Published in Point
The average girl goes through puberty between the ages of 10 and 14. “If a dancer hasn’t had her period by 16, there is a concern,” says Dr. Selina Shah, a Bay Area sports and dance medicine specialist. “There may be an underlying medical problem with another hormonal system, like the thyroid. But most commonly, the cause tends to be undernutrition.”
Pre-professional students often have intense training schedules and burn more calories than their less active peers. If you’re not consuming enough calories to offset how much you are burning, the hormone that activates your menstrual cycle can’t be released. This energy deficiency can also affect your ability to build bone density. “The years to build bone mass and prevent both osteoporosis and stress fractures happens before age 22,” says Shah.