All About Your Period and Other Body Blunders

Wondering what’s up with that hair growing … where!?! Ew, are those (gulp) stretch marks? And why is your period so darn unpredictable? Stop scratching your head and keep reading as we clear up some of the confusion.

“I got my first period (finally) and then … nothing. It’s been about three months, and I haven’t gotten it again. Is this normal?”

It’s not unusual at all for your period to “sputter” after making its first appearance. For some girls, it just takes time for their bodies to adjust and get into a rhythm. If you don’t menstruate again at the one-year mark, ask a parent to make you an appointment with a gynecologist. Your body gave you a little preview of what’s to come, but your menstrual cycle should fall into a regular pattern as puberty progresses. If you’re an older teen, around 16 or 17, see your doc now to make sure something isn’t delaying your development. But many girls are simply late-bloomers, and that’s not a bad thing.

“Some hairs have suddenly sprouted, um, around my nipples. I haven’t told anyone about this. Help, please!”

Surprise! During puberty, you will begin to grow hair in places you’ve never had it before, particularly under the arms and in the pubic area. And, yes, some girls sprout a few around their boobs, so don’t be freaked. This might go away as your hormones settle down, but it could be ongoing. Still, it’s no biggie, especially if the hair is fine in texture and light in color. But if it’s dark and coarse -- and really bothers you -- talk to your mom or other mature female relative about bleaching or using an over-the-counter depilatory. If “some hair” means a whole bunch, show your doctor so he can check for a hormonal imbalance.

“I’ve noticed some red lines around my hips. I think they might be stretch marks -- and they’re ugly! What should I do?”

Yep, those sound like stretch marks -- but don’t distress. Lots of girls (and guys) develop stretch marks during spurts when the skin just can’t keep up with the rest of the body’s growth. First, the bad news: There’s absolutely nothing you can do about them. But the good news is this: They will naturally fade over time from that standout purplish-red color to a much less noticeable translucent hue that’s closer to your skin tone. Stretch marks, just like irregular periods and unwanted hair growth, are a fact of life for many girls. Don’t dwell on slight imperfections -- instead, embrace all your beautiful attributes!