Childhood abuse might alter onset of menstruation

Girls who are sexually or physically abused may start menstruating earlier or later than average. After analyzing information on 68,505 women, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found those sexually abused during their childhood were 49 percent more likely to have their first period before age 11 than women who were not abused. Women who suffered severe physical abuse had a 50 percent increased risk for starting their menstrual cycles late, or after age 15. The researchers noted that girls who menstruate early may be at greater risk for certain health problems, such as heart disease, metabolic dysfunction, cancer and depression. Meanwhile, girls who menstruate late may be more likely to have depression and lower bone-mineral density.