(For Parents of Teenagers with Typical Development)
Just because your period is late doesn’t mean you’re pregnant. There are other possible reasons for late periods or no periods at all, including the following:*
- Age. Are you a young teen? Most young teens are not regular at first – it often takes 2-3 years after menarche before your periods become regular. In the meantime, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to go a few months between periods.
- Hormonal birth control methods. If you are taking birth control pills on a continuous basis (no off-weeks), your periods may stop. If you’re using the implant, the vaginal ring, the shot, or the hormonal intrauterine device, your periods may also stop.
- Excessive weight loss or gain. Although low body weight is a common cause of missed or irregular periods, obesity can also cause menstrual problems.
- Exercise. No, we’re not saying that exercise is bad for you – in fact, it’s essential for good health. But if you suddenly start exercising more strenuously or more often, this can disrupt your menstrual cycle. Serious athletes often stop menstruating.
- Illness or other medical reasons
- Breastfeeding. Many females do not resume regular periods until they have completed breastfeeding.
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia
Still not sure? Then check out Am I Pregnant? It's in the "Info for Teens" section of the Planned Parenthood website. This article's not just for you – share it with your teen.
You are sure? Then check out I'm Pregnant. Now What? It's also in the "Info for Teens" section of the Planned Parenthood website. This article's not just for you – share it with your teen.
*This list was adapted, in part, from an article by WebMD. The original article, “Missed or Irregular Periods – Topic Overview,” can be found on www.webmd.com.
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