Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Slow Development Can Be Agonizing, But Not Always A Problem

Dear Tazi:

I am hoping you can help me; I don’t know where to turn with my embarrassing problem. I am sixteen and have not started my period yet. All of my friends got theirs when they were twelve or thirteen, and regularly complain about it, so I guess I should feel lucky, but I don’t. I actually feel a little creeped out, like something is wrong with me.

I get a physical every year, and I am always embarrassed when the nurse asks when my last period was and I have to tell her that I have not gotten it yet. She will smile, tell me I am “lucky”, and not to worry that I will get it soon enough. The doctor tells me that it is unusual but not abnormal not to start my period by my age, and has told me that some girls don’t start until they are seventeen, and in rare cases even older.

Nobody my doctor’s office and my Mom know that I haven’t got my period yet. My friends all think I have because I carry around supplies in my purse in order to fool people (and because I want to be prepared for when it does finally happen). I would like to make an appointment with a gynecologist, just to make sure everything is OK, but my mother thinks this is not necessary. I am not having sex – yet – but my boyfriend is pushing me in that direction, and I am afraid that I will get pregnant and not know about it since a lack of a period would not be anything out of the ordinary. I am,

Feeling Like A Little Kid

Dear Feeling Like A Little Kid:

While sixteen is a little older to not have started your monthly cycle, it is not unheard of; the doctor is not worried, which should mean that you are otherwise developing on schedule. Since you are not comfortable with this doctor’s assessment, I suggest you seek a second opinion. Do not ask, but TELL your mother that you would like to see a gynecologist for a second opinion. Once your mother understands how this issue is affecting your mental health she will be more likely to oblige your request. You might simply be slow to develop in this area or there might be something wrong that can be fixed with a boost of hormone replacement. Hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease) can be the cause of your problem, even if no other symptoms are present.

You wrote that your boyfriend is “pushing you” in the direction of having sex. This turn of phrase leaves me concerned. A person who is ready and willing to participate in something does not need to be “pushed”. If you are not ready for this type of physical commitment you must let your boyfriend know that. A man worthy of your affections will understand and respect your decision. You do not say how long you have been together, but you may want to reveal your secret to him, in confidence, so he can better understand your side of things. If you are not comfortable doing this, that is fine, too, but what is not fine is allowing him to pressure you into having sex.

You are not a little kid, even though you may feel like one. You are well on your way to becoming a mature adult, and asserting yourself in order to see that your needs are met is one way that you can make certain that others see you as the adult you are becoming, and not as a little kid that they can push around.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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