Dear Big Sister,
I think something is wrong with me. My period is not like that friends’. Sometimes my period comes twice a month. Other times it comes much later than it’s supposed to. Some months I don’t even see it at all. Like last month!!
I have asked some of my friends. They say it’s not normal. I am scared. I think I might be sick.
What is going on with me? What can I do to? I am scared.
There’s no cause for alarm. What you’re experiencing is called an irregular period. And it happens to lots of girls. Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different (your menstrual cycle is the time between the first days of your periods). Everyone’s period doesn’t come like clockwork every 28 days. So, don’t worry if yours is different from your friends.
Irregular periods are very common in young girls, especially in the first few years after they begin menstruating. Most of the time, irregular periods are part of the normal changes that can happen when you’re a teenage. As you get older, your cycle will probably settle into a more stable pattern.
Things like getting sick, gaining or losing a lot of weight quickly, stress or even traveling can make your period irregular. That’s because these things affect the part of the brain that regulates your period. It’s perfectly normal and most likely nothing to worry about.
Sometimes, an irregular period is caused by hormone imbalances. Hormones are messengers that control some of our bodily functions such as the period and reproduction. Because your body is still changing and growing, it’s normal for your hormone levels to change.
But if you don’t get your period for more than three months, you start growing extra hair on your chin or chest, your periods are heavy and often last more than seven days, or you have severe pain, you should visit your community clinic or doctor. Just to get things checked out.
One other important thing you should know is how to prepare for your period. Because irregular periods make it difficult for you to know when to expect your next period we advise you have a supply of sanitary pads or period clothes in your bag or purse. Especially when you are away from home.
Another way to make sure your period does not meet unexpectedly is to become observant of some changes in your body. Changes like a breakout of pimples, cramps in your lower stomach, mood swing etc.
To learn how to monitor your period read Bunmi’s story.
Stay well and keep in touch.