Menarche is the appearance of your first menstrual period and the onset of menarche is an important age and landmark in a woman’s life. There are several factors that affect the age of menarche and the start of your menstrual cycle like the food you eat, the products you use and your environment.
The average age of menarche has been declining ever since the late 1800s and now, in 2019, it has become increasingly common for girls to start their period at age 10 which is quite shocking!
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons and factors that cause early menarche:
- Diet can be a play a huge impact on menarche and why the age of menarche has reduced. Children with lower nutrient diets tend to enter puberty earlier. Moreover, a diet that has high amounts of dairy, sugar and processed foods can cause premature menarche. Overall our modern diet rich in processed foods, dairy, processed meats, and fast food is disruptive to normal development and aging. Early puberty is in fact, a sign of premature aging!
The timing of your first period could also depend on your genes. In certain cases, genetic abnormalities that trigger the sex hormones can be passed down from your parents to you which could be the cause of early menarche.
There have been several studies conducted that have shown an association between higher childhood BMI and earlier puberty in girls. The excess body fat can alter the level of the hormones insulin, leptin, and oestrogen in the body and this can directly affect the timing of menarche and your menstrual cycle. Also, low amounts of physical activity and exercise may decrease melatonin levels, which can trigger early menarche.
Growing up with stress could be a factor that affects the timing of your first period. Studies conducted have demonstrated that there is a direct link between menarche and how the age of menarche has reduced over the years. Growing up in a stressful environment and accelerate reproductive development. So, meditate or go for a run but try not to stress yourself out too much!
Products we use –
Exposure to chemicals from the products we use daily can also be one of the factors that cause early menarche. Substances such as BPA and phthalates are used in the manufacture of products like plastic cups, bottles and food storage containers. These chemicals can leech into food and beverages, especially during heating. Let’s keep this one in mind and try to live a little more healthy.
Now that we’ve listed the factors that affect the timing of you first period let’s talk about some of the ways you can help prevent this from happening:
- Avoid products that have chemicals like BPA and phthalates.
- Lifestyle modifications like exercise, outdoor activities can help maintain a healthy BMI
- Maintain a healthy diet. Limit the amount of dairy in your diet and try and eliminate processed food and food amounts of sugar. You can always opt for foods that have natural sugar like fruits.
- Lastly, the most important thing would be maintaining open lines of communication with your child where they feel free to talk about their concerns. This would help with reducing stress and also allow you to educate them about their bodies and their functions.
Thank you for reading our blog. We hope that we could help you understand the meaning of menarche and the factors that affect your first menstrual cycle. Do share your thoughts and queries below.
To know more about menstrual health and awareness – click here!