I’ve not had my period

BY: Hannah A Amoah

Dear Auntie Betty, I am 14 years old and in Form Three. I have not started menstruating yet.
My sister who is 10 years and has been teasing me because I have not had my period.
I feel sad.
Worried Girl.

Dear Worried Girl, You do not have to feel sad about the fact that you have not yet had your first menstrual cycle (menarche) Your period will definitely come so do not worry or pay much attention to your little sister’s taunts.
According to health experts, no one can tell exactly when a first period will occur. Generally, however, menstruation begins about two years after breasts begin to develop. They say menstruation usually begins at about age 12, but periods are possible as early as age eight.
Some girls get their first period as late as 15. It is important for you to talk to your mum about how you are feeling because health experts also advise that if one has not started menstruating by age 15/16 or within three years of the start of breast growth, then there is the need to see a doctor for check up.
In the meantime, you have to bear in mind that menstruation including the length of each cycle and flow, varies from person to person; and sometimes month to month.
When you eventually start menstruating, experts say your first periods will like be light, possibly just a few drops of blood and irregular but will settle into a pattern. Most periods last from three to five days, but anywhere from two to seven days is normal.
It is also normal to experience certain common symptoms such as cramps in the lower abdomen or back or breast tenderness just before and during periods. Headaches, dizziness, nausea and diarrhoea also are possible.
You need to learn how to use sanitary pads or tampons and check which one works best for you; and the importance of changing them regularly.
Do not be shy to talk to your mum about your concerns. You can always write to Auntie Betty as well.
All the best.