Menarche defines the first menstrual cycle, which is the starting point of every woman's and menstruating individual's menstrual story, and is associated with the beginning of puberty. However, the body has already started to change before menarche. The first period is not the trigger for change; It is a normal result of the change process.
What is the difference between menstruation and menarche?
Menstruation is just one part and phase of the menstrual cycle, which is a monthly series of events that prepare the body for a possible pregnancy.
Menarche means experiencing menstruation for the first time, which makes it unique. The first menstrual period is not only the beginning of the reproductive years. This is also a defining part of the body's transition from childhood to adulthood, called adolescence.
At what age does menarche occur?
The period during which menarche occurs may vary depending on genetic factors, nutrition, general health and environmental factors.
In industrialized, developed societies where access to food is easier, menarche occurs on average around the age of 12-13. If we draw a more general framework, we can say that it mostly occurs between the ages of 11 and 14.
Many factors influence the onset of menarche, although it is common to have menstruation around the same time as the biological parent.
The following changes may occur in the body before menarche:
- Breast development.
- Expansion of the hips.
- Growth spurt.
- Oily skin and acne.
- Armpit hair growth.
- Hair growth in the bikini area.
- The body may continue to grow after menarche, but by the time the first menstrual period occurs, the body will have experienced most of the changes that come with puberty.
To the child whose first period has occurred,
"You're grown up now, you shouldn't act like a child."
"Be careful when you sit or stand up."
"Be careful about your relationships with men."
Instilled attitudes such as these impose social pressures on the child that he/she should not bear. The child who internalizes these thoughts, admonitions and sentences begins to expect society's expectations from himself.
Menarche is not and should not be a source of fear, shame, panic, or anxiety (we're looking at you, slap!). It is natural, beautiful, healthy.