Research shows that girls are getting their periods at an increasingly younger age

Research shows that girls are getting their periods at an increasingly younger age

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Research shows that girls are getting their periods at an increasingly younger age, but what does this mean for their health?

The study shows not only that girls get their first period earlier, but also that their periods remain irregular for longer. This violation can lead to health risks later in life. Experts are concerned and point to the need for education and early intervention.

My period was six months ago

Research conducted by the Apple Women’s Health Study collected data from 71,341 participants. These women shared their menstrual cycles via their iPhone or Apple Watch. Results? The average age of first menstruation decreased from 12.5 years (for women born between 1950 and 1969) to 11.9 years (for women born between 2000 and 2005). Although the difference seems small, it is significant.

What’s also striking is that only 56% of girls today develop a regular cycle within two years of their first menstrual period, compared to 76% in the past. In addition, the number of girls who menstruated “early” (before age 11) or “very early” (before age 9) doubled. This raises concerns about potential health risks, especially for girls of color, where the changes are more noticeable.

Long-term health risks

Why is this so important? Researchers point out that early menstruation and prolonged irregular cycles can lead to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. “We found that children had a longer time to be consistent,” said Zifan Wang, lead author of the study. Washington Post.

Read also: Menstrual taboo: Nearly half of women consider themselves “dirty,” according to research

“This is also very concerning because irregular cycles are a major indicator of adverse health conditions later in life. It alerts us. We need to provide more counseling and early intervention for irregular cycles among children and adolescents.”

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Why do you have your period earlier?

But why do girls start menstruating earlier and earlier? Researchers cite several factors, such as high body mass index (BMI) and stress. “It is very likely that BMI and stress work together to reduce the age of first menstruation and increase cycle regularity,” said Lauren Houghton, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. She also points to environmental factors such as exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals and psychological and social factors that often play a role in people of color.

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It is important to mention that this study has limitations. Because the data are self-reported, there is a risk of bias. Also, the study does not rely on a random sample; Participants were required to own an iPhone or Apple Watch, meaning they were more likely to be of higher socioeconomic status. However, the study provides valuable insights that should not be ignored.

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