As a dad with 3 daughters, I can attest that menarche, or the signs your daughter is about to start her period, is a time of stress and anxiety. It’s was also quite scary for my 2 oldest daughters right before they started their periods.
Leading up to that (they are tweens), I began to wonder what signs I should be on the lookout for. So not only did I do some research, but I also sought out the co-author of this post, Aashna Grover of Sharda Hospital as an expert.
The signs your daughter is about to start her period include:
1. Breast development
2. Pubic hair growth
3. Vaginal discharge
5. Mood swings
6. Breakouts and acne
7. Increased Appetite and/or Food Cravings
8. Growth spurts
9. Bloating and cramps
So now that you know all the signs your daughter’s period is about to start, let’s review the specifics of each one and answer some additional questions.
What does menarche mean?
Menarche, a Greek word, literally means the first menstrual cycle. This, of course, begins the process of our daughters becoming young women.
The changes a female body goes through during menarche are many and unpredictable. For some, the sudden urge for certain foods is strong. On top of that, some have difficulty regulating their emotional state.
Periods are inevitable.
Every girl has a distinctive experience and handles it in her own way. However, you can help make it a positive one by telling your daughter what to expect, helping her stay calm.
As your daughter approaches the start of her period, why not help her with one of my favorite books on helping young girls understand the changes their bodies are going through.
The book is called Celebrate Your Body; The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls (click to check current price on Amazon), by Sonya Renee Taylor. It’s a number 1 best seller and has glowing reviews.
How long after a girl gets pubic hair does her period start?
Just after your daughter’s breasts start to form, she’ll probably start growing pubic hair.
It will be soft and thin at first, but it’ll get coarser over time. Her period usually arrives around one to two years later.
Thus while that is one of the signs your daughter is about to start her period, it’s not an immediate indicator.
So let’s review all the . . .
9 Proven Menarche Symptoms of Your Daughter’s First Period Starting
1. Breast Development
When your daughter is about to start puberty, a change in the breasts is likely the first of the menarche symptoms.
Most girls begin to menstruate 1-2 years after their breasts start to grow. It is perfectly normal.
In the beginning, the small bumps on the nipples grow. Later, the darker area of the nipple begins to grow as the breast area starts to puff out. The raised part might feel like there is a little lump on the chest.
This development process is usually visible on one side at first.
The other side could take up to 4-6 months to catch up. These are called breast buds.
Usually, breast buds grow about two years before the period starts. However, it can take up to three years if they develop at an early age (around 8 or 9).
If a girl develops breasts later (like at age 13), it may take less than a year for the first period to start. Besides, by the time you notice breast buds, the overall growth has already become faster.
But breast budding is generally the first of the signs your daughter is about to start her period.
2. The Growth of Pubic Hair
Soon after the breast buds grow, your daughter may notice pubic hair growth.
At first, she may just see a few long, sparse, straight and soft hairs in the beginning. However, as the hair will fill in, they will become darker, curlier and coarser.
Over the next few years, the pubic hair grows up in the groin area. Further taking on a triangular shape, the hair finally spreads to the inner thighs.
It is important to note that underarm hair doesn’t begin to grow until around when menstruation begins.
Make sure that you guide your daughter about the change she will be experiencing.
In this case knowledge of the menarche symptoms can help manage the stress and fear that comes with the uncertainty.
#Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
PMS may be mild or strong & vary from month to month. When PMS symptoms are severe, the condition is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is condition in which a woman has severe depression, irritability & tension before menstruation pic.twitter.com/NcfAs4ptC7
— Geng Farmasi Otai (@UbatOhUbat) June 6, 2018
3. Vaginal Discharge
Generally, when a girl is about to start her first period, approximately 6-12 months before she may notice white discharge in her underwear.
This white fluid is usually odorless and may look a bit yellowish when it dries out.
The fluid changes as their body produces more estrogen, and as the healthy bacteria in the vagina grow.
In the weeks before the first period, she may notice the fluid becoming more opaque for a few days or springy like an egg white.
The changes in fluid consistency, odor and appearance are one of the signs your daughter is about to start her period.
The physical changes that occur before puberty definitely take their toll on your daughter’s energy levels.
Because her body is going through so much change, don’t be surprised if she gets tired much more easily than before.
Menarche directly affects the body and brain to alter a girl’s needs, interests, and moods. She may feel tired and a little sad much of the time.
5. Mood swings
When her mood suddenly swings between feeling happy to feeling irritated, or vice-versa, understand her hormones are playing the trick.
Therefore, instead of being critical about her behavior, try to be supportive and encouraging.
Help her understand that this is normal. Make sure she also knows you are with her in case she needs to talk.
Not sure if her mood swings are in the typical range? Learn more about eliminating anxiety and panic attacks with your kids.
6. Breakouts and Acne
Acne is also one of the first signs your daughter is about to start her period.
Acne can occur at any time. However, if your daughter complains of a sudden increase in the amount of acne over a short period of time, it may mean she is about to get her first period.
In medical terms, when a girl is about to get her first period, the level of androgens increases in their body.
Androgens make the skin’s oil glands larger and make more sebum which results in pimples and acne.
Help your daughter manage her acne!
The Neutralyze Moderate To Severe Acne Treatment Kit on Amazon Prime has outstanding reviews, is an Amazon Choice product and has well over 100 reviews. Clinically proven 95% effective and it comes with a money-back guarantee.
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Then we have the Tea Tree Oil Natural & Organic Facial Moisturizer by Era Organics. It too has great reviews on Amazon Prime, is an Amazon Choice product and has well over 500 reviews. It is vegan, paraben free, non-toxic, with no hormone disruptors. Gentle, yet effective.
CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon for this product.
7. Increased Appetite and/or Food Cravings
Strong urge or craving towards certain is another of the signs your daughter is about to start her period.
In most girls, the likeness may vary from sweets to something salty or spicy. Some girls may tend to take a swing towards the sour taste.
If you notice your daughter has suddenly developed a strong taste for new and specific foods, this may indicate that she is about to start puberty.
8. Growth Spurts
The height, body shape, fat distribution, and body composition also begin to change rapidly when a girl is about to hit puberty.
You may notice that your daughter’s clothing size has increased.
Even her pelvis and hips may have widened. There can be a change in weight too. Suddenly, she may look like a full-grown woman, though not completely.
This is totally normal when a girl is going through the menarche symptoms.
If you’re keeping track of her height, you may notice a growth spurt. When this starts to slow down, menstruation may be just around the corner.
9. Bloating and Cramps
If your almost teenage daughter complains of abdominal pain or a backache, it may be an indication of menarche.
When a girl’s body produces an increased amount of prostaglandins, it makes the muscles of the uterus contract, resulting in cramps.
These on and off cramps are one of the sure signs your daughter is about to start her period.
Don’t forget to get her some products to help manage these menarche symptoms.
Yogi Teas Woman’s Moon Cycle Organic Tea is a great way to “help relieve the minor tensions and discomfort of your monthly cycle”.
Near perfect reviews on Amazon Prime and well over 100 reviews tell you this can definitely help. CLICK HERE to check current Amazon prices.
PMS Magnesium Relief Spray is an all-natural menstrual cramp relief & PMS support.
It too has great reviews too on Amazon Prime and provides “powerful, but gentle relief from tension, anxiety, mood swings, cramps, fluid retention, difficulty sleeping” and more.
CLICK HERE to check that price on Amazon right now!
What is the average age for menarche?
According to statistics, the average age the menarche symptoms starting is between 12-14 years.
However, it is perfectly normal if your daughter gets her first period anywhere between 9-15 years of age.
In most cases, the age may differ as per the various factors including geographical region, race, ethnicity, and other characteristics.
But, always consult a doctor if your daughter is over 15 years and has still not started her period. In rare cases, puberty has set in around age 5.
Our first episode is here! Today, we’re talking about Menstrual Equity, and how girls around the world still struggle to receive the care they need. Talking about it can help remove the stigma around #menstruation. #menstruationmatters https://t.co/cy1s9e7eyU pic.twitter.com/bGOZbSNfwY— 7 Minutes Apart Podcast (@7MinutesApart) June 11, 2018
Are tampons bad?
Tampons no doubt make managing a period easier. But there are also some real dangers associated with them.
So make sure to educate yourself and your daughter and, in conjunction with your doctor, decide what is best for your family.
For starters, in a recent study, feminine care products with fragrance added can raise exposure to phthalates.
These are endocrine disrupters which have been linked to lower IQs & higher rates of asthma.
Then there are issues with dioxins caused by the bleaching process of tampons. The World Health Organization classifies dioxins as “highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.”
While it’s true that today’s tampons have lower levels of dioxins than the ones produced in past decades, it should still be a concern.
Lastly, we have the bacterial infection known as Toxic Shock Syndrome.
This condition became widely publicized in the 1980’s after large numbers of tampon-related deaths due to TSS.
Essentially this is can be either a strep or staph infection. It is not specific to tampons though and can affect both men and women.
Tampon manufacturers have cut back on the number of chemicals their tampons are treated with. While this has led to a reduction in reported cases and deaths, the condition still persists.
The more absorbent the tampon, the higher the risks, so for that reason, the Mayo Clinic recommends “use the lowest absorbency tampon you can. Change tampons frequently, at least every four to eight hours. Alternate using tampons and sanitary napkins, and use minipads when your flow is light.”
Why not get the Rael Organic Cotton Menstrual Pads (click to see current price on Amazon) from Amazon Prime?
These are the highest rated pads I saw on Amazon with well over 1,300 reviews.
It’s a great investment in your daughter’s health. And let’s face it, most girls with menarche symptoms won’t want their mom’s pads and these are specially designed for teens and pre-teens.
Did we cover everything about the menarche symptoms of your daughter’s first period starting?
The onset of the first period can be anything from empowering to intimidating, depending on the environment or surrounding.
In this post, we reviewed the most common signs your daughter is about to start her period.
Therefore, when you notice any of the menarche symptoms in your daughter, know that she will need your help and support.
At that point in time, it is your responsibility to assure her that all these changes are totally normal.
With proper preparation and information, you can calm your daughter’s nerves and help her ease into womanhood smoothly and easily.
What has been your biggest challenge for parenting daughters?
About the co-author of this post.
Aashna Grover works on behalf of Sharda Hospital and intends to spread awareness about women’s health. Sharda Hospital is one of the largest super specialty hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR). Follow them on Facebook or Twitter
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