For a young girl, the most common age for getting her first period is 12. However, girls may be as young as 8 or as old as 16 years old or above when the first period arrives. Both extremes have their own physical and mental effects on the girl. Although every girl’s body is different and has its own timing, there are different causes for early or late periods. And thankfully, there are also a few ways that help a girl predict the day she is going to get her first period and do some improvements to establish long-lasting reproductive health.

Usually, the first period happens around 2 years after the first signs of puberty are seen. As a result, some signs that indicate her first period is about to come are regular characteristics of puberty such as breast development, widening of hips and so forth. Some other indicators are a growth spurt, cervical fluids, cramps and breast “buds”. The age of the first period (menarche) is determined by genes, hormones, nutrition, body Mass Index (BMI), physical activity and health.

Reasons for early menarche

First period before the age of 10 is considered as early menarche.

· Genetic factors

· A high BMI

· Precocious puberty

· Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

· Health issues

· Sedentary lifestyle

Reasons for late menarche

First period after the age of 15 is considered as late menarche.

· Genetic factors

· Hypothyroidism (when thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones)

· Hypopituitarism (when thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones)

· Lack of body fat –

· Health issues

· Poor nutrition or eating disorders such as anorexia ·

፟ High levels of exercise

If periods are too early or too late, talking to your doctor is highly recommended. In order to prevent that from happening, eating food rich in vitamins, limiting intake of sugar sweetened beverages, doing light exercises, managing stress levels and taking good care of the body to control BMI and avoid obesity are important.