I’m going to be in the seventh grade this year and I haven’t gotten my period yet! I don’t feel normal! Also, a lot of my friends have boyfriends but nobody has asked me out! Are these things related?
Waiting to get your first period can be nerve-wracking, especially when it feels like you’re the last one to get it. If you were a senior in high school and hadn’t gotten it yet, I might tell you to be worried. But you’re in seventh grade, and trust me, you’re totally normal and fine. The age range of when you’ll get your first period is larger than you think.
If my words aren’t soothing you, maybe someone else’s will. I spoke to Laura Goodman, the Senior Scientist for Tampax and Always, so she’s basically a period expert who knows her stuff. Laura said, “Your first period can come as early as age eight or nine, and as late as age 16. Every girl is different! I remember feeling exactly like you do when I was your age because I didn’t get my period until I was in the 9th grade.” You have time, girl! You could get it tomorrow… or you might be waiting a few more months or even years before it happens. It’s nothing you can control, so it’s best not to put too much stress and focus into it.
There are a few ways you can tell when you might get your first period, although they aren’t foolproof. Laura says, “Typically, a girl mirrors her mother when it comes to puberty, so try talking to her about when she got her first period to ease your nerves.” Of course, this isn’t always accurate, so don’t freak out if she had gotten it already by your age. There are also some signs you’ll experience when you’re getting close, like when you start growing hair down there, experiencing vaginal discharge, and feeling like your breasts are sore.
As for the relationship issue – the two aren’t related. Laura says, “Just because you haven’t gotten your period yet doesn’t mean you are abnormal and it has no relation to your relationship status, or at least it shouldn’t.” Guys have no idea if you’ve started your period or not, and even if they did know, it wouldn’t change their mind about asking you out (most of them don’t understand menstruation at all). You just haven’t met the right person yet, and that can take time. In the meantime, though, don’t freak out. As Laura says, “Try not to worry – these things have a way of quickly coming into your life before you know it!”
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org