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How do you know when your daughter?s first period will start?
Elaine Plummer, RN posted:
Most mothers want to stay involved with their daughter's growth and maturity. They also want to help set appropriate expectations for timing of significant changes. But how do you know when the biggest event (her first period) is about to happen? What signs can you share with her that indicate her period may be starting soon?

Although most girls get their first period between 11 and 14 years old, your daughter could start her period anywhere from 8 to 17 years old.

You could narrow that down by taking clues from her body. During puberty, when the body becomes sexually mature, she'll have some of these changes that show her period's on its way. (By the way, these changes may happen in a different order than listed here.)

Developing Breasts. First, she'll get breast "buds". (Breasts then can take up to 3-4 years to fully develop.) Generally she will get her period 2-3 years after her breasts start developing.

Growing Pubic Hair. Soon after her breasts start to form, she'll start developing pubic hair. It will be soft and thin at first, and then gradually become coarser. Her period usually arrives around 1-2 years after the hair development.

Discharge. This is the big sign. She'll start to experience vaginal discharge that will be either white or yellowish. You may want to recommend using pantiliners to protect her underwear. Her period should start around 6-12 (but up to 18) months after the start of discharge.

There's one more way to figure out when she'll start menstruating: Remember when you did. She'll probably get her period within a year or so of when you got yours.

Do you remember experiencing these signs your first time? When did you start your period? What advice do you have for the growing young women in our community? Please share your thoughts!
louberry25 responded:
I cant remember how old i was when I got my first period. However my daughter is 11 and she has been experiencing these symptoms for a while now. She keeps asking me when is it going to happen and the only answer I have for her is when it happens she will know.
Elaine Plummer, RN replied to louberry25's response:
louberry25: Thanks for sharing. Since your daughter is letting you know about her symptoms, bet you have an open and trusting relationship. Also, I assume that she is prepared with pantiliners for when she needs them or thinks she possible might. First periods start with spotting so a larger pad may not be needed for the first days.

No doubt your daughter is anxious and is glad she has you for a mom to listen. Great way to start her teen years, which come faster than any of us imagine.
momOfAn8YearOld responded:
My daughter is 8.5 yrs old and she is above average in height and a little overweight at 80lbs. She has started developing breast buds in the past few months, under arm and some pubic hair very recently. I am not sure about when I started developing physically but I do remember i did not get my periods till I was 13yrs old. I am not sure how to go about it. Should I take her to a doctor and get tests done or just wait it out.
Elaine_Plummer replied to momOfAn8YearOld's response:
Hi momOfAn8YearOld: Most girls begin menstruating between the ages of 8 and 16. Each girl starts when her body is ready and only then. This may or may not be at the age their mother started her period.

Maturation is genetically determined, although environment plays a role. Even though the average age of menstruation is 12 1/2 some girls do not mature until they are 15 or 16 and some much younger. And this is NORMAL.

Periods often start about 2 years after breast development is noticed. Along with that, vaginal discharge, under arm and pubic hair, and a growth spurt happens before the first period.

From what you are writing, your daughter is going through puberty. If you are concerned, you may want to take her to your physician. There you both can get your questions answered by someone who can assess your daughter and address your concerns.

While she may not start her period for a year or more, AND are pages that will help her with first period information. Also, Always has some information for teens that may also be helpful to you both.

Importantly, if you haven't already, now is a great time to begin talking to her about periods and preparation.

I hope this is helpful!
christinaja responded:
Hi Elaine.
My daughter is 9, will be 10 in July. We have had a frank, open discourse about her body since she was very young, and I have always subscribed to the "knowledge is power" way of talking about bodily functions. Recently, she told me she had found hair growing in her pubic region, so she and I had a talk about the actual process of puberty and menstruation. This is all well and good, but we have an additional hurdle. My daughter is autistic.
What additional pointers can you give to help us navigate this big change without completely overwhelming(or scaring) my girl?
undefined responded:
Thanks a single father I felt totally out of the loop in this article. I know that this article is in "Womens Health Community" section. But when I google signs of first period...and this article shows up first for me, I would appreciate to feel included as a parent with the same concern. Maybe theres a place for a single father like me on WebMD. But I guess it isn't here. If it were the other way would be sexist. Ignorant...Again I'm well aware this in "womens health". But you should be aware when I(as a father) do a search, this may very well be the most logical choice for me to research. I apologize if this comes off as rude. It just comes across a little insensitive against fathers. But as a single father this a stressful situation. And it seems to me single mothers get all the credit and sympathy in the world. But everybody seems to forget and acknowledge the single father...Especially when raising a daughter. You get the point.
Anon_475 replied to 29245836's response:
What exactly offended you in the article? The part about trying to remember your own first period? If so, that isn't sexist, it's logical...
georgiagail replied to Anon_475's response:
Plus it's a 3 year old article.

Elaine_Plummer replied to 29245836's response:
Hi undefined: Glad you found this. The article was written awhile back for either mom or dad to use. While this article is categorized under 'women's health community' because of the content, it certainly is for either gender to reference as needed.

Kudos to you for searching for info that will be helpful as your daughter matures. It can be a challenge for either mom or dad, especially when dealing with puberty issues alone.

All the best.
Elaine_Plummer replied to christinaja's response:
christinaja: You bring up an important question and that is how to help your child through puberty while managing her autism. This is not my area of expertise, but I found this site, Autism Society, that has a section on puberty that I hope is helpful:

All the best. Elaine
jaxxin6 replied to Elaine_Plummer's response:
My daughter has been very moody lately... She will bawl at the drop of a hat and then 5 min later she is fine... Is this a sign that her period is starting? Idk what else it can be!!

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