Menstruation: Not Having a Period by Age 15 - Topic Overview
The menstrual cycle is the series of changes a woman's body
goes through to prepare for a possible pregnancy. Most girls start having
periods between the ages of 11 and 15.
A girl who has not had her
first period by age 15 has what is called primary amenorrhea. This is different
from infrequent or light menstrual cycles, which are very common in teen girls, particularly in the first couple of years after menstruation begins.
Primary amenorrhea is also different than if a girl starts having periods, but
then stops having periods for at least 3 cycles.
Looking for ways to improve your self-esteem? You're not alone! It's normal
to have doubts about yourself during adolescence.
Look what happened to "Lauren" (not her real name) when she dressed
for PE the first day of school. As she tied her tennis shoes, she noticed she
had on two different colored socks -- one pink and one white. She was
mortified! What would the other students think when they saw her?
Lauren quickly took the socks off and stuffed them in the left pocket of her
Medicines or medical treatment in childhood that
may have damaged the ovaries, such as chemotherapy or radiation treatment for
cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation treatment in women may cause irregular
If no problem can be found to explain why you are not having
periods, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to help control your
cycle. These will also help keep your bones strong, reducing your risk for
brittle bones (osteoporosis). Your doctor also may prescribe calciumsupplements to help ensure that your bones stay healthy.
have not begun to develop breasts or pubic hair by age 14 may have an increased
chance of having amenorrhea.
You can still become pregnant even
though you are not menstruating. Practice birth control if you do not wish to