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Need a Woman Wellness Checkup

Published: March 01, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Hey Teen Health Fx, This isn't my first time writting to you guys so I know how helpful you guys can be! Since I have started my period at (12) its been lasting longer than 7 days and has been irregular, why? (I'm 13 now) This makes me think I need a woman welllness checkup but not only am I scared my moms never mentioned it! I get embarrassed really easily especially about topics like this, are their ways to get over my embarrassment? & finally I'm 13 and I've never had the "sex talk" or the "period talk" I know what I need to about my period. But I feel like I need to have the sex talk. Is it a good idea to have it at my age, and should I talk to my parents about it? Now finally (again) do you have tips on ways to ease my stress when I'm on my period or any time? Sorry for all the questions, but I really need your help! I hope you can answer this, thank you sooo much!


Dear Need a Woman Wellness Checkup,

During the first few years a female’s cycle will tend to be sporadic, especially during the first year. The average cycle length can last anywhere from 2-8 days and come every 21 to 35 days. Irregular periods are expected for the first year following the onset of menstruation. Periods that continue to be irregular usually do not affect your general health, but it is definitely a good idea to discuss it with your doctor.

Talking about puberty and sex can be uncomfortable for both adolescents and parents. The reality is that it doesn’t have to be. If you approach it from a learning perspective it will help get the conversation going and help you put together any questions you have. The onset of puberty produces so many changes in your body that it is only natural to be curious or even anxious of what has been going on. Your mom went through the same developmental process and mostly likely can appreciative the confusion it can bring. If your mom is unsure of how to respond there are many good books out there that can help. This is also true for sex. Having a parent talk to her/his child about sex can be extremely beneficial. The talk is really not about the mechanics as much as it is an opportunity for the parent to share their thoughts and values regarding sex. There can be so much peer pressure for an adolescent to be sexually active that many teens engage in sexual activity before they are really ready. Very often this will lead to a negative experience and feelings that they never expected. An adolescent that can talk to their parent about these issues will have a resource of reliable information and someone who has her/his best interests at heart.

You should be seeing your doctor on a regular basis for wellness visits. You can start the conversation with mom about making the appointment. Just tell her you read somewhere wellness checkups were important and that you had some questions about puberty. This will open the door for mom to offer any advice she may have. You could also ask her whether her period was irregular when she began puberty. If it seems that mom is just not going to go there, then you can get any information you would like from your doctor. Although you may feel embarrassed, keep in mind that doctors have these conversations all the time and are very good at putting their patient’s at ease.

If mom is at ease talking with you about your period then she most likely will be able to talk about sex as well. Again, there are plenty of good books out there that could help make the conversation easier on both of you. If not your doctor can answer any and all of your questions and of course there is always TeenHealthFX!

We are not quite sure what you mean by stress but here are some tips that can make things easier on you:

  • Apply heat to your muscles when cramps occur. Take a hot shower or place a hot water bottle on your abdomen or lower back.
  • Eat a healthy diet year round, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in caffeine.
  • Reduce your consumption of salt, sugar and caffeine during the week before your period to prevent cramps or reduce their severity.
  • Avoid any complex drinks, alcohol, or any caffeinated or carbonated drink. Sip water or clear fluids instead
  • Increase your intake of calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt or leafy green vegetables.
  • Keep in mind that a high-potency B-complex vitamin may help if you're susceptible to menstrual cramps. Vitamin B 6 is especially important, but don't take more than 100mg per day.
  • Some light or moderate exercise can be helpful. Swimming and walking are good activities because they are gentle and not too stressful. Certain stretches and yoga positions will also help to relieve the pain.
  • Avoid standing for long periods if you have pain in your lower back.
  • Massage your lower back to relieve tension and pain or seek out a massage therapist

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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