At what age do girls start their menstrual cycle?21 July 2016
Every healthy woman in reproductive age gets their menstrual bleeding once a month. This menstrual bleeding can give an idea about the functionality of reproductive functions. In fact, every girl is born with an ovarian reserve and finish this reserve between puberty and menopause by ovulating once a month. Around the world, teenage girls start their periods between as early as 9 and as late as 15.
Within this context, starting the menstrual cycle before 9 or after 15 is thought as an extraordinary situation. There might be many reasons for girls starting their menstrual cycles sooner or later than expected such as physiological, emotional, genetic and social. Therefore these reasons should be investigated and get treatment if necessary.
In which cases starting the menstrual cycle later than expected is not seen as dangerous?
If getting bigger and harder breasts, hairing in genital area and under armpits and increase in the fat ration in the body can be observed on a teenage girl, it can be wait until the age of 16. This is because, even though menstrual bleeding is the primary sign of puberty, the developments that are given above are considered as secondary. Therefore, it is not disadvantageous for a girl to get their menstrual bleeding at the age of 16 if they are showing the development of secondary signs. However, if a girl is 16 and there is no secondary sign alongside with menstrual bleeding, she immediately should seek advice from a doctor.
In relevance to what does the age of menstrual cycle change?
Even though starting the menstrual cycle varies between 9 to 15 ages, this also varies based on climate, society, social and economic environment and even family. For example, girls in living modern and big cities, warm climates, girls who are visually impaired, living in areas closer to Ecuador and sea level and overweight girls get their menstrual bleedings at an earlier age.
However, in the opposite, it is known that girls who live in rural areas, who has serious nutritional deficiencies, too skinny or too overweight, girls who do heavy exercise and sports usually get their periods later than expected.
Having said that, genetic factors also affect the age of starting menstrual cycles. If there are women who start their periods sooner or later than expected in the family, in this parallel, teenage girls may start their periods sooner or later than expected.
What are the reasons for starting the menstrual cycle too soon?
For the teenage girls start their menstrual cycles earlier than the age of 9 is a sign of something out of ordinary situation. Starting the cycle early may be originated of pathology in a brain therefore releasing the sex hormones early. Aside from this, another pathology that are developed other than brain can also cause early start.
Even though there is no reason to start menstrual cycle before the age of 9 in some cases, tumours in brain, head trauma, meningitis, cyst in the brain can also cause the early menstrual cycle. Also, ovarian cysts and tumours, suprarenal gland problems, using medicine that contains hormonal steroid also cause for a girl to start their menstrual cycle before the age of 9.
What are disadvantages of starting the menstrual cycle at an early age?
For girls start their menstrual cycles earlier or later ages can be an indication of many problems and may cause many sicknesses. Within this context, it is known that epipihyses of the girls who start their menstrual cycle before the age of 9 close earlier, therefore this stop growing height. For this reason, girls who start their menstrual cycle should seek treatment for physiological and psychological support.
What are the reasons for starting the menstrual cycle too late?
For girls to not start their menstrual cycles to the age of 15 is considered as a problem. If the secondary signs of puberty can be observed, it can be waited until the age of 16. But if there are no secondary signs and there is no menstrual bleeding, this may be abnormal. In these cases, there can be problems at the level of the hormones that are released from the pituitary gland in the brain or the hormones in the ovaries.
This is because, for a girl start their menstrual cycle, her pituitary glands, ovaries and uterus should be working normally. However, structural defects, Turner Syndrome, pituitary gland pathologies, open hymen, disorders of vagina, uterus and cervix stall the menstrual cycle. Therefore, for a girl to not start her menstrual cycle sets of alarm bells for an indication of sickness.