Worried girl with fingers in mouth

What’s the right age to start periods?

Nasianta’s 16 year-old daughter is yet to experience her first period. This worries them so much since her peers had their first period few years ago. Should they be worried?

The average age for the onset of menstruation, also known as menarche, typically ranges from 9 to 16 years old, with most girls experiencing their first period around the age of 12. However, it’s essential to recognize that individual variations exist, and factors like genetics, nutrition, and overall health contribute to the timing.

A critical indicator is the onset of puberty, marked by physical and hormonal changes in the body. Breast development and the growth of pubic hair are usually signs of menarche. Early or late menarche may run in families, suggesting a genetic influence.

Nutrition also plays a role. Over or under-consumption of certain nutrients can affect the onset of periods as they affect weight. Adequate body weight and fat are essential for the hormonal balance necessary to initiate menstruation. It is important to talk to a nutritionist at your local facility to get advice on health nutrition.

Girls involved in intense physical activities or with low body fat may experience a delay in the first period.

It is important to remember that the average age provides a general guideline, variations are normal, and some girls may start their periods earlier or later. Open communication about puberty and menstruation within families and schools is important to provide support and understanding during this significant developmental stage.

If there are concerns about delayed menstruation or other related issues, consulting with a healthcare professional can offer insights and guidance tailored to an individual’s unique circumstances.

If a girl hasn’t experienced her first period by the age of 16 or hasn’t shown signs of puberty by 14, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional. In such cases, delayed menstruation calls for medical evaluation for personalized guidance and support.

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