When is It too Late? The Long Awaited Menarche

I have given numerous sessions about puberty and its issues from 2017 to 2023. All in which mentioned about the onset of menarche, which of course varies between children, and is actually unable to be precisely predicted aside from its possibility to occur at 1-2 years post breast budding.

However assured,  I stood to watch my second daughter fall into the (far) right side of the curve. Facing her 14th birthday soon but yet no menarche. I also faltered and ran to obtain second opinions or more like fifth opinions from dear friends and family, including 2 best endocrinologist, 1 gynae, 1 pediatrician, and 1 adolescent gynae. All to just wait and see. Until they all say wait for like year 15, which is still faraway, assuring me of the curve, of the probabilities, etc.

My second born is different from my first daughter. She is quite tall and still grow at a normal pace making her height similar to her already menarche friends. For so long I thought that she was going to be in the fatter part of the curve and have her menarche at 11 or 12 years old.

Menarche is a term used for first menstruation, which occurs usually from 11-14 years old, relatively painless and without a warning. Of course some has it at 9 or 10 at the earliest but that is just a mere handful. Although very popular, menarche is not the initial puberty sign. The latest age for menarche would be 15 years old with note that there should be other signs of puberty at at least 13 years old.

The first signs of puberty would be either breast budding or appearance of pubic hair. Another telltale signs of coming menarche is growth spurt, an increased in height in a short period of time, this includes also size and shape of body. This is described to happen around 6 months prior to menarche.

Therefore, menarche is more like a subsequent event in this period of so called puberty. But, yes, it is also the hallmark of adulthood, signifying ability to reproduce and other adult responsibilities in life, although the first cycles are usually anovulatory with varied lengths and flow.

So, what does influence menarche?

Quoted from a book by Amy E. Lacroix; Hurria Gondal; Karlie R. Shumway; Michelle D. Langaker on the Physiology of Menarche, the determinants of menarcheal age are continuously being researched; socioeconomic conditions, genetics, general health, nutritional status, exercise, seasonality, and family size are thought to play a role.

Improvements in diet has led to better conditions for children to thrive is thought to have pushed menarcheal age forward if compared to times in the 1800s or 1900s where the it was normal for children to have menarche at 17 or 18 years of age. Although at present, 15 or 16 years old for menarche is still considered normal.

Some also suggested visual stimulations from televisions, movies, or gadgets that might prematurely triggered the brain working on the hormones earlier than previous times. But it is still being researched for credibility because it might suggest that the earlier ones were exposed to unproper views at younger age.

I could go on and on but..

It still gave me no clue on why my daughter was (sort of) late(r).

But patience is virtue. At 14 years old minus one month she finally had her period. Surely was a relief for all. Alhamdulillah.

I believe that differing experiences in raising children is destined for us to grow, to be on our toes, to always improve ourselves. You cannot just copy paste first child experience into the second, third, and so. Of course, Allah knows best for us and providing for our children are actually our main responsibility and insyaaAllah will receive its returns.

This story is just to take us to a real life story of the other side of the curve assuring maybe many moms out there to be aware but also patient (a true self reminder for me). Hamasah!


From the mom in me

Feel free to leave your thoughts :)