Find Out How The Age At Which You Get Periods, Affects You.
- IWB Post
- August 7, 2015
Menstruation, better known as periods, is a woman’s body’s biological license that makes her capable of reproduction. People often call it as a girl’s transition into a woman, but did they tell you that the age at which this transition occurs is something to ponder upon too?
These facts about menarche, (the age at which a girl begins menstruating) are something that you should certainly know!
- The average age of menarche in the mid-19th century was higher because girls were often undernourished. Lower body fat meant puberty was delayed—the body’s way of saying it wasn’t prepared to carry a child yet. This all changed in the 20th century. As more fat was introduced into girls’ diet, the body responded by initiating puberty earlier.
- A larger BMI is associated with a higher level of the hormone leptin, which tells the body you have enough energy reserves to engage in this pursuit called puberty. Thus, women with extremely high BMIs for their age may start puberty as young as 7 years old, and in turn, get their period before age 11—increasing their risk for a host of psychological, social, and health issues.
- Going through puberty before age 11 has been linked to a host of psychological and social challenges—from depression to eating disorders. Early menarche can mean being forced to grow up before one’s mind, and decision-making abilities, are ready.
- Research has shown that, as a group, women who go through menarche early also achieve lower levels of education, and exhibit more high-risk social behaviors such as smoking, drinking, using drugs, and having unprotected sex, which can bring on its own set of problems. These trends suggest that what happens to a girl’s body at age 7—thanks to circumstances beyond her control—could affect her for the rest of her life.
- On top of the psychological and social challenges, getting your period young is associated with a slew of health risks. Notably, research suggests that women go through menarche early are more likely to develop breast cancer,diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The cancer risk may boil down to being exposed to estrogen for a longer period of time, as well as developing breast tissue sooner.
I’m sure none of us ever seriously paid much heed to menarche; many of us might even have forgotten the age when we entered this cycle. But these facts adequately inform us that menarche is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
What can be and should be done is, balancing and keeping a check on childhood obesity and refraining from unhealthy diets. To battle the social and psychological challenges that come along with early puberty, the family must exercise parenting with extra care and love.