Date: February 7, 2014 by Rosalia Peresvet Category: Menstruation
Menarche implies the first menstrual periods in girls, it is considered the main sign of puberty, demonstrating the readiness of the organism for possible conception. It is very important to give due attention to the onset of the first menstruation, because too early, or, conversely, too late, their beginning may indicate serious disruptions in the girl's body. Now the norm is the period of the menarche from twelve to fourteen years.
What is menarche?
In the young organism, throughout the entire period of puberty, quite complex processes of an endocrine nature take place, which form the sexual and physical development. Puberty takes place in two phases: in the first phase (prepubertal) growth spikes are observed, the development of secondary sexual characteristics (mammary glands, sexual growth) is observed, and this phase ends just with the onset of the first menstruation. The second phase is the completion of the formation of secondary sexual characteristics and the installation of a regular menstrual cycle.
Usually, the growth rate accelerates at about the age of nine or eleven, the growth of the mammary glands during the period of ten to eleven, and the sexual growth of hair at the age of eleven or twelve. Menarche is usually observed at the age of twelve or thirteen. Over the next one and a half to two years, the installation of a regular menstrual cycle is noted. It is worth noting that at this time the monthly can come intermittently up to one to three months. And five years after the onset of menarche, the girl's ovulation becomes regular. Although the growth and development of the girl's body are not complete, the onset of pregnancy is unlikely, but not impossible. According to statistics, about 25% of girls after the first menstruation have an ovulatory cycle. Even if the pregnancy comes, the chances of the girl to bear and give birth to a healthy child are very small, this is due to the anatomical features and the incomplete formation of the pelvic organs, that is, the body is simply not ready to bear the fetus.
It should be noted that if breast augmentation and sexual hair growth is observed in girls up to eight years old, and menstruation themselves appear up to nine years, then we can surely talk about the early activity of the ovaries, pituitary and hypothalamus, and in some cases about the development of hormone-dependent tumors of the ovary or brain, which is an undeniable cause for concern. If a girl under the age of fourteen does not observe an increase in the mammary glands and sexual hairiness, and menarche has never been noted before the age of sixteen, we should speak about deviations in the development of a sexual and endocrine nature. In some cases, you can talk about sexual infantilism.
At first, in most cases in girls, the duration of the menstrual cycle is 28-30 days. For many girls, the intervals between the first and subsequent menstruation can be from one and a half to three months, and in some cases even longer. The latter requires an immediate appeal to specialists. Menstrual bleeding itself (menstrual, regulars) lasts from three to five days, but there are cases and weekly duration. In pathological cases, hyperpolymenorrhea develops (an increase in the intensity and duration of bleeding).
Factors affecting the maturity of the first menstruation.
The time of menarche may depend on some factors, among which should be noted the physical development of the body, nutrition, previous diseases, heredity, social conditions, climate, etc.
Later or too early puberty may not always be the result of pathological processes in the body. It is believed that the time of appearance of the first menstrual period can be inherited by girls from mothers. That is, if the mother’s menarche was later or earlier than other peers, the likelihood is very high that the daughter will have exactly the same thing with the first menstruation. It is also worth noting that early menarche may be related to the peculiarities of the constitution (for thin people later than for the inclined to be overweight), the influence of the sport in which the girl is involved (gymnastics slows down the onset of the first menstruation, while swimming accelerates). Whether it is genetic predisposition (which is considered normal) or the pathological process can only be determined by specialists (adolescent gynecologist and endocrinologist). Timeliness of going to a doctor will help to identify the cause of the disorders and prescribe the optimal treatment, which will prevent their further development and complications. Since puberty is combined with incomplete physical and spiritual development, early sex life often negatively affects the girl’s body and future offspring.
Before the first menstruation for several months, girls may experience changes in their state of health, manifested in unreasonable fatigue, weakness, headaches, dizziness, non-intense and short abdominal pains, nausea, and excessive excitability. The nature of the physiological whites, which are now abundant, also changes. Against this background, it is very important to prepare the girl for the upcoming event by conducting confidential conversations with her mother or gynecologist, since low informational content with the appearance of bleeding can cause unreasonable fear, unnecessary self-treatment, which can lead to quite serious consequences. And yet, during puberty, the girl must regularly visit the adolescent gynecological office.
There is an amusing opinion that climatic conditions can influence the period of occurrence of menarche. In particular, girls who live in hot climates have an earlier puberty compared with girls from temperate countries. However, recent data have shown that this is not the case; in different climatic and geographical conditions, the age of the onset of menarche is almost the same, with the exception of the high-mountainous regions (where the first monthly periods occur later).
It is believed that lightness and seasonality also affect the process in question, but there are no well-known proofs for this, assertions are mainly based on experimental materials. In developed countries with a high technical level, the widespread use of artificial lighting is considered one of the reasons contributing to an earlier onset of puberty in children.
It should be noted that most often the first menstruation in girls is observed in the cold winter months. At the same time, the seasonality and its impact are caused by unbalanced nutrition, which inhibits the process of puberty. But too frequent intake of large quantities of salty, meat, fatty and spicy foods, as well as marinades helps to accelerate this process. Alcoholic beverages act in a similar way. Unfortunately, in our time alcohol consumption by teenage girls is not uncommon. Therefore, during the period of menstruation, it is important to eat right and, most importantly, eat a balanced diet.
Frequent stress, psychoemotional overstrain can negatively affect puberty, delaying it or disrupting the established cycle.
Each girl after menarche is recommended to keep a menstruation diary, where it is necessary to note the date of the beginning of menstruation, their duration and intensity of bleeding. Then, in the near future, this will help prevent cycle violations and problems in the female genital area.
Features of hygiene at menarche.
Careful adherence to personal hygiene rules are of paramount importance when menarche occurs. The girl needs to explain elementary things long before the onset of this state. In particular, it is important to wash the external genitals necessarily every time after changing the gasket (approximately every four to five hours), at least twice a day (in the morning and evening). This will prevent discomfort and the formation of an unpleasant odor that occurs when menstrual blood is in contact with air. In addition, menstrual blood is an ideal condition for the development of bacteria and infections. One of these is Staphylococcus aureus, its toxin can cause the development of toxic shock syndrome, characterized by sudden fever, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension, rashes on the skin erimatoznogo properties, as well as the defeat of many organs.
A selection of hygiene products is provided to the girl. But here it is worth noting that before the start of sexual activity it is not recommended to use tampons, only with gaskets. Of course, there are special tampons that are recommended for use by girls, but in most cases they cause a feeling of discomfort, or they are difficult to administer. It is necessary to select gaskets taking into account the volume of blood loss or bleeding intensity. At night, it is preferable to use gaskets with a more elongated rear. They, by the way, are intended for this time of day.
With menstrual bleeding, prolonged hot baths are not recommended, it is better for them to completely give up on this period, to take a warm shower. In addition, you should abandon swimming in ponds, pools.
If during this period girls have skin problems (that is, acne appears), which is related to the activity of hormones, it is important to follow a diet with restriction of “wrong food” (mentioned earlier), as well as to attend an appointment with a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, who eliminate serious violations in the body, and a dermatologist, who will prescribe the appropriate drugs. As an independent home skin care, you can use antibacterial masks.
I would also like to note that during this period it is extremely undesirable to go in for sports, lift weights, and supercool.
If the stomach hurts before or during menstruation.
If the condition of the girl before the month or during the month is accompanied by lower abdominal pain, this may indicate such a cycle disorder as dysmenorrhea. Pain occurs on the background of contractions of the uterus under the action of prostaglandins. Their high content increases the contractile activity of the uterus, provokes vasospasm, ischemia, hence the appearance of severe pain. A similar condition, only several times stronger, a woman experiences during childbirth. That is why with severe dysmenorrhea, girls should be treated with special care.
In some situations, dysmenorrhea can be the result of an abnormal position of the uterus, with the bend of its cervical canal, a consequence of diseases of the pelvic organs of inflammatory nature, endometriosis, uterine myomas. If any pain occurs during menstruation, it is important to consult with a gynecologist.
Physiological age of menarche and possible deviations
In the normal process of puberty, the first periods in girls begin at the age of 12 or 13 years. The larger the girl is physically, the earlier she can have menarche. Deviations from the norm are:
- age earlier than 9 years - may be associated with early puberty and the girl’s nationality,
- age over 15 years - triggered by delayed sexual and physical development, abnormal structural changes in the genitals.
In either of these two cases, you must contact an adolescent or pediatric gynecologist. There are several main causes of pathological menarche:
- nationality of the East and Asian groups,
- mental and physical retardation,
- hormone therapy for other somatic diseases,
- fetal fetal malformations,
- infantilism of the uterus and its appendages,
- violation of psychological background,
- female genital hormone production pathologies,
- frequent stressful situations.
Long-term absence of the first menstruation can contribute to starvation, the lack of content in the diet of fats, proteins and vitamin-mineral complex of substances. Often this phenomenon is observed in girls who constantly “sit on diets,” limit themselves to nutrition and ensure that their body weight is below the physiological norm.
The first signs of menarche
Before the first menstruation begins, a girl can rapidly change her mood, from a period of fun she quickly falls into depression and depression without a special occasion for this. In addition, there may be swelling and tenderness of the mammary glands, nagging pain in the lower abdomen, secretion of white mucous secretion from the vagina. The latter phenomenon may be associated with the release of mucus plugs from the vaginal neck. If a girl has already managed to transfer inflammatory diseases of the gynecological sphere to this age, then the discharge may be grayish and greenish in its shade.
What to do and how to behave?
The task of the mother is to promptly explain to her daughter what menstruation is and what it is connected with. It is important to give the teenager information that after the onset of the first menstrual period her body is ready for conception and is carrying a child. However, it should be explained that, although it is physiologically possible, however, this phenomenon should be avoided at least until the age of 20 years. Because early pregnancy can not only cause irreparable harm to the health of the girl, but also to a certain extent change her appearance is not for the better. This can be associated with both the incorrect formation of the bone skeleton, and with the early aging of the skin, damage to the tooth enamel, the appearance of pigment spots.
You should also explain - how to properly conduct hygienic procedures and use special means of protection. Menarche in girls should take place as safely as possible, both from physiological and psychological points of view.
Characteristic signs of changes in the body
Signs of the onset of menarche for each girl can manifest themselves in a special way. At the same time, climatic factors can influence its appearance, for example, women in hot countries have monthly periods much earlier than women living in countries with a temperate climate. It is believed that menarche occurs in the cold season, as it is associated with an increase in nutrition during this period. The use in large quantities of fried, fatty and sweet food significantly accelerates the process of sexual development.
If the girl develops fully, the menarche can be foreseen. As a rule, before the onset of menarche in girls the growth increases sharply and the mammary glands begin to round. Transparent discharge from the genitals begins to appear before the menarche. These selections have no regularity, they can appear and disappear and have a different level of intensity. Menstruation occurs one year after the start of discharge. Signs of menarche are characterized by a number of symptoms:
- before the onset of the first menstruation, the girl feels aching pain in the lower abdomen, painful manifestations can have different intensity, while they sometimes appear for several days, then disappear,
- Before menstruation, in about 2 months, vaginal discharge becomes thicker, their color and intensity change,
- possible symptoms such as headache, loss of appetite or a pathological desire to eat as much as possible food, deterioration, nausea, dizziness.
Symptoms of menarche have a strong similarity with premenstrual syndrome in adult women. Signs of menarche can be seen in the instability of the emotional state of the girl - increased nervousness, irritability and mood swings.
Noticing the above symptoms of her daughter, she should definitely talk and give informational literature so that the girl is ready for the onset of menstruation.
Symptoms of critical days
The first periods in girls will usually not last more than 4 days and have an average intensity. On the first day there will be characteristic pain in the lower abdomen, but they will subside by 2-3 days. If a girl's pain in the abdomen does not subside throughout the entire menstruation, then it is likely that there is such a pathology as dysmenorrhea.
Abdominal pain occurs due to uterine contractions under the influence of prostaglandin substances. The high content of prostaglandins in the blood increases the contraction of the uterus and provokes spasms in the vessels, which causes pain in the lower abdomen. Similar symptoms, only several times stronger, a woman experiences during childbirth. Sometimes dysmenorrhea is evidence of the incorrect position of the uterus or pathological changes in its structure. Если у девочки наблюдается дисменорея, то во время менструации к ней нужно относиться с особой внимательностью, чтобы избежать развития других заболеваний половой системы и бесплодия.
Сам менструальный цикл будет нестабильный и может колебаться от 27 до 35 дней. Иногда интервалы между месячными могут достигать 2 месяцев. With the beginning of the first menstruation, you need to explain to the teenager that you want to keep the menstrual calendar. This will allow you to adjust privacy and monitor possible failures and deviations. It is these failures that will help the doctor accurately diagnose.
Separately, I would like to touch on the topic of hygiene during menstruation. It is important for a girl to explain elementary things, which implies a mandatory washing away at least 2 times a day. Menstrual blood, when exposed to air, tends to give a characteristic odor and is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and various infections. Observance of simple rules will allow you to avoid discomfort and unpleasant situations during menstruation.
As for hygiene products, here the choice can be given to the girl herself. Most doctors do not recommend using tampons before sexual activity, but only sanitary pads. Today, manufacturers of hygiene products offer tampons designed for girls, but they often cause discomfort in the application and difficulties with the introduction. Choose sanitary pads should be, given the abundance of bleeding and their intensity. For night time, choose a gasket with a wide back.
During menstruation, it is better to give up hot baths, preferring a warm shower, keep from going to the pool, saunas and not perform physical activities.
Additional information and psychological preparation
The onset of menstruation can be a serious psychological trauma for the girl. Most of them are fully mature, both psychologically and physiologically, in order to understand that menarche is the first signal of their body that they are entering adulthood. The main task of parents is to make sure that the teenager will receive the correct information and not be afraid of moving into a new stage of their development. The onset of menstruation is a natural process in the body, so somehow it is impossible to speed up or slow down its onset.
Pathological conditions are those cases where menstruation began earlier than 11 years or later 15.
In such situations, it is imperative to go with a teenage girl for a consultation with a gynecologist, since delays in the menarche can talk about malfunctioning of the sexual and endocrine system.
Menarche speaks not only about the adolescent's sexual maturity, but also that her body is ready for conception, bearing and having children. Moms need to talk with their daughters about sex and explain that among adolescents there are a number of misconceptions about sexuality that end in pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Talking with a teenager on an equal basis without any moralizing, you will gain their trust, and in piquant situations, the daughter will seek advice from her mother, and not run to her friends.
Puberty girls, menarche was once considered a great event in the life of a small woman who was looking forward to this period. In ancient tribes, lush ceremonies and festivals were held, some girls then for several months were obliged to wear all white to show everyone their transformation. Today, this period is calm and, as a rule, at this time, girls want to retire, and not to celebrate.
In antiquity, the power of menstrual blood was always revered and was considered sacred. The bright minds of those times even thought that a woman, holding menstrual blood, was able to conceive a child on her own. Of course, now such statements cause laughter even among adolescents, who have little knowledge of their sex life, but already know what's what. Sex education of adolescents has a great influence on their further psychological development and sexual activity, therefore such conversations need to be given great attention. Do not be ashamed to talk with the girl about the upcoming changes in her life, how well you can explain to her the characteristics of puberty, her further relation to her body and the opposite sex directly depends.