ZocdocAnswersWhen is a woman of a child-bearing age?

Question

When is a woman of a child-bearing age?

My daughter is 16 which I guess is considered child-bearing age but she still hasn't gotten her period so she can't have children. Is she of child-bearing age afte rall?

Answer

You are correct, that since your daughter has not started having periods, that technically she cannot get pregnant yet. Child bearing age is just a term to describe when women are typically fertile. However, they must first start having periods before they can be considered to be fertile. This is because women cannot get pregnant until they begin ovulating. Ovulation does not occur until the cycle starts. Since you daughter is 16, and she has not had her period yet, then she is close to being considered delayed (we call this primary amenorrhea). If your daughter does not have any secondary sexual characteristics (such as breast development), then she is already considered to be delayed. A common cause of primary amenorrhea is low body weight. If your daughter is an athlete that trains hard 4-5 days per week (examples: gymnast, cross country runner), then her periods will be delayed until she puts on some weight. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your daughter's primary care physician (pediatrician or family doctor). The 3 of you can discuss your daughter's amenorrhea and determine if any testing should be done. If your daughter does have some other signs of development, then likely your doctor will want to wait until a year from now before initiating any additional testing

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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