Gina Florio
December 05, 2016 1:10 pm
Shutterstock

You probably don’t think much about the day you got your first period (well, maybe you’re just trying to forget it), but there are some details about that event that could give you some insight into your overall health. According to Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, how old you are when you get your first period says a few things about your future health risks.

Dr. Shepherd told Glamour, “It’s all estrogen-based.” If you get your period earlier than usual, your body is exposed to estrogen at an earlier age, which could potentially increase your risk for breast cancer in the future. Studies show that women who started menstruating earlier than 12 are 20 percent more likely to contract breast cancer than those whose first-period age was under 14.

 

Additionally, a study published in the medical journal Circulation determined that girls who got their periods at age 10 or younger were 20 percent more likely to suffer from high blood pressure complications. They’re also 27 percent more likely to die from heart disease. There are even studies that say an early period reflects a troubled childhood or home life, as well as indicates the individual will struggle with behavioral problems in the future.

However, there’s a plus if you got your period at age 10. When menopause hits, you may have a stronger memory than your friends who got their period later than you.

Before you freak out and think you know how the next few decades will pan out, just know that these are studies that have been conducted (they’re all relatively new and certainly not the end-all-be-all), and they’re not a future prediction for your life. If you’re concerned, speak to your doctor to make sure you’re living the healthiest lifestyle you can, because that’s what matters more than anything else.

Advertisement