An Early Period Often Means More Dating And Behavior Problems
Let’s finish on something that will be easily evident to anybody who ever went to junior high. The earlier you get your period and start developing breasts and pubic hair, the earlier you’re likely to start dating and having sex, according to researchers. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And unsurprisingly, the information came from a survey of 15-to-19-year-old girls at American high schools. It makes perfect sense: “Blossoming” means both more attention from potential mates and more interest in them yourself.
Unfortunately â but also obviously, alas â girls who’d experienced radically early puberty also reported higher levels of bullying, ostracism, depression, and socially aggressive behavior, according to the University of Michigan. They’re also more likely to develop substance abuse problems later in life. Part of that is easily explained: They’re badly treated because they’re different. Breasts that will become status symbols later are targets when you’re 13.
The study that initially tracked the behavior problems speculated that the reason for this was a combination of factors. Societal pressure plus a cocktail of sexuality steroids creates more hyperactivity and aggression. Altogether, not fun.
Either way, it looks like the later you got your menarche, the better off you are health-wise â but that early birds got a societal advantage by learning the ropes of dating and sexuality sooner. So perhaps it’s a trade-off after all.
Whats The Connection Between Puberty And Breast Development
Some girls may notice breast buds only a year after their first periods. Others may not begin developing breasts for three to four years after beginning menstruation.
The buds may not appear at the same time, but they usually appear within six months of one another.
When Will I Get My First Period Its A Question On A Lot Of Girls Minds
Starting your period is a big sign that youâre growing up.
And trying to figure out when itâs going to happen can make you anxious, which is perfectly understandable.
Hereâs the bad news. There is no way to know exactly when youâll get your first period.
But knowing generally when girls get their period can give you some guidance!
At what age do girls get their period?
Most girls get their period somewhere between the age of 10 and 16, with the majority being around 12 years old. However – keep in mind that these are just estimates.
It is totally normal if you get your period earlier or later than your friends.
Ask your mom or older sister when they got their first period. This can provide another general indication of when you may get yours.
If you havenât started your period by age 16, you may want to consult a doctor.
What are the signs my period is coming?
There are a few changes your body will go through before starting your period. While not an exact answer to the question when will my period start, they can provide a really good clue that your period might be just around the corner.
Here are the physical changes that happen before you get your first period:
- You start growing breasts buds, little berry-sized mounds under your nipples
- You start growing pubic hair
- You start getting vaginal discharge â a clear or milky liquid that you notice on your knickers
Can I make my period come sooner or later?
How can I prepare for my period?
Recommended Reading: What Happens If You Miss Your Period
Periods And Additional Needs
Periods can be especially challenging for young people with additional needs and their parents. If your child has moderate to severe intellectual disability, they might not understand why theyre experiencing changes to their body and mood.
Your child still needs to know about periods and the menstrual cycle at a level they can understand. Your GP, or other health professionals involved in your childs care, can recommend resources you can use with your child, like books and visual aids. You could also speak to your childs school about support.
Research Suggests Certain Parenting Styles May Trigger Early Menstruation
The following is a guest post by my good friend, fellow Tar Heel and researcher Patty Kuo. She is currently a developmental psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, where her research interests include hormonal and neural correlates of parental care, and how the interrelationships in families affect parent-child relationships.
I got my period when I was 11. Though the thought of a sixth grader becoming physically able to get pregnant is the stuff of most parents’ nightmares, it’s not as uncommon as you might think. The national average age for a girl to get her first period is 12, and girls can start as early as age 8. Why so young? No one would argue that an 11-year-old is emotionally capable of raising a child. Why would female biology be seemingly so far ahead of psychology when it comes to sexual maturity?
Recent controversy surrounding this topic tags a fatty and preservative-laden diet as the culprit. But a growing mound of research points to some surprising social and evolutionary influences on the timing of a girl’s first period, namely parental care.
One of the most popular evolutionary theories on menarche explores the various emotional and developmental effects of parental care. When parental care is inconsistent, less sensitive, and more emotionally negative, children will develop insecure attachments and opportunistic mating strategies. This, researchers argue, translates to earlier onset of puberty and menarche .
You May Like: Why Do Periods Hurt So Bad
What Age Do Girls Start Their Period And Why Is It Getting Earlier
When do most girls get their period? The average age for girls to get their first menstrual cycle has been steadily dropping over the years. In 1928, the average age for American girls to get their period was 13.9. In the 1950s and 60s, this number dropped to 13.5, then to 12.8 in the 1970s. Today, the average age to get your period sits at around 12.5 years old.
This might not seem like a huge jump, but its still a steady decline that should be noted, especially when there are girls getting their period as young as 7 or 8 known as precocious puberty. Sounds crazy to me, but this happens to about 15% of girls today. I could barely comprehend what a pad or tampon was at the age of 13, let alone 7. I set out to find out why exactly this is happening because hello, Im curious, and I know you are too .
While I found no definitive answers, scientists have identified a few key reasons why the onset of premature puberty in girls is happening at a younger age. Im going to go over the main reasons.
Period Symptoms And Pain
When your childs period is coming, they might have a range of physical symptoms, including sore breasts, pimples and greasy hair. Your child might also have a sore tummy, feel sick or have diarrhoea.
Period pain and these associated symptoms are common. If your child gets a sore tummy, back or legs before or during their period, your child could try:
- taking pain medication
- putting a hot water bottle on their lower stomach
- walking or other light exercise
- eating smaller meals more often
- resting and relaxing, particularly with their legs elevated, or lying on one side with knees bent
- lightly massaging the lower stomach
- having warm drinks like hot milk or herbal tea.
Very painful periods are common, as are symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. But if your child has period pain that disrupts everyday activities, they should see their GP. Hormone treatments that regulate periods or even turn them off for a while are safe and very effective.
Also Check: How Much Period Bleeding Is Too Much
Signs Your Daughter Is About To Start Her Period
When a young girl hits puberty, some of the classic signs include body hair, a bigger/fuller chest and an increase in sweat. For signs your daughters period may be starting, read the last bit of our most recent blog post, here.
Image via Instagram
So basically – no, there isnt a definitive reason why someone would get their period at 7 years old. I would like to stress that its not unhealthy to get your period at a young age, its more inconvenient, sucky and annoying. However, it does draw some attention to some bigger issues, like obesity, sexual and domestic violence and the environment. The moral of the story here is we need to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and the planet we call home!
For some extra protection when Aunt Flo next comes to town, try out a pair of our teen period panties for comfort and peace of mind.
Kat A Former Clue Intern Shared Her Personal Experience Of Waiting To Get Her First Period Below
“Periods can be frustrating, messy and sometimes downright painful. Nevertheless, I couldnât wait to get mine. When I was nine, my mom taught me about periods, but stressed that I shouldnât expect mine to start any time soon since she had gotten hers later than average. Still, I was determined that that wouldnât be the case for me.
When I was 10, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, looked down, and finally, a little spot of blood! The wait was over! I was a grownup now, ready to tackle anything! I rushed down the hall to tell my mom who gave me a pad with an unconvinced look on her face. That night I was almost too excited to sleep, knowing what I could tell all my friends in the morning. You can imagine my despair when there was not a hint of red to be seen, only a small cut on my upper thigh. False alarm.
Throughout elementary and middle school I had to sit through various puberty talks and was given countless handfuls of pads and tampons from sex ed teachers âjust in case.â I had to watch all of my friends come into school ready to spill the details of where they were and how they felt now that they were âa real woman.â I wasnât as physically mature as they were but I felt absolutely sure that this milestone would make me fit in again. Days, months and years passed. I watched everyone develop, claim that they had âsynced up,â and relate to each otherâs symptoms. I felt excluded.
Let’s support one another.
Recommended Reading: If You Have Irregular Periods Can You Get Pregnant
What Age Is Considered Early For Menopause
If you reach menopause before age 40, that is considered premature menopause, says Faubion. This occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of women, she says.
Experiencing menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so its safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely, says Faubion. Menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.
What Else Affects When A Woman Will Finally Stop Having Menstrual Periods
Researchers continue to explore a number of factors that may influence the timing of menopause.
The level of education a woman has completed is one thing that seems to correlate with menopause timing, says Faubion. Women who have more education tend to go through menopause later, she says.
A study published in January 2020 in JAMA Network Open found that pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of early menopause.
How frequently a woman has sex has also been correlated with early menopause. A study published in January 2020 in Royal Society Open Science found that women who had sex at least once a week were less likely to go through menopause compared with women who had sex less than once a month.
You May Like: How Many Pay Periods In 2021
According To A Survey Conducted In 1994 Half Of All Girls In France Have Already Started Menstruating By Age 13 Menstruation A Key Marker Of Female Puberty Is Beginning Earlier In Life Than It Used To
Most girls in France have their first period between ages 11 and 14, according to data from the Enquête Analyse du comportement sexuel des jeunes , a survey of adolescents sexual development and behaviour conducted in 1994. The survey also found that 6 out of 10 adolescent girls had begun to menstruate at age 12 or 13. At age 13.1, half of all girls in France have already had their period.
What Is Menstruation
Menstruation is a complex process during which your uterus sheds the lining of its inner wall. Every month, your body prepares itself for a possible pregnancy. Getting your period basically means that you are not pregnant.
Throughout the monthly menstrual cycle, your body uses two hormones to thicken your uterine lining. Composed of blood and tissue, it is crucial in assisting with the process of egg fertilization. If you dont become pregnant, your body no longer needs this lining and starts to break it down and expel it through your vagina.
Recommended Reading: Can You Miss A Period On Birth Control
When To See A Doctor
If your daughter doesnt fall within the average age range for puberty and menarche, it could be a sign of other health concerns. Its wise to take her to the doctor if shes experiencing menarche before the age of 11, or if shes displaying any of the following symptoms:
- Delayed menarche
- Lack of breast development by the age of 13
- A gap of four years or more between initial breast growth and menarche
Chemical Cocktails And The New Normal
Most experts, including Steingraber, agree that the early decline in the age of puberty is likely directly attributable to decreased rates of disease and increased nutrition, and the ability of human females to adapt their sexual maturation to environmental cues . This is why it is difficult to speak of a normal age and time for puberty. We are adaptive creatures, so normal is always changeable: dependent upon our environmental conditions.
Implicit in Steingrabers assessment is that this also means that normal rates of puberty development are not necessarily good or healthy either : it is simply an average marker of response to external circumstances which impact internal functions.
Steingraber argues that more recently, particularly in the last several decades, trends in the decline of the onsetof puberty in the United States seem to be responding to stimuli beyond nutrition and general health.
Her report highlights numerous studies which have linked exposure to chemicals in our environment, particularly endocrine-disrupting chemicals , to a plethora of health concerns, such as shortened gestational periods in fetal development, low birth weight babies, higher rates of obesity and poor insulin regulation in the body, which are all risk factors for early puberty. This should make us sit up and take notice, since as Steingraber says, children are exposed continuously to low-level endocrine disruptors in their diets, drinking water and air supply.
Also Check: How To Know When Your Period Is Coming Again