The first menstruation and what does it mean for getting pregnant?

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” and this applies even more when it comes to our health. Many new studies look at the link between menstruation and a woman’s reproductive health. Does it matter exactly when you get your first period and, if so, how does it affect your chances of getting pregnant?

Menstruation is a process in the female body that marks the beginning of the reproductive age. The first menstruation is an important moment in a girl’s life, marking the beginning of puberty and the transition from childhood to adolescence. While the age at which girls go through it for the first time may vary, in recent years it is increasingly debated whether it matters when the first menses came, As for conception and overall reproductive health.

Ново проучване, проведено от Boston University School of Public Health, examines in detail this issue. It claims that both a short menstrual cycle and an excessively early or late onset of menstruation are associated with reduced reproduction. The study was conducted among more than 2,000 women.

First, let’s consider the influence of the early onset of menstruation. Starting menstruation at an early age (before 12), also known as early menarche, can have an impact on a woman’s health. The reason is that this means early exposure to estrogen, a hormone that plays a crucial role in the development of the female reproductive system. Studies have shown that estrogen, being present in the body from an early age, may increase the risk of reproductive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, metabolic disorders, etc.

In addition, early menarche affects the reproductive system at a later age. Women who start menstruating before age 12 have a higher risk of irregular menstrual cycles — something that can make it difficult to conceive. Early menarche was also associated with a shorter reproductive life. This means that women who start menstruating early get menopause earlier than those who start menses later in life. This can significantly reduce a woman’s chances of conceiving, as menopause marks the end of the reproductive years.

On the other hand, the late onset of the first menstruation, after the age of 15, can also affect fertility. Late menarche is associated with a higher risk of fertility problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. Polycystic ovaries often cause irregular menstrual cycles and anovulation, while endometriosis can lead to inflammation and scarring in the reproductive organs, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

Short menstrual cycle lengths, which were also seen as a factor in the Boston University study, may additionally be important when getting pregnant. A cycle less than 26 days long points to possible hormonal imbalance, lack of ovulation or low levels of progesterone, which are essential for the reproductive system. This can lead to difficulty getting pregnant or an increased risk of miscarriage. Another study, Published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada, also claims that women with short menstrual cycles have a higher risk of miscarriages than women with longer menstrual cycles.

One of the main causes of shorter menstrual cycles is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which we mentioned above. This is a common hormonal disorder that affects about 10% of women of reproductive age. Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause an irregular cycle, leading to difficulties in conceiving. Other symptoms of the condition are excessive facial hair, back and abdomen, acne, overweight, hair loss, etc. The syndrome often causes an overproduction of androgen, which disrupts ovulation and makes it difficult to get pregnant. In some cases, women suffering from PCOS need treatment by drugs to stimulate ovulation or by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Other causes of short menstrual cycles include thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism or premature ovarian failure, a condition in which the ovaries stop functioning before age 40. Both conditions affect fertility and often require medical intervention when trying to get pregnant.

It is good to add ovulation to the equation. It is a key process for getting pregnant and occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovaries. This period of 12-24 hours is the moment when a woman is most fertile. Ovulation can occur at different times than the cycle in different women. For example, the average menstrual cycle is 28 days, and ovulation most often occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. Accordingly, the onset of ovulation depends on the length of the woman’s cycle, hormonal health and a number of other factors.

Monitoring ovulation is often an effective way to increase the chances of conception. One of the monitoring options is an ovulation test, which measures luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in the urine. When LH levels are high, it indicates that ovulation is likely to occur within the next 24-36 hours. A handy product for this purpose is Oview , an ovulation test that helps users identify their fertile window and increase their chances of getting pregnant.

Besides tracking ovulation, the good news is that nowadays there are a number of working options for women and couples with reproductive difficulties. Some of them are:

  1. Intrauterine insemination (IUI): involves inserting sperm directly into the uterus during ovulation.
  1. In vitro fertilization (IVF): involves fertilizing eggs with sperm in a laboratory and transferring the resulting embryo(s) to the uterus.
  1. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): injection of one sperm into the cytoplasm of a woman’s egg
  1. Donor egg or sperm: use of eggs or sperm for fertilization by a donor. This treatment is often used in couples who cannot get pregnant with their own eggs or sperm.

Your obstetrician-gynecologist can advise you on the best and most suitable option for you in case you need such treatment.

In conclusion, the onset of the first menstruation and the duration of the cycle may be relevant for female reproductive health. For those who want to become pregnant, it is key to monitor their menstrual cycle and seek medical attention for any concerns related to gynecological and hormonal problems. In this way, women can take steps in time to affect their fertility and improve their chances of conceiving.

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