Menarche is the first occurrence of menstruation in a girl. Most girls experience menarche between the ages of 11 and 15. A few percentage however, experience menarche at the tender ages of 7, and some even earlier than that. If it starts before the age of 8, it is known as Early Menarche.
Early menarche can be a traumatizing and difficult experience for girls who experience it at 7 or 8 years of age. It affects a girl, physically, mentally, and emotionally as she is unable to comprehend the situation, and understand the changes. A majority of parents are unaware about early periods and its effects. There is a need to raise awareness about early periods as its onset has been steadily declining over the years.
DECLINE IN MENARCHE AGE
Over the last few years, the menarche age has been seeing a drop. While earlier, menarche would begin at the age of 12 onward, it has now dropped to the age of 8 and younger. It is becoming a general trend worldwide to discover girls of 8 experiencing menarche. Below is a look at the declining menarche age over the world:
- Europe – Menarche age has decreased from 17 to 13 years
- Ireland – Menarche age has decreased from 13.52 to 12.53 years
- USA – Menarche age has decreased from 12.34 to 7 years
- India – Menarche age has decreased from 14 to 8-10 years
MENARCHE IN INDIA
In India, roughly around 5% of girls experience early menarche. This figure is only growing by the day. Several prominent paediatricians attribute this to lifestyle habits since the mothers of the girls, experienced menarche at the age of 12 and above.
CAUSES OF EARLY MENARCHE
Lifestyle is not the only cause of early menarche. A number of other causes underlay the early onset of menarche in girls. Factors like the environment and genetics are also responsible for early menarche in girls. Some of these causes are:
- Childhood obesity
- High-calorie diets (Meat, Dairy, Soft drinks)
- Lower nutrition diet
- Less physical activity
- High BMI and waist perimeter
- Family issues (physical abuse, broken families)
- Low socioeconomic status
Any of the above factors can trigger early menarche in girls.
EARLY MENARCHE SYMPTOMS
There are a few tell-tale symptoms of early menarche that parents can keep a look out for. Symptoms like the following need to be tracked:
- Tense behaviour
- Mood swings
- Cramps in abdomen, back and legs
- Acne on face
- Tender breast
A girl experiencing early menarche may display one or more of the above symptoms. Once menarche begins, she may even withdraw from social activities, stay aloof, have irritable spells, and display aggressiveness. She is too young to understand the physical and emotional discomfort brought on by menarche and this is expressed through the above stated symptoms. At this stage, she requires guidance, counselling, and a helping hand to overcome despair, helplessness, and depression due to early menarche.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF EARLY MENARCHE
A girl experiencing early menarche may develop imbalances in hormones which may lead to disorders that could affect pregnancy, and menopause in the long run. It could also leave lifelong complications that affect daily life and personality. Some of the long term effects are:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Endometriosis of the uterus
- Early menopause (in the forties)
- Breast cancer
- Uterus cancer
- Stress, anxiety, depression
- Diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and respiratory problems
However, not all girls who experience early menarche will go through the above.
NATURAL TREATMENT FOR EARLY MENARCHE
A visit to a gynaecologist is required to understand more about early menarche and how you can help her. Painkillers may be prescribed to reduce the physical discomfort, cramps, and pain if your daughter is experiencing them.
If you are skeptical about your little daughter consuming painkillers and drugs at a young age, you can turn to natural herbs and herbal based medicine to ensure your daughter receives safe and effective medicine with no side effects.
Some of the herbs that help manage early menarche of your daughter are:
Brahmi: It is an anti-depressant and keeps away episodes of depression. It calms the mind, and keeps one’s mind stabilized.
Lodhra: This herb has anti-androgenic effect that prevents ovarian cell dysfunction that occur in PCOS and improves fertility. It also reduces inflammation in the ovary due to its anti-inflammatory effect.
Daruhaldi: Relieves pain and eases cramps during menstruation due to its analgesic property.
Shunthi: This herb is extremely effective in reducing menstrual pain for a pain-free menstruation.
Ashoka: Early menarche may cause irregular menstrual cycles. This can cause discomfort and anxiety for young girls going through it. The Ashoka herb helps regulate menstrual cycle.
Musta: Some girls may experience irregularities in menstruation which can cause them to worry, be depressed, and experience physical pain. Musta corrects such menstrual irregularities and provides ease for the lower abdomen.
You can find the above herbs combined in M2 – Tone EM, a herbal supplement that helps manage early menarche. Since it is herbal-based, it is a safe, non-hormonal option that eases physical and emotional pain during menstruation for young girls. The effective and powerful herbs packed in it help in offering long term relief from pain, abdominal cramps and anxiety. This also helps in regulating the long-term effects of early menarche. The herbs are combined to to reduce pituitary hormones, regularize menstrual cycle and restore emotional balance in girls going through early menarche. It is completely natural and hence, no side-effects too!
Tips to Make Early Menarche Easy:
- Be there for your daughter and explain to her thoroughly what she is going through is a natural process
- Ensure good nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and positive environment for her stable growth
Plan activities, games, and exercises for her to enjoy
By : Seema Sethi