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Starting periods, can you tell when it might happen?

(37 Posts)
SirVixofVixHall Mon 18-Jan-16 13:24:58

DD just turned 11. She had permature adrenarche (when the adrenals kick in before puberty proper) which gave her some body hair v early, but at the time she had to have scans etc, and everything else was age appropriate. I started my periods very late (nearly 16) as did my mother (16), so I hoped it was all a few years away, but recently, e.g. in the last term, she has put weight on. She's always been very thin, at the bottom centile for weight, and although still a very slim girl, she is more padded than she has ever been, and her general body shape is changing. She also has the mood swings from hell......she is tallish for her age too. (4' 10")

I've talked to her about periods, she is well informed, but she is worrying about what will happen if she starts in school. I've suggested she tells a teacher but she thinks that is too embarrassing. I've also suggested that she has a little "emergency pack" in her bag, in case it happens in school but she was quite ambivalent about that. None of her friends have started or, look as though they might, so she is worrying about being the first and dealing with it at school and socially.

I remember reading that girls tend to start their periods when they hit a rough weight of 7 stone, is that true? It was true for me, but that may be coincidence! (she is five stone 5) I wondered if there were clues that periods might be likely to start, as I'm worried about her starting in school and getting in a state about it. I'm also really rather hoping that it is a couple of years away at least.

dementedpixie Mon 18-Jan-16 22:09:00

Has she got breast buds, pubic and underarm hair? They tend to come first. She will probably get discharge I her underwear first too. Google the Tanner Stages of puberty as they give a guide as to what happens

dementedpixie Mon 18-Jan-16 22:09:34

Dd started hers age 11 and is 12 now

SirVixofVixHall Mon 18-Jan-16 22:14:53

Breast buds just beginning. Some pubic hair has been there for ages because of the prem adrenarche, but no underarm hair yet. 11 seems so young to deal with periods, I hope she is a few years off starting, but clearly she is hitting puberty. Its the stroppy moody stuff that is the most difficult to deal with actually. Was your dd ok with starting so young?

DragonsCanHop Mon 18-Jan-16 22:16:05

Both DDs at 11 and I started at 15.

It's wasnt the same as when you have an established period, no pain and more dark wipes on a tissue.

DD1 was at school and she told her teacher who had a stash and Dd2 was at home.

They both take a small pencil case to school with a spare pair of black knickers, pads, wipes and some nappy bags in their school bag.

DD1 is now 14 and having a hard time with them, she flooded at school and her form tutor took her to Tesco and bought her new tights - her form tutor is fab!

I could tell it was coming because of the tantrums and mood swings!

We all start within a day of each other now, poor DH grin

Jbck Mon 18-Jan-16 22:21:16

Both DD1 and I started our periods weighing around 5 stone me just before 14, her just after.

Luckily both of us started during school breaks.

steppemum Mon 18-Jan-16 22:23:10

dd is 11, and year 6. She has been having mood swings for a year or two. Her hair is going greasy, and she has developed underarm hair and pubic hair over the last year.
She hasn't started yet, but one or two knickers with discharge.

She has an little emergency pack, she has never taken it in to school yet.
Just to reassure you/her, up to 25% of year 6 girls will have started before the end of year 6. Some of her friends may have started and she wouldn't even know. The school does understand it and has plans in place for those girls (eg bins in toilets.)

Dd was much happier once they had had a talk in school about puberty. I think because her lovely class teacher reassured all the girls that they could tell her and she would make sure they had what they needed etc.

QueenC Mon 18-Jan-16 22:25:52

No idea but my dd is 10 and has pubic hair and breasts but no underarm hair. And she definitely has the mood swings. I spoke to school as she was worried as she has a male teacher but they said for her to go to the office should anything happen. Ive put a bag with pants/pad in her school bag although school did say that they have emergency supplies.

SirVixofVixHall Mon 18-Jan-16 22:26:09

Looking at the Tanner stages, I would say she is a stage 2, possibly between stages 2 and 3, (hard to say as she's had the body hair there for so long). So roughly age accurate, maybe slightly ahead. Certainly at her age I was a stage 1, so I'm sure she will start her periods a few years earlier than I did.

dementedpixie Mon 18-Jan-16 22:26:21

Dd wasn't even the first to start hers in her year (I started mine at 11 too). She has a wee bag from a lillets starter set you can get in the supermarket and it has towels, spare pants and a mini pack of Andrex wipes for taking to school

DragonsCanHop Mon 18-Jan-16 22:27:30

Oh, I forgot about being in year 6. Mine are now in seniors but I made a call to the school letting them know because there weren't any sanitary bins in the class toilets so they let her use the teachers toilet.

SirVixofVixHall Mon 18-Jan-16 22:38:14

I cross posted with all the helpful replies. Seems I really should try and persuade her to have a little emergency pack in her school bag then! The 7 stone thing is obviously not true... They didn't have any special bins in her (very small) primary, but she's gone up to High School a year early, so they are hopefully more geared up there. I will tell her that others will be starting or even be having periods already, and she might well not know, I think that would help. Partly because she is the odd one out anyway, due to going up alone, she is worried about being at all different in any other way. I think that is the root of her concerns re starting. Also, as she only just had her 11th birthday, she does have that feeling of wanting to stay little and stop the body changes. (I'm sure we all felt that). I have bought her bras because almost all her year wear them ( even though she really doesn't need one, there is only very slight swelling). Sometimes she will wear one under her vest (on Gym days) sometimes a crop top , and sometimes just the vest.
My own Mum didn't tell me anything about puberty or prepare me at all so I want to make sure she is supported and it is as easy a shift as possible.

AugustRose Mon 18-Jan-16 22:55:34

DD1 had breast buds for about a year and yellowish discharge for 6 months before her periods started. Looking at the Tanner stages I would say she was at stage 3 when they started at 12.4 years.

It's probably a plan for her to have a bag ready should she need it, although I still find it fascinating that most primaries still don't have facilities for girls when so many start at age 10/11.

SirVixofVixHall Tue 19-Jan-16 09:47:05

I was surprised when my dds told me that there is nothing in the girls' loos at the Primary (I have an 8 year old as well) as early periods seem so much more common now. Not one person started in my primary, that I was aware of . I suppose it might well not have been talked about. We all looked very undeveloped though, none of my small primary class had any obvious signs of puberty, and only a handful had the beginnings of breasts in the first year of high school. No one had a bra in the first year. It wasn't really until the second year that some girls started wearing bras and having periods, and the majority were in the 3rd or fourth year, so 13/14. (I was at a girls' boarding school, so we were all v aware of how we were developing compared to each other). I am 52, and it does seem as though far more girls hit puberty in primary now. Quite a few of the year sixes last year were in bras and looking how my age group looked at 12/13. So on that basis all primaries should be well prepared for girls having periods. They did have a "talk" in year 5, and they gave them a highly scented panty liner sample much to my horror!

balletpotato Tue 19-Jan-16 17:22:57


I am 13 (sorry to gate crash MUMSnet) but I am confused about the only being able to start periods when you are 7 stone because I have had my period for almost a year and weigh just over 5 stone?

dementedpixie Tue 19-Jan-16 17:50:07

It is more to do with body fat levels rather than actual weight. I have read that there needs to be 17% body fat for periods to start

sugar21 Tue 19-Jan-16 18:00:09

My dd1 started her period when she was 9 and was under 7stone but tall for her age.
Same for me I was a month short of my 10th Birthday and also tall.
Dd is now 16 and 5'11" whereas I'm 5'8". She has bigger boobs than me <sigh>

JustDanceAddict Wed 20-Jan-16 15:29:41

She might get a growth spurt if she's growing outwards first. My DD started at 13 and one month after growing nearly 5 inches in a year (and most of that was in the preceeding 6 months!). She had all the other signs too and it was really just a matter of 'when'.
I'm not sure how much she weighs, but she was prob around 6.5 stone and just under 5ft5 when she started. She's taller than me and a beanpole even though she's put on a bit more weight recently.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 20-Jan-16 20:51:52

Thinking back I don't think I was 7 stone, I was probably more like 6 and a half. I also grew 5 or 5 inches in the year my periods started, and went from being the second smallest girl in the class to one of the tallest.
I did wonder if she might be about to have the big growth spurt, it wouldn't surprise me. It is interesting to read that your dd is five eleven Sugar21, as I had also read that girls who start early tend to end up shorter, as you don't grow more than 2 inches after periods start. I didn't stop growing until I was 19, as I'd hit puberty so late.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 20-Jan-16 20:52:28

Doh- 5 or 6 inches, not 5 or 5!!

pixZie78 Thu 21-Jan-16 09:42:51

My dd is 11, 5'4 and over 7 stone.. hasn't started yet but this thread is making me thing she might soon. She's quite skinny though. I was 5'7 and age 12 when I started .. had horrendous periods through teen years so really not wishing that on her - making me think I might be scared of the whole thing for her which really needs dealing with! Will have a look at this Tanner stage thing...

SirVixofVixHall Thu 21-Jan-16 11:32:55

I feel lucky to have started so late, and then had regular as clockwork periods, pretty pain free, for decades. Only now I'm an old gimmer are they misbehaving and veering between flooding/hardy there and totally unpredictable . I had assumed that my dds would follow me as I followed my mother, but although dd2 may do, dd1 clearly won't start all that late. The stroppyness is the hardest thing to deal with. She used to be very reasonable, and now she flies off the handle at everything. It is driving me bonkers. Heaven help us all when dd2 starts the moods, esp as I will by then probably be in full on menopause... A mother of adult girls said evening primrose oil really helps with the hormonal moodyness, so I am going to buy vats of the stuff....

Dancergirl Fri 22-Jan-16 11:12:53

Can teens take evening primrose oil sir? Is it tablet form?

differentnameforthis Fri 22-Jan-16 11:19:37

I have heard that underarm hair is the tell. It was true for dd & a few of her friends.

Baressentials Fri 22-Jan-16 11:23:07

DD was 9 when she started. 8 when she started wearing a bra. Pubic hair came very quickly around the time she got her first bra. No idea of her weight as I have never weighed her. However, she did seem to fill out quite a lot quite quickly. As soon as she started she had a growth spurt. The hormones and tears, and ups and downs went on for about a year before her first period. She went straight into a regular cycle, every 28 days and lasting 7 days sad

She really struggles with them. Although physically mature she is quite immature emotionally. A few twats well intentioned people have recommended the pill for her, but I am looking at food changes and possibly Oil of Evening Primorose (not looked into that properly yet) I was younger than her when I started and it was awful.

It is tough for them, especially at primary school. DD started literally an hour before we had to leave for school. No way was I sending her in. So we had a lovely day together, went out for breakfast, got some new knickers, a nice toiletry bag to keep her stuff in at school. The school were fine with her having a day off. Though she still struggles and has to be reminded to change at school - she still hates it 18months on.

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