Age for onset of menarche - Mothering Forums
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Preteens and Teens > Age for onset of menarche
KaraBoo's Avatar KaraBoo 10:55 AM 04-17-2007
I didn't want to hijack other threads so can we discuss this here?

I started my period when I was 12 and most of my friends started between a year earlier and a year later than that, so b/t 11-13. This was in the 80s, though.

What has changed? Are girls starting earlier? Does it really have to do with weight or dairy or meat? What affects the onset of menarche?

Maple Leaf Mama's Avatar Maple Leaf Mama 11:00 AM 04-17-2007
I was stick thin and started at 14.

My 1/2 sisters 2 girls were quite overweight (Still are at 23 and 25 yo) and they started at 8 and 9.
s_kristina's Avatar s_kristina 11:20 AM 04-17-2007
There is a little disagreement between my mom and I. I say I was 8 when I started and she says 9. My sister was about the same size, but started at age 12-13. Although she is 4 years older then I am we started within months of each other. That was in the late 80's. For me I really lean towards it being genetic. All the females on my dad's side of the family have the same body shape I do although I managed to be taller then all of them by a couple inches! We are all on the shorter side with big boobs and hips and we all started at a young age. It's a pretty good guess based on this body type that a woman started at a young age. As the vast majority of females from dh's mother's family also have the same body type I'm guessing dd is out of luck.
4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 11:47 AM 04-17-2007
I was 12 and a month, appropriately slightly chubby.

I did read an article in a mainstream paper that said women in nations that used growth hormone on their dairy cows had more twins.

Childhood obesity probably plays a role in earlier menarche as well.
AuntNi's Avatar AuntNi 12:33 PM 04-17-2007
I'd just turned 11 when I started. I was chubby, and have a family history of early bloomers. There was over a 2-year gap, though, between when I started developing and when I got my period. This was in the early 80s. My family grew all our own meat, milk, and most of our produce.

Thank goodness my parents let me skip 1st grade. I was over a year younger than everyone in my class, but I was still the first girl to need a bra and start my period. Imagine if I'd been in my original class - I would have been over a year earlier than anyone else. Talk about social disgrace!
mamatoady's Avatar mamatoady 01:54 PM 04-17-2007
I was 10 and overweight. it sucked--I was definitely one of the first, if not THE first, but I didn't tell anyone.

Hey Mama!'s Avatar Hey Mama! 01:57 PM 04-17-2007
I was 14, and chunky. I'm really hoping that my girls start later rather then sooner.
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 02:06 PM 04-17-2007
I was 11 and not ov or chunky, not stick thin either.

My sister is 2 years older than me and didn't start until she was 14/15, about 2 years after I did, so not She had the same build I did now is taller but when I started AF I was still on the growth track to end up taller than her(but I stopped growing that same year).

My mom was around 13. I don't know about her sisters.

there was 1 girl in my grade who had her first AF a couple of months before I did. Thankfully mine did not start like hers. The teacher had to take her out of the room and send her home to change because it ended up on the chair & floor. We were in Grade 6. Most of the girls in our grade didn't start until Grade 7. This would have been around 87/88.

There are no growth hormones in Canadian milk. I did stop drinking any milk the year I got AF too, don't know if it was before or after though.
sunnysideup's Avatar sunnysideup 02:15 PM 04-17-2007
I was 12 and my oldest dd was also 12.

I read a really interesting article on the subject of early puberty. It says that research shows childhood obesity is probably one contributing factor, but that "the big picture is probably too complicated to be reduced to a single cause-and-effect explanation. Other, more controversial research suggests potential causal relationships between puberty and such diverse influences as absentee fathers, the presence of stepfathers, stress, milk, chemicals, and TV."
KaraBoo's Avatar KaraBoo 03:18 PM 04-17-2007
I was stick thin. I don't remember my weight but I do remember I was only 99 lbs at 19 so I must have been REALLY skinny at 12.

My dd, nearly 18, is very petite. She started at 12. She eats a lot of dairy and meat (in the US) so I suppose there are lots of hormones in her system.

My little dd, 8, lives in Prague with me. There are less hormones and preservatives in the meat here. We get fresh, local meat and actually know the butcher. She eats dairy, though, however the dairy here tastes vastly different than the dairy I remember eating in the US. I dunno if it's made differently in reference to hormones, etc. She shows no signs of early puberty. She's also quite petite.

sunnysideup, thanks for that link. I need to take the time to read the article!
Chavaleh's Avatar Chavaleh 03:47 PM 04-17-2007
I started at 13 and was a skinny stick (quite gone now ). This is an issue I'm concerned about as a mom to an 8 year old girl and one who will be 7 soon. Neither are showing any signs of puberty yet.
duckling's Avatar duckling 03:48 PM 04-17-2007
I was of a pretty average weight and very athletic. I started one month before I turned 12. (That was in 2000, I think?)

Also, I've read studies linking a minimum body weight with the onset of menarche--it's about 103 pounds. Thusly, I imagine girls who hit that weight earlier are more likely to begin menstruating earlier. I think it's a combination of weight, genetics, and environment.
onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat 04:22 PM 04-17-2007
I was very thin and started around 12 or 13. I was under 100 pounds when I graduated high school but had had my period regularly. My older sister was also very thin and started a bit later than average. We ate regular meat and dairy.
I knew girls who started at around 10 years.
living my destiny's Avatar living my destiny 04:26 PM 04-17-2007
I was 13 any about average size

Love and Laughter
earthmama369's Avatar earthmama369 04:27 PM 04-17-2007
I was on the skinny side of average and started menses at 11. My sister, on the heavier side, started at 12. My mother and grandmother (both lean), started at 11. So I'm thinking genetics weigh in pretty strongly with us.
babygirl24's Avatar babygirl24 04:32 PM 04-17-2007
I was average and started at 13 I think.
velochic's Avatar velochic 04:35 PM 04-17-2007
I was average size, but very, very athletic (swimming, basketball, track, tennis, and softball). I was 15 when I started. My oldest sister was 9 when she started and the next sister was 15, as well. We were all average size. Of course, I thought I was fat back then because that's what society was teaching me.
pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 04:49 PM 04-17-2007
I was about 5'7" and 135 when I started at age 12. Of course I thought I was fat.
karen ann's Avatar karen ann 05:10 PM 04-17-2007
I was 9 and skinny.
sunnmama's Avatar sunnmama 07:38 PM 04-17-2007
i was 12 and skinny.

my dd favors her aunt (dh's sister) in body type, though. She is bigger than i was as a child. i've been meaning to ask her when hers began, so i have an idea about dd's possible menarche.

dd and I were just talking about this today, and the cool things we would do to celebrate her menarche. she asked me when that happens, and i told her some girls are 10, some 14, etc. i told her i was 12. her eyes got really big, and she said she thought it wouldn't happen until she's 20!
sadean's Avatar sadean 07:51 PM 04-17-2007
I was 12 and below average weight and size (5'0 and 100ish pounds).
jillmamma's Avatar jillmamma 09:43 PM 04-17-2007
I was almost 12 when mine started, and was probably about 95 or so lb. I am hoping DD waits at least that long to get hers too.
lawgrrl's Avatar lawgrrl 11:27 PM 04-17-2007
I was 11 years old (almost 12) and wore girls size 10/12 (about 88 lbs.) at the time. My younger sister was very overweight and didn't start menstruating until she was 15.
Viewfinder's Avatar Viewfinder 07:11 AM 04-18-2007
I was 13, medium build and normal weight. My boobs suddenly popped out all at once the following summer, I believe. I left school FLAT as a pancake and came back in the fall with C-cups. My best friend screamed about on the bus, and life has never been the same since. "You've got BOOBS!!"

425lisamarie's Avatar 425lisamarie 12:20 PM 04-18-2007
I was 12 and figure skating, thin not super skinny and worked physically very hard. I figured because of that I wouldn't start untill I was older, but I always had regular periods.
Catherine12's Avatar Catherine12 12:30 PM 04-18-2007
I was 10, and average size when I started. My mother (very skinny) was 16. I remember 10 or 11 as being the typical age for girls at my school - this was in the very early 90s.
QueenOfThePride's Avatar QueenOfThePride 03:32 PM 04-18-2007
I was very thin my whole life. I got my first period at age 9 and I didn't know what it was. I thought I had some kind of infection. I just used wads of toilet paper in my underwear and never told anyone, even my mom. It went away after only two days, and I forgot about it. I didn't get my next period until I was 12, and I knew what it was by then and I told my mom. It was monthly after that.
chel's Avatar chel 04:10 PM 04-18-2007
I was 11 and slightly chubby. My sis was 13 and very chubby. My best friend was very large and 10.

Both Dh's sis and niece were around 9 and average built. Dh's mom died of breast cancer before she was 40. I'm very concerned about dd and actually factored early puberty into if we should hold her back a grade.
mammal_mama's Avatar mammal_mama 05:17 PM 04-18-2007
I was 12, closer to 13, and slender. I was thrilled! At almost 43, I'm still thrilled at signs of my continued fertility. Menarche, puberty, pregnancy -- they're all cause for celebration, not fretting.

It makes me sad when moms talk about menstruation/puberty as if it's a negative thing. This seems to go hand-in-hand with our society's negative attitude toward all things pertaining to womanhood.

I certainly want to provide healthy foods for my children, and ample opportunities for exercise and activity.

But I won't say, "I hope dd waits until such-and-such age to begin puberty." Whenever it happens, it's a cause for celebration.

Becoming a young woman is a beautiful thing.
grisandole's Avatar grisandole 05:27 PM 04-18-2007
Moving to preteens/teens
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