Saturday, December 22, 2012
Sixteen Year Old Does Not Have Her Period Yet: What To Do?
My name is E. and I am 16 years old, will be 17 on June 9th, 2013. I'm 5'9" and I am overweight, but not terribly obese or anything. I have always been active, and I have been a swimmer since I was 7.
I am wondering if something is wrong with me. I still have not gotten my period. Ever. I just feel so out of place when my friends are all talking about theirs and I just stand there. I don't understand why I haven't gotten it yet. I have pubic hair, I have leg hair, armpit hair, I have breasts, and sometimes I see that my underwear is like a light brown (and it smells weird, but not terrible) but it has never been red.
My Dr. told me that if I don't have it by the time I'm 18 then to come in for some tests.
I just wish so badly that it will have it already. Is there anything I can do? Could this in anyway help the process of it starting?
I heard that drinking lots of green tea can help?
Could it be me being overweight? I am currently in the process of losing weight and I have lost 15lbs so far. I also heard that it might have been because my mom breastfed me for longer? She nursed me until I was 3, not a lot after the first year, she said it was normally just to get me to sleep.
Please help! E. from California.
Hello E. from the U.S.(California,
Since you have secondary sexual characteristics (pubic hair etc.), that means that your ovaries are functioning and producing estrogen. It may just be a matter of time now before the periods start, but it is a little unusual to not have periods by 17 years old. I don't agree with your doctor. This is something you might want to talk to you mother about and urge her to allow you to see a pediatric endocrinologist, adolescent gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist. These are all specialists with more advanced training in hormones than your regular pediatrician or family practice doctor. A blood test can be done to check your hormones to make sure there is not something amiss. Medicine can also be given to help you start periods, or if your hormones are unbalanced, to help balance them.
Having a hormonal imbalance can cause long term side effects, like facial hair, that is not reversible so I would not recommend doing nothing.
As a side note, don't buy anything on the internet that says it does something medical. Anything that is medically effective has to have FDA approval and then it is sold in a pharmacy or doctor's office. Only non-medical items can be sold via the internet to non-medical people.
Thank you for writing and try to see a specialist soon. Good Luck,
Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.