Teenage Girl Doesn't Have Her Period Yet: Is It Normal?

girls in public bathroomWhether your daughter sees getting her first period as a pain or a cause for celebration, this maturation milestone could be hitting all too soon. Recent studies indicate that adolescence is starting earlier than ever, with the majority of girls now beginning puberty before age 10. Still, though: if your daughter is a late bloomer who hasn't gotten her period by the time she hits the teen years, it may feel strange for her when all her friends are complaining of cramps and tampon shopping ... and you, as the mom, may start worrying whether something is wrong.

Is it normal for a girl not to have her period at 14 or even 15?


Doctors say there's likely no cause for concern.

"If a 14-year-old has not gotten their period yet, that can be normal," says Christine O'Connor, MD, director of adolescent gynecology and well woman care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "The average age of a girl's first period is between 11 and 12, which means that some girls will start younger, say, at 9 years old, and some will not start until 14 or even 15."

For a ballpark of when your daughter's may get rolling, think back to your own past. "If other family members are early or late bloomers, that will give some indication when you can expect your daughter's cycles to start," says Dr. O'Connor. Another harbinger is breast development, which typically starts two years before periods start.

More from The Stir: Talking About Tampons With Your Daughter: What You Need to Know (VIDEO)

So when should a mom worry? O'Connor says that if your daughter has not had her period by 16 -- or has not developed in other ways such as breasts and pubic hair by that age -- it's time to bring this up with your pediatrician. According to the National Institutes of Health, less than 1 percent of girls will have this experience, but it could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance or other issues.
What age did you start your period?


Image © Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

Read More >