30 answers

18 Year Old Hasn't Started Her Periods

Hello ladies! When my daughter hadn't started her periods by age 16 we called the Dr. and got told not to worry about it at all until she was 18, so we didn't. In all other ways she is developing normally, just no mentruation. Yesterday at school she was called to the nurses off ice for a consult. Apparently someone (we don't know who, and the nurse wouldn't say because of confidentiality)had reported that my daughter hadn't started her periods yet. The nurse took a quick look at her and said she seemed to be normal, it must just be that she was born without ovaries, and she won't be able to have children. Now, that had ocurred to us, but until seeing a Dr. we were hesitant to put it so bluntly. I have called the Dr. for an appt. but can't get in for 2 weeks (military healthcare). My daughter is really upset about what might be wrong with her, and despite all my reassurances is still crying every five minutes. I wondered if any of you had any words of wisdom that I could pass along until we see the Dr. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

By the way, she is not overly active, just a bit more than other kids her age, she does things like walk the dogs every night, and is involved in JROTC, which includes fitness.

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I am outraged at the school nurses COMPLETELY inappropriate behavior. I would suggest that you report her.
She is neither trained to make this sort of diagnosis nor has she given your daughter any of the appropriate examinations for such a determination. And she obviously has a terrible bedside manner.

If your daughter is physically developed in an age appropriate way, it is very unlikely that she doesn't have any ovaries. A womans ovaries produce many of the hormones for female puberty and are necessary for physical developments such as growing breasts.

You daughter should get into the care of an OB/GYN and get evaluated.
One of the things I would like to mention though, if your daughter is very skinny (whether she does sports or not is irrelevant) her missing period might just be related to a low body weight, the same would be true if she was obese, as that can cause hormonal imbalances as well.
Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

I would tell her the nurse isn't qualified to make that kind of a diagnosis and was way off base. It is perfectly normal to start late. I was 15 1/2 when I finally did. For the few years before I did, all my friends were getting theres and I didn't understand why I didn't have mine and wished I would get it. Well I'm sure we all feel this way, once I got it I wished it would go away! Tell her to enjoy it while she can and the doctor will straighten everything out. You could try calling each day to see if something opens up from a cancellation.

As for the nurse, I would absolutely report her to the principal, maybe even the district. She had no right to make an assumption like that. She has no clue if your daughter has her overies or not. I can not believe she would make a comment like that to ANYONE. She has no business being a nurse, especially for kids if that is how she is going to treat them. Even once your daughter is ok from the doctor visit, she will remember that nurse for the rest of her life. It's just wrong and she needs to be fired for scaring your daughter that way. I bet the principal will find out who told the nurse and take appropriate actions with all.

4 moms found this helpful

I agree that the nurse was completely inappropriate.....as was the other student. The whole conversation was actually completely in violation of federal HIPPA privacy policies (between the nurse and the other student).

A school nurse has no way of knowing that your daughter was born without ovaries. That's just an assumption. The only way to tell would be with diagnostic imaging.

I was a gymnast and had completely irregular periods, but I started before my 13th birthday.

You should make an appointment with an OB/GYN for verification and to find out if there is a hormonal abnormality or something congenital that is preventing her periods from starting at this age.

4 moms found this helpful

I find that the nurses actions were completely inappropriate!!! I think that she needs to be reported to the principal and school board. She has absolutely nothing to back up her statement and has obviously caused distress to your daughter! I would just reassure your daughter that the nurse has no way to know for sure and that only the doctor will be able to give her anything positive. Remind her that even if she will be unable to conceive, that doesn't mean that she cannot be an amazing mother to a child someday. God only gives us what we can handle, and maybe she is meant to make a difference with a child who is not biologically hers. I am so sorry to hear about how this happened and hope that all turns out well.

4 moms found this helpful

If she were extremely physically fit and active, had very little body fat and/or had a really low Body Mass Index (like under 18), she might not have periods (primary amenorrhoea - period never started). Girls who are anorexic can have this problem. But I don't think her doctor or the school nurse would be saying she's perfectly healthy if she looked like she was starving. Try to ignore what the nurse said (or speak with a school administrator about her lack of sensitivity). She might have a little more medical knowledge than your average person on the street, but her bedside manner could stand a whole lot of improvement. The doctors appointment and any tests they do should be able to tell you what is going on. It's hard, but worrying isn't going to change anything.

3 moms found this helpful

I started at 17, after I stopped running track and cross-country. JROTC has some pretty intense workouts. Once I started I was very regular, and have had no problems. I can guess almost to the day when I will start each month. Also, I have 6 children. There could be something going on, but she could just be starting late because she is active. I would get it checked out, but I would not panic.

3 moms found this helpful

I am one who never had a period until after I was 16, and that was with the aid of medication. I married at 18. By the time I was 20 I wanted to have a baby, so my doctor operated on me to find out why I was not having periods. This was before laproscopic et.al. I had polycytic ovaries (and they didn't yet have a name for it) My uterus was undersized--about the size of an 11 yr-old, so it was assumed I might have contracted an infection of some sort that caused this. He recommended adoption. We proceeded to adopt a baby girl, but when she was 1 month old, I got pregnant. I had a 6 lb 8 oz baby girl, and in less than 2 years later had another one, a girl. So I had 3 girls, and everything inside me was normal! Pregnancy apparently healed my ovaries, and my uterus was normal (as a later surgery confirmed). I never had to have any meds and was regular as a clock. Tell your daughter that nurse was stupid, and doctors sometimes don't even know everything! She will have what God intends for her to have.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm completely horrified by the callous way the school nurse spoke to your daughter. Her behavior was completely unacceptable and I feel strongly that you should report her to the principal and the school board as mentioned in a previous post. She did not do any sort of internal examination, there was no ultrasound performed, etc so she has no real basis for making the assumption that your daughter has no ovaries and will be unable to have kids. That was just an awful and uninformed thing to say to a high schooler.

Women mature at different times. I got my period at 12 and my younger sister didn't get hers until she was 17. My best friend was almost 19 before she started her period and she is completely normal. Maybe there are other factors involved in your daughter's lack of menstruation. If she's athletic, very slender, or very overweight it can delay menstruation. It could also be something like a thryoid condition which is easily treatable with medication. If she's hard on herself about school and grades, it could be something as simple as stress. Anyhow, I just thought I might offer some thoughts as to what it could be related to so that maybe you can calm your daughter's fears while you wait for an appointment. More than likely she is completely fine and this has all been blown out of proportion. Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful

Dear S.:

I'm really sorry your daughter has learned about a possible problem from a nurse with NO idea of a bedside manner!!!

If my daughter was in this situation I think I'd start with first telling her that the nurse is NOT a doctor and had no business saying what she did. Let her know that only doctors make diagnoses.

Be there for your daughter, spend lots of time with her and keep her busy while waiting for the doctor appointment.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

P.S. After reading the other posts I also want to urge you to report the nurse. Teenagers can be emotionally fragile people. They do NOT need a person like that nurse anywhere near them!!

3 moms found this helpful

"Without ovaries, you will develop as a female but never undergo puberty." Ovaries produce estrogen, which is needed for breast development.

This may also be helpful:

As she has all other signs of puberty, it is likely that there is some kind of hormonal problem that can be fixed.

And I would definitely report that nurse!!!

3 moms found this helpful

First of all, I would call the principal of the school and complain about the nurse. She had no business offering a diagnosis. She was way out of line and was very thoughtless to not consider how her comment may affect your daughter. And when is it someone's else business if your daughter has started her cycle or not? I would tell your daughter there is no way a nurse could tell if she had ovaries or not and to not jump to conclusions that the nurse was correct. Everyone is different and our bodies do not develop the same way.

2 moms found this helpful

I would call the nurse and ask her not to repeat what she said to another child in the calmest voice you can possibly use. Sometimes girls start their periods late because of development, hormone levels that there is medicine for or they could be very thin. I am not a doctor so there probably is a longer list.

I wasn't able to have kids the regular way. I adopted my babies. I have the best two kids and cannot imagine my life without them.

I am very sorry your daughter heard news that may not even be true this way.

2 moms found this helpful

I was a late bloomer in everything. I was 17 1/2 before I got my period. I came from a family of women that had female problems. My Mom had scar tissue on her uterus/ovaries and my Grandma had to have a hysterectomy due to problems. My Mom had 3 children and later had to have a hysterectomy. I later had benign (no cancer) tumors and had them removed. Due to the surgery they found that I didn’t have a left ovary and only ½ of a right ovary. I was told that you only need ¼ of a working ovary to get pregnant. I had my baby boy at 34 and later had to have a hysterectomy due to reoccurring tumors on what was left of my right ovary. I don’t want to scare you but I just want you to know that it is possible to have children as long as she has some ovary. I hope that you hear good news when she see the doctor. Let her know that she is not alone and other women had been late bloomers as well.

2 moms found this helpful

I feel so bad for the worry that your family is going thru. And it is great that you have doctor's visit scheduled. Hopefully a simple ultrasound will answer the question and you can move on from there.

1. Low body fat can delay/stop menstruation
2. Healthy eating; especially avoiding hormone ridden foods (milk & meat) can delay menstruation.
3. Ovaries release ovum but also support hormone shifts from puberty to menopause. Without them, I would think puberty changes might have been absent for your daughter (breasts, hips, hair, etc.).
4. Some people don't ovulate...Ovaries are there but not working. It is a challenge to fertility but not insurmountable. I have a friend with this issue, she didn't get her period until her senior year and to this day gets it only 3-4/year. She had two children w/pretty simply fertlity meds.
5. If your daughter doesn't have ovaries...Is pregnancy for sure not an option? What about hormone therapy plus egg donation?

That nurse -- ARGH. Once you have some answers and a measure of calm, I would schedule a meeting to share your "concerns" about the nurse's intrusive and emotionally abusive approach not to mention, her complete lack of expertise to throw around medical diagnoses. Sheesh!

2 moms found this helpful

I would go in and have a talk with the school nurse and explain to her how inappropriate her actions were and also report her to the school board. She claimed confidentiality but what about the privacy of your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful

I understand the concern the anonymous person who confided in the nurse may have had and why they talked to the nurse. And I, from a completely objective point of view, can understand why the nurse would talk to your daughter about it, seeing as how she is 18. BUT (and this is a big one) she should never have offered any kind of diagnosis, period, end of discussion, and you are well within your rights to report her. She has caused your daughter much unneeded worry and stress, and whether she meant well or not, she was in the wrong.

As for your daughter, my heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. The best words of encouragement I can offer is that this too shall pass. No matter what the outcome of the doctor visit is, she is still a vibrant, beautiful young woman with a full life ahead of her. Her life will still go on, she will still be able to fulfill her dreams. Granted, depending on the outcome, the path to fulfilling those dreams may change a little bit, she can still have a family and children. Just remind her that she is loved and adored and that you are by her side to support and encourage her. No matter what.

I sincerely hope that everything turns out okay with your daughter and her visit to the doctor and I will keep you both in my prayers.

2 moms found this helpful

You might be able to get into planned parentedhood or a similar kind of clinic if you really want to go earlier. 2 weeks doesn't sound like too long to wait unless she is feeling ill. I agree with the others that the school nurse was off base. Unless she performed a pelvic exam there is no way the nurse can make such a diagnosis! Even then, it would, as others have noted, have to be followed up with imaging. If you find that she is moody (present circumstances aside), overly tired, overweight or anything like that, it could be a thyroid problem. If you don't get any answers, be sure to insist that they do a thyroid test. My sister was delayed getting her period and was acting really weird- one doctor tested her for drugs because he thought she was high. It turned out she had hypo thyroidism because of a diseased thyroid. Once she started taking synthetic thyroid meds she normalized and started her cycles. I think she was 17.

2 moms found this helpful

I started late, 17, I have three boys all of which I had over the age of 35 and all is well. there are many reasons that could cause you not to have a menstruation. I'm not defending the nurse's actions but you might want to talk to her about her choice of action, and let her know how it upset your daughter so terribly, and then get her to help fix this problem that she created when she inappropriately diagnosed your daughter. I do agree that some school nurses really just don't know what they are doing sometimes but she does need to know the repercussions of her actions, in my opinion she had no business discussing this issue with your daughter unless your daughter went to her. if she is a good nurse that just made a bad mistake she will learn from this experience.

2 moms found this helpful

I can't believe the nurse would say that to her and without you present!

When I was in high school my best friend never started her period. The Dr put her on some type of meds that would cause her to menstruate but after awhile she got tired of having periods (don't we all). She quit taking her meds and claimed it was just a means of birth control for her. I urged her to continue the medication. I mean God gave women menstruation for a reason, right?

Well she is normal in every way but now that she is 28 she is learning she should have stayed on the medication. She has been trying to have a baby for over 5 yr.

It doesn't mean this will happen to your daughter but if it's upsetting her I would definitely take her to a gynecologist for some testing. Get to the bottom of things so she will be informed from a professional and it may give her some reassurance.

2 moms found this helpful

As many say:
- It was inappropriate from the nurse to accept talking about your daughter with another student (violation of privacy)
- It was inappropriate from the nurse to diagnose your daughter without a proper examination. And this particular diagnostic seem quite wrong.
- It was inappropriate from the nurse to tell your daughter she wouldn't be able to have children. And also not correct.

If you decide not to report her, you should at least talk to her so she doesn't do the same to other girls at an age and on a subject they are very sensitive about.

I had my first periods at 17 1/2 and I am completely normal, with 2 beautiful kids and problem-free pregnancies

1 mom found this helpful

First the nurse was completely out of line. Second whoever reported it to the nurse was either jealous or just trying to embarass your daughter.

One way to think of it is to think of all the summer plans that didn't have to get cancelled because of her monthly visitor!! All the times she didn't have to remember to take supplies with her, 'just in case'. I got my cycle when I was 12. I am now 35 and I cannot tell you how many months I would pray for menopause!

There is a reason this is happening, and only a dr. with the help of a ultrasound can give you the right answers.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am not sure that you should worry at this point. Not until you have more tests done. My cousin didn't start her period until she was 24. (she has no known mental or physical deformities)She had test after test done. Nothing ever came out of it. They figured that she wouldn't ever have a period or children. They put everything on the back burner. Then one day out of the blue she started. There was no explanation or cause. The doctor said although this is not common it is also not uncommon. She also went on to have not just 1 child but 4. But once again she didn't get pregnant until her mid thirties. No explanation just a long waiting process. So, don't give up hope before going through the whole process. And finally, I don't know about you but it is absolutely NONE of that school nurses business to go poking into a private matter such as your without your consent. And furthermore to scare and upset her the way she has. I would bring that to the attention of the school administrator. Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

My number l questionis what right did the school nurse have to even say that to her? And what right did the person that told her about it have to say anything about it? Just reassure her that theres is no need to be upset and maybe its nothing to worry about till you talk to the Dr. the school nurse was totally wrong in my opinion. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't read thru all your responses so far, but is there any chance that your daughter has an eating disorder? Sometimes the girls are able to hide it really well, but lack of nutrition can be a cause of lack of menstruation...
Just a thought.

1 mom found this helpful

I would be so upset with the nurse! But I realize that the damage is done and that is another issue. If your daughter is developing normally then she probably has ovaries. I assume you mean breast developement, hair growth etc. I had premature ovarian failure and was told I didn't have any more eggs and wouldn't be able to have any children. I was in my 20's when this happened. I was able at 33 to have donor egg invitro and have twin boys. There are so many options out there for the treatment of infertility and by the time your daughter is ready to have children there will be even more options. Not to malign your daughter's school nurse but she really doesn't know what she is talking about. You can't make that kind of diagnosis without the proper tests.[

I just read the other answers and I have to say you can definitly tell we are all moms. We all want to hang the nurse! Good Luck and my prayers are with you.

1 mom found this helpful

I would get on the phone with the Principal of this school and see what you can do to get this nurse fired. What a horrible thing to do to a young woman! If she had such concerns, she should have called you first. If you don't get any satisfaction and letter to the superindendant of the school system wouldn't be a bad idea.

The doctor's appt will be great to determine what is going on. Just continue to assure here that the nurse made those assumptions based on no medical information. That is what the tests will determine.

1 mom found this helpful

I would be absolutely livid with the school nurse for overstepping her bounds and getting involved where she had absolutely no business. I would be at that school frothing at the mouth and chopping off heads.

In the meantime I would get your daughter in as soon as possible to see a doctor. I think the first doctor who said not to worry until she was 18 was off his rocker. I would not be going back to the same doc, that is for certain.


1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry you and your daughter are having to go through this...I will pray that the answers come and everything will be fine. What really bothers me is that the school nurse took it upon herself to have this discussion with your daughter w/o your knowledge. I realize she's 18 and considered an adult, but this was information that should have been given with you present, or preferably not at all as it was not her place. She is not a diagnostician. I would definitely take her to a GYN and not a family doctor.
Just encourage her that no matter what, you will be there for her and her life will be beautiful...unfortunately she is having a harsh taste of pain life can deal us all early on, but impress upon her that this will make her a stronger person if she will stay focused on the positive things in her life. (I know, easier said than done...) Best wishes to you both---

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

First off, let me start by saying “there is nothing wrong with your daughter” and I can completely relate to what she is going threw. Currently, I am 37 years old and the proud mother of a wonderful healthy and very active 11-year-old boy.

From the time I was 9 y/o until now, I have had a total of, 5 maybe 6 periods total. My first was at 9 and it lasted all of a half day, the second was when I was 17, just after having a D&C - compliments of the US ARMY while on Active duty. My other 3 to 4 was all medically induces and I must say was more painful than labor pains.

I have always been a very physically active person (and still is) and have been seen by so many different Specialist, been on countless medications, and had numerous painful procedures, during my 12 years of active duty, that I my medical ID number was "flagged" with a special medical code. My husband (who is 2 years away from retirement from the Navy) fears my Medical history will turn me into a "Science Experiment" if we choose to change from TriCare to a civilian insurance company and their doctors.

Over the years, I have done extensive research as well as spoken to almost every child bearing woman in my family to get a better understanding of what was going on with me. The best answer I got came from a female GYN Major at Brooke Army Medical Center that sat me down and said to me “This is the way you were made and for some God given reason you defy all medical logic.” I’ve also found out that I am not alone. There are five other women in my family with the same history as well as countless fellow soldiers, many whom are currently on active duty.

There are some things that science can explain and there are many it cannot, this is one of the many. I ask this of you, before you subject your lovely daughter to any Gynecological procedure; please have her estrogen and progesterone levels check. If this was done for me over 20 years ago, I know I would not have been subjected to so many painful tests.

1 mom found this helpful

Is she a gymnast or in track or really really active?

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