Study Finds Earlier Onset of Menstruation in US Girls

Study Finds Earlier Onset of Menstruation in US Girls
Study Finds Earlier Onset of Menstruation in US Girls. Credit | Adobe Stock

United States – A new study has shown that girls in the United States are getting their first periods at an earlier age as compared to the previous generation, with the differences being more stark among the different races.

Earlier Menarche Amongst Certain Racial Groups

The JAMA Network published new research on Wednesday that shows that girls born between 2000 and 2005 began menstruating at the age of 11. This is slightly younger than the general age considered appropriate for such children, which is 12. For those who were born between the years of 1950 and 1969, the age is fifty, as reported by The Hills.

It also noted that the participants who identified themselves in the Asian and non-Hispanic Black category had a higher probability of getting their first menstruation at an earlier age. Menarche, or the first menstrual period, is a developmental process that occurs between eleven and fifteen years, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Girls are also reporting a longer time between the onset of their menstruation cycles. Fewer people said that they were able to maintain their cycle within two years of commencing menstruation in the past five decades.

Calls for Early Intervention and Counseling

Visual Representation. Credit | FatCamera

As per Washington Post, the lead author of the study, Zifan Wang, said that it was alarming that the study identified girls with delayed menstrual cycle intervals.

“This is also very concerning because irregular cycles are an important indicator of later-in-life adverse health events. It alarms us. We need to do more early counseling and intervention on irregular cycles among children and adolescents,” Wang said, according to the Post.

Insights from the Apple Women’s Health Study

The study enrolled 71,341 participants through the Apple Women’s Health Study, which used cycle tracking data from iPhones and Apple Watches along with surveys to better understand menstruation, as reported by The Hills.

The researchers also stated that their study had some limitations and that the findings may not apply to all menstruating women in the United States. They pointed out that there could be selection bias because the volunteers who agreed to participate in the study could have been different.