Do you remember the day you got your first period? For some, that day can’t come soon enough. For young girls, getting your period affects your status among peers. No one wants to be the one without their period. But now research is showing that early periods aren’t something to be excited about. In fact, if your period started before the age of 12, there are seven potential health problems you should know about.
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that early periods have a significant impact on infertility later in life. This may be because there are fewer follicles to grow eggs.
This 2017 study shows that women who got their first period when they were 11 or younger (compared to girls who get their periods at the ages of 12 and 13) were 80 percent more likely to have menopause before the age of 40.
The Breast Cancer Fund released a report stating that girls who experienced their first period before the age of 12 had a 50 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer. This may be caused by too much estrogen in the body.
In an analysis of close to 30 studies, the International Journal of Cancer found that early periods were linked to an increase in ovarian cancer. What’s more, for these women, ovarian cancer is usually more fatal.
Getting your period early is also linked to a higher increase in type 2 diabetes, according to this study. The reason for this may be because premature periods and diabetes have something in common: higher body fat levels.
If early menopause comes as a result of early periods, another health concern arises: osteoporosis. In fact, if a women menstruates for less than 25 years are at a greater risk for osteoporosis.
Early periods don’t cause heart disease, but this 2018 study has identified a link between the two. Girls who got their first period before the age of 12 have a 10 percent increase of developing heart disease.
Knowing these potential health problems can help you take preventative measures to ensure that you are safe and well, even if your period came early.