If you are the parent of a young girl, don't be surprised if they come to you to tell you they have their period early. Some are getting their periods at as young as 8 years old. Marcie Fraser reports.
It is a fact that girls are getting their periods younger, but why? Some blame the foods we ingest that contain hormones, and other experts simply blame it on our body weight.
"Girls are heavier. They are making more fat, peripheral fat makes more estrogen, and the total body making more estrogen," said Dr. Naomi Bloomfield, OB/GYN, CCP.
Young girls can expect their cycle to be irregular for a while.
"Often times, periods are irregular in the first and second year because ovulation hasn't been established," said Dr. Bloomfield.
It may take years for a cycle to become regular.
So, when does your daughter need an appointment with a specialist or an OB/GYN? The experts say unless there is a problem, you can wait. There are two reasons to have your daughter see one: leaving for college or being sexually active.
Another reason to see a gynecologist is if she is experiencing heavy bleeding or discomfort.
"Pain, called dysmenorrhoea, pain with their period or if they didn't get a period or worried about anything they can come in. The current pap smear guidelines are you are supposed to have your first pap smear at age 21, or three years after the onset of your fist intercourse," said Dr. Bloomfield.
Your first gynecological appointment does not always include a pelvic exam.
"We don't always do a pelvic exam if girl is not sexually active. Often times we do an ultra sound, listen to heart and lungs. I always teach them how to do a proper breast exam," said Dr. Bloomfied.