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Helping girls with their periods

Some girls are very excited about getting their periods, but others feel uncomfortable about it. Focus on the positive. Remind girls that their periods are a sign that their bodies are healthy and can do some amazing things, like make a baby! Here’s some info that can help you help a girl with her period:

Girls can learn to keep track of their periods on a calendar. And girlshealth.gov has a cool tool that describes what happens on each day of the menstrual cycle.

Period basics arrow. top

Here are a few areas to consider if you’re helping a girl with her period:

  • Timing. You want to explain about periods before a girl gets hers. Girls usually get their periods between age 12 and 14 but sometimes as young as 8. If a girl hasn’t gotten her period by 15, or within three years of when her breasts started to grow, talk to her doctor.
  • Products. Share information with her about pads, tampons, and other products.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Help girls understand PMS symptoms. You also can help a girl learn how to deal with PMS through diet, exercise, and medicines.

What is PCOS?

Irregular periods and pelvic pain could be a sign of polycystic (pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition. Other symptoms include acne, weight gain, and extra hair on the face and body. PCOS has no cure, but there are lots of ways to treat it. Girls can read about ways to live well with PCOS.

Helping girls with period problems arrow. top

It’s common for girls to have periods that don’t come on a regular schedule at first, and to have some cramps or discomfort with periods. But sometimes girls can have serious period problems. These problems include endometriosis, which happens when tissue from the uterus grows outside the uterus.

Encourage your girl to come to you if she thinks she’s having a problem with her period. Learn about period problems that might need a doctor’s help, including very bad cramps or very heavy periods.

Keep in mind that a girl should see a doctor if:

  • She is bleeding for more days than usual or for more than seven days
  • It has been three months or more since her last period and she hasn’t gotten it again. (Even though periods might not be regular at first, there shouldn’t be a gap of three months between them.)
  • Her bleeding is very heavy
  • She suddenly feels sick after using tampons
  • She bleeds in between periods
  • She has very bad pain during her period

 

Content last reviewed April 15, 2014
Page last updated June 02, 2014

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