I was about thirteen and a half when I first got my period. I was a messy combination of excited, nervous and scared. In the years after, I came to dread my period. It was random and always very heavy, to the point I had to use various mixes of period products. I was suffering the entire day and because of the cramps, I just wanted to go home from school and lay down for a while.
They got regular when I was fifteen. They were still pretty heavy, but not quite as bad as before. Then, around May of last year, they just stopped. I was so happy. School and friend problems were already stressing me out and this was now one less thing I had to worry about.
I didn’t even realize what was happening until August of this year. Tracking my current period, I discovered huge nine-month and five-month gaps between my periods. It was a terrifying thing to realize because I knew I wasn’t pregnant and I didn’t have any other issues I knew about. So, as one does, I soon scoured WebMD and Mayo Clinic for answers. That probably wasn’t the best idea on my part, because I couldn’t find a single explanation as to why this was happening. I had a doctor’s appointment coming up, so I thought it best to leave the official diagnosis to the doctor.
She had no idea either. All of the blood tests she ran came back negative. I was soon recommended to a gynecologist, who also couldn’t think of anything either. Her only guess was my rapid weight gain, which didn’t really have an explanation either since I never changed my diet drastically.
I don’t know what is happening to me and I just wish I had some definitive answers.
It’s isolating to not have my period. There’s no disputing that having your period is an important aspect of female culture (even if that view is trans-exclusive). About a fourth of my friends’ conversations are about periods. Whether it’s the preference of pads or tampons, or how Aunt Flo comes at the worst possible time, it seems that there is almost always something to say about menstruation. I already feel like such an outsider, being a closeted lesbian with multiple mental health issues, that this just seems like one more kick in the gut to my life.
When I am brave enough to tell someone my problem, they say, “Oh my God, you’re so lucky.” I’m the opposite of lucky. In fact, irregular and missed periods may increase my risk of ovarian cancer when I get older. I feel isolated and scared. My gynecologist said that it’s not that rare for teenagers to miss their periods, but it needs to be talked about more. I think I would be less worried if I knew someone who is having the same problem and I hope that anyone else with this issue knows that they aren’t alone.