Dear Dr. Cara: I got my first period but it hasn’t come back.

Dear Dr. Cara: I got my first period but it hasn’t come back.

Our expert: Dr. Cara Natterson

Our resident expert on all things girls. She’s a board certified pediatrician, author of the best-selling book series The Care and Keeping of You, and travels the country speaking about health and wellness issues to both kids and parents.

I got my first period but it hasn’t come back, what’s happening?

It is very common for girls to have irregular periods in the beginning.

“Regular” periods are periods that happen every 3 -5 weeks. They are pretty predictable, which makes life a little easier because you know when you need to be prepared.

“Irregular” periods have no pattern. Sometimes they come very close together – even just a couple weeks apart – and other times they are spaced by months. This is normal but annoying because girls with irregular periods don’t know when they are going to get the next one.

If you are concerned about the patterns of your periods, talk to a trusted adult like your mom or your doctor. In most cases, this irregularity is entirely normal. But there can be reasons why periods stop coming, for instance if a girl is too thin her body will stop having periods. It is healthy for a girl to have her period, even if it is a royal pain – if the pattern of your periods changes or if you are at all concerned, it is really important to share this information with your doctor.

Remember that most of the time, periods are irregular for no reason. In the beginning, they come when they want to come and you don’t really have any control. So if you start paying attention to how your body feels in the hours and days before you have a period, you have a better shot of predicting when it is going to happen next and preparing for it.

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