Although there has been a lot written in recent years about the fact that girls in the U.S. in particular seem to be hitting puberty at earlier ages, there’s still no surefire way to know when any individual girl is likely to start her period. However, new research indicates that one piece of information can give mothers and daughters a pretty good indicator of when the daughter is likely to hit this important developmental milestone.According to scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research at the University of London, there is a 57 per cent likelihood that a girl will begin menstruating within three months of the date her mother started. Researchers had believed that diet – and particularly meat consumption – would play a bigger role in predicting when a girl would start menstruating, but this new research found a powerful genetic impact.
And genetics pack the same punch when it comes to the end of a woman’s fertile years. While the average age of menopause is 51, one in 20 women stops menstruating at age 46 or younger – an age range that doctors consider “early” menopause. Researchers at the University of Exeter say they’ve discovered in studies on sisters that whether or not an individual woman will experience an early menopause in 85 percent up to her genes.
In the case of my own teenage daughter (the only one of my three girls old enough to have hit this milestone), there was no relationship whatsoever between her own menarche and mine. In fact, there was a difference of several years between the two of us.
But how about you? Did you start your period or hit menopause at an age very close to that of your mother or sisters? Or was their wide variation? If you have a daughter who has already started her period, did she start at an age very close to when you started? Do you worry about your younger daughters hitting puberty “too soon,” and if so, have you paid attention to diet or other factors that might impact this? Tell me in the comments below.
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The causes of Early Puberty and How to Prevent It In Your Daughter