Your First Period May Predict Your Lifetime Hormone Levels

Age of menarche, or our first period, has been studied from a variety of health issues. It is the first episode of shedding the lining of the uterus, also called the endometrium. One's fertility, one's propensity to pre and post menopausal breast cancer risk, and one's fertility, and even your risk of diabetes, seems to be linked to earlier menarche. In terms of breast cancer risk, the numbers are fairly dramatic. With almost a 10% less risk of premenopausal breast cancer for each year delay compared to average that a woman has her first period. Endometriosis and endometriosis associated pain have been linked with the age of menarche as well. It turns out that age of menarche is not just associated with the extra year or two of early cycles. Women with early menarche have higher overall hormone levels during all their reproductive years. Which may then explain the long term effects of getting an early menstrual period. And women are getting earlier and earlier menstrual periods, we have gone from an average age of almost 13 to average age of under 12. Weight achieved at that age is thought to be part of that equation. When talking to your gyno, discuss your reproductive life plan, and what risks you may be presented with based on your life of menstrual periods, and whether you have had too much hormone exposure.

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