Menarche refers to your first period i.e., the first time you menstruate. Every female body undergoes a transition from childhood to adulthood, where many physical and physiological changes happen. Menarche indicates that your body is now mature and has the ability to reproduce. Menarche usually hits young girls of age 11 to 13 years. This occurs based on your hormone levels and body type.
Menstruation is hormone regulated. The hormone oestrogen produced in the ovaries stimulates the production of an egg, which matures and moves to the fallopian tube towards the uterus. On this activity, the ovary produces a second hormone called progesterone. In response to the hormonal changes, the uterus walls thicken, making it ready for fertilisation. When fertilisation does not occur, the thickened walls and tissues are shed out of the body in the form of menstrual or period discharge. This cycle takes place every 28 days and the period lasts from 3-6 days on average, depending on your body.
The following symptoms may accompany your first period in most females – Fatigue, cramps, bloating, mood swings, irritability etc.
Talking about what triggers your first period, there are several factors that decide the occurrence of your first period, such as the following –
- Hormones – Menstruation is completely hormone driven. The hormones in your brain and sex organs regulate your menstrual cycle, namely estrogen and progesterone.
- Nature of your body – Your fat composition, height and weight etc., influence you first period. Fat cells in your body is associated with estrogen production, hence the fat cell composition affects your menstruation.
- Gene – Heredity and your gene type strongly influences your first period. You are likely to experience your first period almost similar to your biological mother.
- Other health conditions – Stress, cardiovascular diseases and other conditions that affect estrogen levels are one of the common triggers for your period. Having exposed to pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, not being breast fed are other contributing factors for early menarche. Childhood obesity also triggers your first period.
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