Shwetha Bhatia

The Menstrual Cycle and Disease Risk

April, 2018
The Master Responds

The reproductive age determines your risk for disease. The menstrual age and the age of menopause are strong predictors of physical and psychological well-being.


The age of puberty has declined over the past 50 years. Obesity and stress are the two main drivers of early puberty in girls. With early puberty comes the danger of physical and psychological repercussions.

A high risk for mental health problems in adulthood than their later-developing peers is a possibility. Depression, antisocial behaviors, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse are common among those reporting menarche (start of the menstrual cycle) at 7 to 10 years of age compared with women who menstruate around 12 years of age.

A stressful environment with dysfunctional family settings is an important factor. The theory of an evolutionary application is that your body may try to get to its reproductive age sooner because it thinks you're going to die sooner. As adults, these girls have a higher risk for breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Body fat drives estrogen. With more body fat, there are higher levels of estrogen, which leads to dangerous changes. Early menarche is also associated with gestational diabetes due to excessive pre pregnancy adiposity and insulin resistance.

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