Women who started menstruating at age 11 or younger have a 50 percent higher risk of experiencing frequent hot flushes and night sweats at menopause, revealed a study.
Did your first period come early? Early menstruation has been linked to many health problems later in life. Usually, the first period begins between 12 and 15 years of age, a point in time known as menarche. But some girls get their first period at as early as 8 years of age. The commencement of periods may depend on various factors, including genetics, physical activity, and habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as medical conditions. When did you get your first period?
Women who got their periods early in life are more likely to suffer from hot flushes and night sweats later at menopause, according to a study. The study led by School of Public Health, University of Queensland (UQ), was recently published in BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
For the study, the researchers analysed data from more than 18,000 middle-aged women across the UK, USA, and Australia. The study result showed that women who started menstruating at age 11 or younger had a 50 percent higher risk of experiencing frequent hot flushes and night sweats – known as vasomotor symptoms – at menopause.
Obesity was found to play a significant role in the findings. According to the researchers, women who experienced early menstruation and were overweight or obese in midlife had a two times greater risk of frequent hot flushes and night sweats, compared with women who experienced their first period aged 14 years or older and had normal weight.
Based on their findings, the authors recommended that women with early menstruation
should engage in health promotion programs, especially weight management in adulthood.
Previous studies have also linked early menstruation to adverse health conditions later in life, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Let’s look at some of the health problems associated with early menstruation.
Early Menstruation May Lead To Premature Menopause
Women who got their first period at the age of 11 or younger are more likely to hit menopause before the age of 40, according to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction in 2017. Women with early menstruation who had no children were even more likely to have premature menopause, it said.
Early Menstruation Increases Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Another study published online in the journal ‘Heart’ also found that women who got their first period before the age of 12 had an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The findings were based on the analysis of data from the UK Biobank, a large population-based study of more than half a million men and women up to the age of 69, who were recruited between 2006 and 2010. The results of the study showed that women who had started having periods before the age of 12 were at a 10 percent greater risk of cardiovascular disease than those who had their first menstrual period has been 13 or older.
Early menopause (before the age of 47), history of miscarriages, and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) were also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.