What is the average age for a girl to start her monthly cycle?

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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As the years go by, the average age of when a girl starts menstruating has gotten younger and younger. Menstruation usually begins between the ages of 9 and 16, although this age will vary depending on the reference. Breast development and pubic hair usually come before menstruation does. The first 6 to 12 months of menses there is usually no egg that is shed and this is why periods are so irregular. Some girls may have only a couple of periods the first year while others will have one every month. Every female is different.

This time of a young woman's life can be very stressful. There are many changes happening in the body and it can be very confusing. There are also various hormones that can cause a lot of emotional ups and downs.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Girls begin menstrating when they have reached puberty.  Girls begin puberty usually between the ages of eight  thirteen.  The start of menstruation is called menarche.  Menarche does not occur until all parts of the female reproductive system have developed. As girls mature, their pituitary gland releases hormones that stimulate the ovaries to release other hormones that cause the body to mature and develop. There is some variation in the amount of time a female menstruates.  Some females menstruate for two to three days, while other can menstruate for seven days of more.  The amount of blood lost due to menstruation is minimal even though it may seem like a lot.  The usual amount of blood loss is about two tablespoons.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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They say the average age is 12 - but of course average means there are outliers on either side all the way down to as young as 8 or as old as 16 or 17.

A couple of controllable contributing factors include:

  • Body fat: at least 17% body fat is ideal - this is often the case of extremely athletic girls (gymnists and dancers especially) who may start and then menstruation actually goes on hold while their bodies are subjected to extreme physical activity
  • diet and nutrition: they say the average age is actually getting younger in America as a result of hormones in our meat and milk

Otherwise, puberty is largely related to genetics - this means most girls follow the same patterns as their mothers.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Monthly cycle of a woman is her menstrual cycle, which is the shedding of her uterine lining in the form of bleeding for some 3-5 days through the vaginal orifice. The onset of this menstrual bleeding is called 'menarche', and it is indicative of a young girl turning to womanhood.

Menstruation may begin very early,say, when the girl is just eight years old, or it may start very late when the girl is fifteen years old. Since the age of the first cycle is quite variable, it is difficult to fix any general average. It should be around eleven years. Since menstrual bleeding is the sign of a girl becoming a woman with all her reproductive organs maturing, it depends on the growth and maturity of a girl's body and mind. Diet, exercise, environment/climate, genetic factors etc are some important considerations behind the onset of the monthly cycle.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Beginning of monthly cycle, or the menstrual cycle in girls is a part of the physical growth process of the humans called puberty, which involves a sudden increase in the activity of certain glands, especially the hypothalamus, pineal, pituitary, and sex glands in the body.

At the start of puberty, a girl's breasts become larger, her hips widen, and hair grows under her arms and around her genitals.  A year or so after these changes begin, she has her first menstrual period. There can be great variation in age of puberty of individuals. This age is also influenced by factors such as race. However, deepens.  Most girls start puberty at about age 11 and ends two or three years after that.

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