I started my period last August (at 14 years old), but I haven’t had a period for the last 6 months. I am not sexually active, but I have some of the symptoms in your guide on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Should I be concerned?

Thank you for your question. In young women, it’s totally normal to have fewer periods per year, especially for the first 2-3 years after starting your period. In the first year, most girls will have at least 4 periods; the second year, at least 6 periods; and 3-5th year, at least 8 periods. Most adult women experience roughly 9-12 periods per year (roughly 1 per month).  A typical period should last between 3 to 7 days. While you may have only 4 periods in the first year, skipping your period for 6 months is unusual, and you should talk with your health care provider (HCP) to discuss your concerns and any questions about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women  and is caused by an imbalance of hormones (chemical messengers) in your brain and ovaries. Some symptoms of PCOS include weight gain or trouble losing weight, acne, dark patches of skin on the back of neck or other areas, extra hair growth on the face or on different parts of the body.  PCOS can be treated with medications such as  the birth control pills (helps regulate periods) and healthy  lifestyle changes (such as healthy eating and  exercise).