around your period, chances are its your period thats causing the snug fit. One common PMS symptom is bloating or water retention just before the period begins. This symptom can appear one to two weeks before your period is due, making it a good sign your period is coming.
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When To See The Doctor For Your Period
If your period lasts more than 7 days, if you experience strong pain, or if you have a heavy menstrual flow and need to change pads or tampons every hour, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
You should also call your doctor if:
- You havenât experienced a period in 90 days
- You have periods more often than once every 21 days
- You have periods less often than once every 35 days
Missed or irregular periods can be a sign of stress or a medical condition. Talk with your doctor to find the cause of your irregular periods and how to treat it.
When Can I Take A Home Pregnancy Test
Although you may start to feel early pregnancy symptoms before your period, most women have to wait for an average of two weeks from the time they ovulate for a positive home pregnancy test result. Home pregnancy tests measure levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine.
This placenta-produced hormone makes its way into your urine almost immediately after an embryo begins implanting in your uterus, between six to 12 days after fertilization. You can start using most home pregnancy tests as soon as hCG can be detected in your urine and hCG levels usually arent high enough to be picked up by a home pregnancy test until your periods expected.
Cant wait until then? Some HPTs promise 60 to 75 percent accuracy four to five days before you expect your period. Wait until your period and the rate jumps to 90 percent wait another week and the results are 99 percent accurate.
Know that false negatives are much more common than false positives, so if the time for your period comes and goes without your monthly flow, check in with your health care provider. Either way, youll want to get a blood test to confirm your pregnancy status.
No matter what symptoms you’re having, the only way to know for sure that you’re pregnant is to make an appointment with your OB/GYN.
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What Are The Hormonal Changes During Perimenopause
The hormonal changes you experience during perimenopause are mostly caused by declining estrogen levels. Your ovaries make estrogen, which plays a vital role in maintaining the reproductive system. Once you enter perimenopause, your estrogen levels start to decrease. As estrogen decreases, it throws off the balance with progesterone, another hormone produces by the ovaries. These two hormones together are responsible for ovulation and menstruation. Its common for hormone levels to fluctuate during perimenopause to go up and down like a rollercoaster.
When you reach menopause, your body makes so little estrogen that your ovaries no longer release eggs. At this point, you stop having your period.
What Will My First Period Feel Like
You may find your first period comes and goes with very little in the way of symptoms, or you may find you experience quite a bit of discomfort. Common symptoms include:
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Breast tenderness
- Diarrhea or nausea
Most of these symptoms do not last long, and can be treated with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relief medications. A heating pad or hot water bottle on the abdomen or lower back can help ease pain in these areas. More details on menstrual pain and other symptoms can be found here .
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What If My Period Doesnt Come Or If It Starts When I Am Very Young
If you have not had a first period by the age of 15, or its been more than two to three years since your breasts started developing and you have not had a period, its best to talk to your doctor. If you get your period very young, at nine or ten it is usually just simply that you developed early. However, its a good idea to see your doctor to rule out other underlying medical conditions.
Are There Vitamins Or Minerals That Will Improve My Symptoms
Although more research studies are needed, there are certain vitamins and minerals that may help PMS symptoms. Several research studies show that calcium can significantly decrease many of the symptoms associated with PMS. Make sure that you are getting the recommended 1300 mg/day from calcium-rich foods or drinks or from supplements. Other supplements that could help with PMS symptoms are magnesium , vitamin B6 , and vitamin E , but more research is needed. Check with your health care provider about whether you should try them and how much you should take because taking high doses of supplements can have unpleasant or dangerous side effects. For example, high doses of magnesium may cause diarrhea in some people.
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How Does Ovulation Relate To Periods
Ovulation 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.
How Do I Use A Tampon
Inserting a tampon for the first time can be a bit of a challenge. Its hard to know exactly how to position your body and at what angle to put the tampon in. After a few tries, you will figure out what works best for you. Its best to use slender size tampons when you are learning. If you arent exactly sure where your vaginal opening is, use a mirror to have a look at your vulva .
To insert a tampon that has an applicator:
To insert a tampon without an applicator:
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Signs Your Period Is Coming: The Takeaway
Everybodys experience of PMS symptoms is unique. And lets be honest: Managing PMS is not exactly a walk in the park. The good news is that most PMS symptoms should start to taper off as your period starts.
Tracking your cycle in Flo can be a useful tool for gathering information you can pass on to a doctor for a PMS or a PMDD diagnosis. Its also a great way to gain more control over your cycle. It helps you understand when your next period is coming and enables you to understand what factors like a lack of sleep or drinking too much coffee may intensify PMS symptoms. Recognizing the signs can help you prepare for your next period, and it can allow you more time to listen to your body and practice a bit more self-care.
When To Speak With A Doctor
People may wish to see a healthcare professional if they have PMS symptoms that affect their daily life, if the symptoms occur outside of their period, or if they experience any sudden or dramatic changes to PMS or period symptoms.
If a person expects to have a period, but it does not arrive, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional about the potential causes. They may recommend a pregnancy test if someone could be pregnant or other tests if pregnancy is not the cause.
Heavy bleeding and severe abdominal cramping can indicate pregnancy complications, such as pregnancy loss or ectopic pregnancy. Contact a provider immediately if a pregnant person experiences any of the following symptoms:
- heavy bleeding
- Bai, G., et al. . Associations between nausea, vomiting, fatigue and health-related quality of life of women in early pregnancy: The generation R study.
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Things That Can Make Period Fatigue Worse
Period fatigue could also be caused by:
- Low iron levels. Sometimes heavy bleeding during a period could lead to anaemia due to an iron deficiency, and this can cause weakness and fatigue because iron is so important for carrying oxygen in the blood.
- Sudden changes in blood sugar. Some women may get certain cravings around their periods which can lead to eating too many sweets or food with added sugar. Eating food like this can cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by an energy crash.
- Disturbed sleep. If your period pain keeps you up at night, or mood changes make it hard to stay asleep, its natural to feel tired the next day.
If your fatigue is debilitating or interferes with your daily activities, or it doesnt go away after your period, talk to your doctor to get it checked out.
What Complementary Or Alternative Medicines May Help Relieve Pms Symptoms
Some women report relief from their PMS symptoms with yoga or meditation. Others say herbal supplements help relieve symptoms. Talk with your doctor or nurse before taking any of these supplements. They may interact with other medicines you take, making your other medicine not work or cause dangerous side effects. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements at the same level that it regulates medicines.
Some research studies show relief from PMS symptoms with these herbal supplements, but other studies do not. Many herbal supplements should not be used with other medicines. Some herbal supplements women use to ease PMS symptoms include:
- Black cohosh.28 The underground stems and root of black cohosh are used fresh or dried to make tea, capsules, pills, or liquid extracts. Black cohosh is most often used to help treat menopausal symptoms,29 and some women use it to help relieve PMS symptoms.
- Chasteberry.30 Dried ripe chasteberry is used to prepare liquid extracts or pills that some women take to relieve PMS symptoms. Women taking hormonal birth control or hormone therapy for menopause symptoms should not take chasteberry.
- Evening primrose oil. The oil is taken from the plants seeds and put into capsules. Some women report that the pill helps relieve PMS symptoms, but the research results are mixed.29
Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PMS. Learn more about current PMS treatment studies at clinicaltrials.gov.
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Your Birth Control Warns You
If youre using Natural Cycles as birth control, youll get regular updates about the changes happening in your cycle, including when your period is due. NC° Birth Control has two parts: an app and a thermometer. The app learns the pattern of your cycle based on the readings from the basal body thermometer. Its possible to measure ovulation with temperature readings and thats how Natural Cycles can identify where you are in your cycle. So as well as learning the signs your period is coming through noticing changes in your body, youll get in-app updates too!
Did you know that if youre using hormonal birth control you dont really get periods? Instead, methods like the birth control pill often cause a certain type of spotting called a withdrawal bleed. Since you dont ovulate on hormonal birth control, this isnt technically a period, but rather a symptom of changing hormone levels.
Causes Of Period Pain
During your period, the uterus contracts to help the lining shed. This contraction compresses the blood vessels in the lining, temporarily cutting off the blood and oxygen supply to your uterus. The lack of oxygen in the tissues of your uterus causes chemicals to be released that can trigger pain.
The body also releases prostaglandins, chemicals which encourage the uterus muscles to contract even more, which can also cause pain.
Its possible that some women feel more pain than others due to a build-up of prostaglandins, which make the contractions stronger.
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