The Association Between Menarche Age and BirthWeight, Mother and Older Sister’s Age of Menarche


1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Psychiatric Nursing Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research Center, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Abstract Background: Age of menarche is a sign of the beginning of the ability to reproduce and is usually a turning point for the development and maturity and puberty. Regulatory factors in the onset of menarche age are not well understood, but in developed countries, it is thought that about half of the variations in the onset age of menarche is associated with genetic factors. Objectives: To determine the association between menarche age, birth weight and the mother and older sister’s age of menarche; the subjects of this study were Shirazifemaleprimary, middle and high schools students in 2014 - 2015. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, which was done on 2000 girls aged 9 - 18 years. In the first stage, sampling of schools in 4 regions was randomly assigned to clusters. Then, the students in each school were selected purposively. The questionnaires filled in by the participants contained demographic items, menarche age, and birth weight. Data were analyzed through SPSS (version16), using Chi-square test and ANOVA. Results: The majority of the subjects (n: 1294, 64.7%) had normal menarche age (11 - 14 years old).There was no relationship between menarche age and birth weight (P: 0.67).However, it was significantly associated with the students’ mother and older sister’s age of menarche (P: 0.001). Conclusions: According to the findings, menarche age was within the normal range (11 - 14 years) in the majority of the subjects. There was a significant positive association between menarche age in both mothers and girls. In other words; girls reach menarche age earlier than their mothers. Thus, and mother and older sister’s menarche age can be a proper criterion to predictit in girls.


  1. 1.Khalili SH, Bajhtiyari A. Psychology approach to girls puberty. Womens Guidance Studies Quarterly Paper. 2008;41:197.

    1. Himes JH. Examining the evidence for recent secular changes in the timing of puberty in US children in light of increases in the prevalence of obesity. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2006;254-255:13–21. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2006.04.013. [PubMed: 16759793].
    2. Morris DH, Jones ME, Schoemaker MJ, Ashworth A, Swerdlow AJ. Familial concordance for age at menarche: analyses from the Breakthrough Generations Study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2011;25(3):306– 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2010.01183.x. [PubMed: 21470270].
    3. Parent AS, Teilmann G, Juul A, Skakkebaek NE, Toppari J, Bourguignon JP. The timing of normal puberty and the age limits of sexual precocity: variations around the world, secular trends, and changes after migration. Endocr Rev. 2003;24(5):668–93. doi: 10.1210/er.2002-0019. [PubMed: 14570750].
    4. Ayatollahi SM, Dowlatabadi E, Ayatollahi SA. Age at menarche in Iran. Ann Hum Biol. 2002;29(4):355–62. doi: 10.1080/03014460110086817. [PubMed: 12160469].
    5. Anderson CA, Duffy DL, Martin NG, Visscher PM. Estimation of variance components for age at menarche in twin families. Behav Genet. 2007;37(5):668–77. doi: 10.1007/s10519-007-9163-2. [PubMed: 17680356].
    6. Berek JS. Berek& Novak’s Gynecology. 15 ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012. p. 909.
    7. Epplein M, Novotny R, Daida Y, Vijayadeva V, Onaka AT, Le Marchand L. Association of maternal and intrauterine characteristics with age at menarche in a multiethnic population in Hawaii. Cancer Causes Control. 2010;21(2):259–68. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9457-1. [PubMed: 19862633].
    8. Ong KK, Northstone K, Wells JC, Rubin C, Ness AR, Golding J, et al. Earlier mother’s age at menarche predicts rapid infancy growth and childhood obesity. PLoS Med. 2007;4(4):132. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040132. [PubMed: 17455989].
    9. Ersoy B, Balkan C, Gunay T, Egemen A. The factors affecting the relation between the menarcheal age of mother and daughter. Child Care Health Dev. 2005;31(3):303–8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2005.00501.x. [PubMed: 15840150].
    10. Boynton-Jarrett R, Rich-Edwards J, Fredman L, Hibert EL, Michels KB, Forman MR, et al. Gestational weight gain and daughter’s age at menarche. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011;20(8):1193–200. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2517. [PubMed: 21711153].
    11. Atay Z, Turan S, Guran T, Furman A, Bereket A. The prevalence and risk factors of premature thelarche and pubarche in 4- to 8-year-old girls. Acta Paediatr. 2012;101(2):71–5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02444.x. [PubMed: 21854448].
    12. Opdahl S, Nilsen TI, Romundstad PR, Vanky E, Carlsen SM, Vatten LJ. Association of size at birth with adolescent hormone levels, body size and age at menarche: relevance for breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer. 2008;99(1):201–6. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604449. [PubMed: 18594544].
    13. Szwed A, Kosinska M. Biological maturity at birth, the course of the subsequent ontogenetic stages and age at menarche. Homo. 2012;63(4):292–300. doi: 10.1016/j.jchb.2012.01.003. [PubMed: 22687608]. Razavi Int J Med. 2017; 5(1):e40320. 5 Tayebi N et al.
    14. Dunger DB, Ahmed ML, Ong KK. Early and late weight gain and the timing of puberty. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2006;254-255:140–5. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2006.04.003. [PubMed: 16824679].
    15. Terry MB, Ferris JS, Tehranifar P,Wei Y, Flom JD. BirthWeight, Postnatal Growth, and Age at Menarche. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;170(1):72–9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp095.
    16. Maisonet M, Christensen KY, Rubin C, Holmes A, Flanders WD, Heron J, et al. Role of prenatal characteristics and early growth on pubertal attainment of British girls. Pediatrics. 2010;126(3):591–600. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2636. [PubMed: 20696722].
    17. Tam CS, de Zegher F, Garnett SP, Baur LA, Cowell CT. Opposing influences of prenatal and postnatal growth on the timing of menarche. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91(11):4369–73. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-0953. [PubMed: 16926251].
    18. van Weissenbruch MM, Delemarre-van de Waal HA. Early influences on the tempo of puberty. Horm Res. 2006;65 Suppl 3:105–11. doi: 10.1159/000091514. [PubMed: 16612122].
    19. Hui LL, Leung GM, Lam TH, Schooling CM. Premature birth and age at onset of puberty. Epidemiology. 2012;23(3):415–22. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31824d5fd0. [PubMed: 22450693].
    20. Hosny LA, El-Ruby MO, Zaki ME, Aglan MS, Zaki MS, El Gammal MA, et al. Assessment of pubertal development in Egyptian girls. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2005;18(6):577–84. doi: 10.1515/JPEM.2005.18.6.577. [PubMed: 16042325].
    21. Rabar RW, Paupoo AAV. Puberty. 15 ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012. pp. 992–1034.
    22. Lin-Su K, Vogiatzi MG, New MI. Body mass index and age at menarche in an adolescent clinic population.Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2002;41(7):501– 7. doi: 10.1177/000992280204100707. [PubMed: 12365312].
    23. Talma H, Schonbeck Y, van Dommelen P, Bakker B, van Buuren S, Hirasing RA. Trends in menarcheal age between 1955 and 2009 in the Netherlands. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):60056. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060056. [PubMed: 23579990].
    24. Rigon F, De Sanctis V, Bernasconi S, Bianchin L, Bona G, Bozzola M, et al. Menstrual pattern and menstrual disorders among adolescents: an update of the Italian data. Ital J Pediatr. 2012;38:38. doi: 10.1186/1824- 7288-38-38. [PubMed: 22892329].
    25. Ayele E, Berhan Y. Age at menarche among in-school adolescents in Sawla Town, South Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2013;23(3):189–200. [PubMed: 24307818].
    26. Ahmadnia E, Maleki A, Moosavinasab N. Menstrual cycle pattern, its related disorders and associated factors in students of Zanjan, Iran. Qom Univ Med Sci J. 2014;8(2):51–8.
    27. Kordi M, Mohammad Rizi S. Investigating the Age of Menarche, Dysmenorrhea and Menstrual Characteristics in High School Girl Students in Mashhad City in Year 2011. Iran J Obstetrics, Gyneocol Infertil. ;15(33):10–8.
    28. Sanchez-Andres A. Genetic and environmental factors affecting menarcheal age in Spanish women. Anthropol Anz. 1997;55(1):69–78. [PubMed: 9161683].
    29. Papadimitriou A, Gousia E, Pitaouli E, Tapaki G, Philippidis P. Age at menarche in Greek girls. Ann Hum Biol. 1999;26(2):175–7. doi: 10.1080/030144699282877. [PubMed: 10195654].
    30. Danesh A, Khoshdel A, Chopani R. Age of menarche and its related factors in school girls of Shahrekord. J Isfahan Univ Med Sci. 2009;27(98):434–42.
    31. Kabir A, Torkan F, Hakemi L. Evaluation of Menarche Age and Relevant Factors in Iranian Female Participants of the 1381 Student Olympic Games. Iran J Endocrinol Metabol. 2006;8(4):383–91.
    32. Ibanez L, Valls C, Ong K, Dunger DB, de Zegher F. Metformin therapy during puberty delays menarche, prolongs pubertal growth, and augments adult height: a randomized study in low-birth-weight girls with early-normal onset of puberty. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91(6):2068–73. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-2329. [PubMed: 16492692].
    33. Gajdos ZK, Henderson KD, Hirschhorn JN, Palmert MR. Genetic determinants of pubertal timing in the general population. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010;324(1-2):21–9. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2010.01.038. [PubMed: 20144687].
    34. Tehrani FR, Mirmiran P, Zahedi-Asl S, Nakhoda K, Azizi F. Menarcheal age of mothers and daughters: Tehran lipid and glucose study. East Mediterr Health J. 2010;16(4):391–5. [PubMed: 20795422].
    35. Ainy E, Mehrabi Y, Azizi F. Comparison of menarcheage between two generations (Tehran lipid and glucosestudy). J Qazvin Uni Med Sci. 2006;10:36–40.
    36. Pouta A, Jarvelin MR, Hemminki E, Sovio U, Hartikainen AL. Mothers and daughters: intergenerational patterns of reproduction. Eur J Public Health. 2005;15(2):195–9. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cki078. [PubMed: 15941762].
    37. Ghoraishi Sarvestani P, Fararooei M. Effectivefactors on menarche age. Armagan-e-Danesh. 2002;7(25):33–6.
    38. Mohammad K, Zeraati H, Majdzadeh R, Karimloo M. Variation of the mean age at menarche in Iranian girls. J Reproduc Infertil. 2006;7:523– 30.
    39. Ganong WF. Physiology of reproduction in women. 9 ed. NewYork: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 130. 41. Blythe MJ, Rosenthal SL. Female adolescent sexuality. Promoting healthy sexual development. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2000;27(1):125–41. doi: 10.1016/S0889-8545(00)80010-8. [PubMed: 10693186].
    40. Sun L, Tan L, Yang F, Luo Y, Li X, Deng HW, et al. Meta-analysis suggests that smoking is associated with an increased risk of early natural menopause. Menopause. 2012;19(2):126–32. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318224f9ac. [PubMed: 21946090].