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This site is designed to support and expand the Hillendale Health Curriculum.

Learning about how your body grows and develops and how to take care of your body is an important part of Hillendale Health class. The following information deals with the changes that occur to a girl's body especially the reproductive system as girls go through puberty. Find information by reading the information below or click on the contents button to look for answers to specific questions.

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Female Reproductive System

What does it mean if I skip my period?

Many young women have very irregular periods the first couple years of menstruating--even skipping some months. It seems to take a few years for the menstrual cycle to fine tune itself.

In addition young women don't always ovulate every month when they first get their periods. There's no sure way for a young woman to know which month she is ovulating and which she is not. So, from the time her periods begin, a young woman should assume she can get pregnant each and every month, even if her periods are irregular.


Menstrual Cycle



Eventually, periods become regular, but even when they do, a missed or late period once a year--especially at a stressful time--is considered normal.

Also, just as prolonged strenuous exercise and eating disorders can delay the onset of menstruation, they can also cause previously regular menstrual cycles to become irregular or stop completely.

Do women get moody when they have period?

Some young women feel it coming days before they get it. Others are hardly aware they have it. Friends who compare notes about their periods will probably find that menstruation--the monthly shedding of the lining of the uterus, or womb-affects each of them a little differently, both physically and emotionally.

"The menstrual cycle has its ups and downs of hormones, and different people react differently to hormonal swings," says Lisa Rarick, M.D., a gynecologist in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She explains that just before and during menstruation, levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are low. That's when some women feel bloated, irritable or blue, or "just crummy," she says. "Just crummy" might mean cramps, sore breasts, backache, headache, nausea, and feeling tired. "A day or two after your period starts you begin to feel better. Hormone levels go back on the upswing and you get back to what you're accustomed to during the rest of your cycle," Rarick explains.

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Puberty | Contents | Glossary | Phys Ed | Health | Site Map | Index | Being Born

Male Reproductive System | Female Reproductive System | Review