The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence suggests several guidelines in order to help determine what to expect in the first years of menstruation. It is important that you feel secure enough with your doctor to discuss any menstrual problems you might have. Normal menstruation is a vital sign that a young woman is healthy and should always be taken in account whenever you initiate new medication or undergo a treatment.
Even if a young woman otherwise hits the average milestones of puberty, it’s important to visit a doctor to learn more about the various changes your body will go through. Usually, girls will have their first menstruation when they are around 12-13 years old. That age is the average of what has been studied in the last 30 years.
Generally speaking, adolescent menstruations first appear about 2 years after breast development starts. If it hasn’t come within 3 years, you should consult a physician. Menstrual periods last usually two to seven days. A menstrual cycle duration is considered normal from 21 to 35 days. A cycle is measured from the first day of your period (cycle day 1) until the first day of the next one. If it’s shorter or longer than that amount of time, it might be wise to advise your physician.
It can be useful to write down in a menstrual journal the key factors of cycles to track various things such as: if you have a regular cycle and how long your period usually lasts. Remember that if you haven’t had any menstruation in the last 3 months, it’s important to consult a doctor so he can screen for pregnancies or any hormonal abnormalities.
Concerning the amount you bleed, it classically is described to be around two tablespoons worth of blood per day. There should be no large clots (golf ball sized or larger) and your period should not require you to change tampons or pads more than once every 2 hours. It is important that you consult a doctor immediately if you have been routinely changing pads more frequently.