In a word, yes.
When girls first get their period, it’s often very irregular. They might have one period, then another two weeks later and then not have one for a couple of months – that’s all very normal and it can take a year or so to settle into a regular pattern.
For a few, their period will be like clockwork from the beginning and for others, irregularity will be with them their entire menstruating life. If irregularity is annoying, doctors will sometimes prescribe the contraceptive pill to help regulate periods as it controls the hormones over a 28-day cycle.
The advantage of knowing your cycle is that you can predict when your period will start, so keeping track is a good idea. Just pop a star or heart in your diary on the first day of every period (that’s Phase 1) and then count the days in between.
Regularity can also be affected by:
- Stress – such as exams, family or relationship issues, even something exciting like going on a holiday
- Extreme weight loss or gain
- Excessive physical activity
- Being pregnant
- Travelling internationally through different time zones
- Shift work
- Smoking and alcohol
- Prolonged or serious illness, including infections
- Medical conditions such as PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or thyroid disorders
- Certain medications
If you’re at all concerned about why your period hasn’t come or if it just keeps on coming, make an appointment to see your doctor and have it checked out.