Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Beginning of Menstruation

Question: What are the signs that a period is about to start? I want to know because I think mine might start soon. I haven't had cramps and brown gel like stuff is coming out of me ? If these are symptoms in about how many days will it start, I just want a estimate. - Amaris

Answer: Dear Amaris,
The menarche, or beginning of menstruation, can be associated with all the symptoms you are describing or can come completely without forewarned symptoms. EVERYONE is different!

You didn't mention how old you were. These days, menstruation can occur as early as 8 or 9 and as late as 18 or even older!

Genetics has a great deal to do with the timing (age) and also the severity of cramps, length of periods and when menopause will start.

Menstruation is the process by which hormones help shed the uterine lining if fertilization has not occurred. This shedding occurs in order to get ready for the next cycle, again preparing the uterus for the implantation of a fertilized egg. All this is regulated by a special area in the brain which controls the hormones responsible for the female reproductive system and it's cycles.

Now that you know a little about what happens during the menstrual cycle, you can understand why it may appear that you are about to begin your period. Because I am unable to predict (I don't think anyone really can) if this is really your period, discuss it with your mother or someone you feel comfortable with. By all means, get professional help and advice if in doubt.

Dr. Betti

Also see:

  • Plantar's warts
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions
  • Recently asked questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.