Periods When?


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Periods When?

Dear Ms. KnowBody:

All of my friends have had their periods. I am 14 years old. I am wondering: do girls who play sports get their periods later than girls who don't?


Dear Jenni:

First of all, I want you to know that this question is one of the most common questions that girls ask me! Just this week I have had three girls e-mail me with similar questions about periods.

To be honest, nobody knows when your period will start. There is just no way to know because your body is programmed to develop on a special timeline, which is out of your control. Most girls get their period between the ages of nine and 16.

The age when you get your period depends mostly on two things:

  • The age your mother was when she first got her period

  • Your BMI or body mass index which is a measurement of your height and weight.

There are things that can affect your BMI, such as the types of foods you eat, and the amount of exercise you get. If you play sports, you may have a lower weight and BMI, which could affect when you get your period.

Your body will give you certain hints that it is gearing up to change, and go through puberty. You may notice hair growing under your arms, on your legs, and some pubic hair too. You also may notice some acne, changes in your nipples or growing breasts, and some clear or white discharge (fluid) on your underwear.

So, look for these signs and ask your mom how old she was when she first got her period. Then, focus on other things because waiting for your period is a lot like the old expression: "A watched pot never boils."

Ms. KnowBody