Puberty is a time of changes, but did you know that the average age that puberty occurs has also been changing? In particular, menarche (aka your first period) has been occurring at younger ages in more recent years.
In 1840, the average age of the first period in industrialized countries was 16.5 years old. Today, the average age is 12. Why is that? Many people assume that earlier menstruation is a bad thing, but it’s actually believed that the decrease in the average age of menarche is associated with improvements in nutrition.
Although the average age of menarche is decreasing, most will have their first period between the ages of 10-16. If someone starts experiencing the stages of puberty (like growing underarm and pubic hair, growing breasts, or getting white vaginal discharge) before the age of 8, it could be a sign of a condition called precocious puberty. In this case, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional if you have any concerns.
As the age of menarche has evolved, so have the ways that we care for our periods. More and more people are making the switch to a more sustainable period, including people who are new to menstruation altogether. Leak proof underwear, such as Saalt Wear, can offer more style and comfort than disposable pads with just as much protection! The Saalt Teen Cup is a specially designed menstrual cup for teens, offering a comfortable, easy-to-use option so you never have to skip out on a swim meet or beach day.
Puberty and the experience of your first period can feel a bit daunting at first, but you don’t have to go through it alone! Let Saalt accompany you on your period journey; we’ve got you covered.