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Weight and menarche

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've read some stuff that says there is a strong correlation between weight and menarche. In my case, I was overweight and my menarche started when I was 10-1/2. My younger sister was 14 and she was skinny. My youngest sister started before she turned 10. She was overweight as well.

I'm curious what others think about this. It rings to me. DD#1 is almost 10 and developing a little. We've been reading books and talking about the changes. I was talking to a friend and she mentioned the 100lb magic number. Is this true in your or your dds' case?
post #2 of 23
I started my first period when I was 12 1/2 and I weighed maybe 75 lbs. So I really can't comment on the 100 lbs. being the magic number.
post #3 of 23
When I started my period a few weeks shy of my 12th birthday, I was less than 5 feet tall and weighed less than 90 lbs.

While I'm sure that weight does influence things, it's not the only factor. And think about it. At the age of 12 (which seems to be the mid-point or close to it for age of menarche), there are a lot of kids that are hovering close to 100 lbs simply because girls are in the mid stride (if not the end stages) of their final growth spurt--and most women end up being over 100 lbs. Some kids by necessity MUST be the beginning edge of the bell curve. I'm sure weight is one trigger, but I'm willing to bet there must be more than one in order to trigger it.

I dunno, I guess I am oversensitive because my DD is in the beginning stages of puberty--but this latest zOMG GIRLS GET PUBERTY blitz in the media is really starting to make me sad and angry. Why does there have to be something *wrong* with a girl (whether it's that she's "too fat", her mom is crappy, or she doesn't eat "the right things") starting puberty? I love how all these studies list a danger of girls undergoing puberty "early" as "low self-esteem". Gee, I wonder WHY that would be, since of course anyone who develops on the early side of normal is declared up one side and down the other a total freak in the media lately?
post #4 of 23
I was overweight as a child and started at 12. My DD is slender and is going to be 13 in a few weeks and hasn't started yet. She is 107 lbs, about 5'5".
post #5 of 23
I was about 5-5 (maybe 5-4) and weighed 82 pounds in the eighth grade, which is also when I started my period.
post #6 of 23
My dd started at 13 yo. and 118 lbs.
post #7 of 23
I was 10 and about 80-85 lbs. Comparing myself to other girls my age, I thought I was huge. In retrospect, I just had a womanly body - breasts and hips in particular. I was definitely in woman sized clothes. In any case, I think for some girls, it's a chicken/egg situation. So they start menstruating because they are "overweight" or do their bodies put on weight in anticipation of menstruation? Are the hormones related to menstruation caused by body fat percentage, or do the hormones that are already starting to enter a girl's system cause them to build body fat? I'm not really sure.
post #8 of 23
For my family, siblings and dd, it's rung true. I don't know everyone's exact number, I don't even remember specifically my own.

My sister is 2 years younger than me and got her first period before I got mine...she was 12. I was 14 at that time and still hadn't started, and didn't for another year and a half, so I was 15, actually almost 16. She was heavier than I was, a little taller as well. I was not quite 100lbs when I started...but then I was barely 100lbs through most of my adult life. My sister was probably somewhere around 90lbs or so when she started, but she's always weighed more than me.

My other sister (a total of 7 years younger than me) also started around 14 or 15 (I think it was like the week before her 15th birthday.) She was also a smaller person, still is, and has always been very athletic, so that played into it also.

My dd, since 2nd grade, has been slightly on the heavier side. She's not overweight now, but has been in the past. And she was 11 when she started.
post #9 of 23
I started just after my 12th birthday. I don't know my weight but I was tall (5'8") & thin at that time.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I dunno, I guess I am oversensitive because my DD is in the beginning stages of puberty--but this latest zOMG GIRLS GET PUBERTY blitz in the media is really starting to make me sad and angry. Why does there have to be something *wrong* with a girl (whether it's that she's "too fat", her mom is crappy, or she doesn't eat "the right things") starting puberty? I love how all these studies list a danger of girls undergoing puberty "early" as "low self-esteem". Gee, I wonder WHY that would be, since of course anyone who develops on the early side of normal is declared up one side and down the other a total freak in the media lately?
I hear what you're saying, but there are DEFINITELY reasons to be alarmed by earlier puberty. In fact, I would say possible low self-esteem should be at the bottom of the list. The hormone-mimicking chemicals that we are exposing ourselves to, the rise in obesity, and the lack of activity are all going to result in some pretty serious health problems if we don't wake up and pay attention.

Back OT, I was 14 and probably weighed about 120 or 130.
post #11 of 23
Overweight girls do often start before lighter peers. Is it ALWAYS the case? Of course not, but body wieght is certainly a factor and there is enough medical documentation to say that.
post #12 of 23
My kid was 5 feet tall and 100 pounds at 8. She didn't start for 3 more years.
post #13 of 23

Does not ring true for me

I was over 100 pounds at age 14 and that is when I started. I think I was between 120 and 135.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Are the hormones related to menstruation caused by body fat percentage, or do the hormones that are already starting to enter a girl's system cause them to build body fat? I'm not really sure.
A lot of the recent research suggests that part of the hormones triggering earlier puberty come from cow's milk and CFO meat. Cow hormones can be detected in the urine of children who drink non-organic milk.
post #15 of 23
Not me. I was my regular skinny, lean self when I started at age 9. My mother, also slim, started at a similarly young age as well, back in the mid-50's.
post #16 of 23
I was 15 and maybe weighed 95 and was around 4'10" at the time.
post #17 of 23
Obviously you are getting varying anecdotal information here.

My dd's best friend's mother is a leading pediatric endocrinologist at one of our teaching university hospitals. This is exactly what her research is. I posed this very same question to her a couple of different ways over the years. She says that the research does not show hormones in food, etc. to be an issue. The two factors for early menarche are obesity and genetics. You can be thin and start early (because of genetics). You can be overweight and start late (because of genetics). But being overweight increases the likelihood that you will start earlier than other women in your family that have a normal BMI.
post #18 of 23
I started when I was likely under 100 pounds. It was two months before I turned fourteen. My mom started her period at almost the exact same time--two months before she turned fourteen. My DD is only six, but it will be interesting to see if she starts her period at about the same age.
post #19 of 23
I think this is one of those things that has a basis in truth.

Mentruation can stop (secondary amenorrhea) in female athletes who are extremely lean. The body does need some fat to menstruate.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Obviously you are getting varying anecdotal information here.

My dd's best friend's mother is a leading pediatric endocrinologist at one of our teaching university hospitals. This is exactly what her research is. I posed this very same question to her a couple of different ways over the years. She says that the research does not show hormones in food, etc. to be an issue. The two factors for early menarche are obesity and genetics. You can be thin and start early (because of genetics). You can be overweight and start late (because of genetics). But being overweight increases the likelihood that you will start earlier than other women in your family that have a normal BMI.
This is exactly what the professor in my Adolescent Development class said last week.
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