Women who began their menstrual cycle before age 12 may suffer from health problems in the future. To prevent complications, learn about the health effects of early menstruation.
According to Northwestern University in Illinois in the United States, menstrual cycles come with extreme hormonal changes, especially due to estrogen, which has an effect on a lot of the tissue in the body. After women get their first period, tissues in their breasts are those that develop most.
According to a report from an organization that works in breast cancer prevention, the Breast Cancer Fund, women who had their first period before age 12 are 50% more likely to develop breast cancer compared to those who got it at age 16. This study also explains that early puberty is related to high exposure to estrogen, a hormone that is an initiator of breast cancer.
Another complication may include premature menopause. A study published in the journal Human Reproduction reveals that compared to women who get their first period between ages 12 and 13, women who get their first period at age 11 have an 80% chance of entering menopause before age 40 and a 30% chance of entering menopause between ages 40 and 44 (early menopause).
Early menstruation can also be tied to infertility. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that women who menstruate early have a greater risk of infertility. This is due to the fact that these women are more likely to have lower ovarian reserves, which means they have less follicles releasing eggs, lowering the chances of fertilization.
HIGHLIGHT// Women should see their gynecologist after their first menstruation to learn what types of treatments may be necessary for them and to prevent any complications.
Related article: Know your menstrual cycle to detect irregularities