During adolescence, a child's body will experience various changes including physical, emotional and sexual development which is known as puberty. In general, puberty in girls begins between the ages of 8 and 13 years. This process is characterized by breast growth, increase in height, and the growth of fine hair in the pubic and armpit areas. One important sign of puberty is the appearance of the first menstruation, which often worries parents because it is considered the main symptom.
Causes of Delayed First Menstruation
Each woman's first menstruation or menarche generally occurs at different times. Some may experience it earlier than others, while others may experience it later than their peers. There are several factors that can cause a delay in menstruation, including:
1. Excessive Stress
Delay in first menstruation can be triggered by stress factors. When stress approaches, reproductive hormones and fertility hormones can be disrupted, which ultimately results in the first menstruation arriving more slowly. This stress often appears during puberty due to various problems such as family conflicts, piling up schoolwork, or arguments with friends.
2. Excess or Deficiency of Body Weight
Unbalanced body weight, whether excess or deficiency, can affect the balance of hormones that play a role in fertility. Being overweight is often caused by a lack of physical activity or excessive calorie intake, while being underweight can be related to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
3. Hereditary Factors
Heredity also has a significant impact. If someone in your family experiences a delay in their first menstruation, such as your mother or older sister, it is possible that something similar could happen to your child or other women.
4. Excessive Exercise
Exercising is an activity that is very beneficial for the body, including maintaining the balance of fertility hormones. However, for a girl who is too intensive in exercising, such as an athlete, it can result in a late onset of menstruation.
This is caused by high physical activity which can drain a lot of calories and reduce fat levels in the body, which in turn can inhibit the production of fertility hormones.
5. Take Medicine or Herbal Concoction
There are several types of treatment that can affect fertility hormones, such as antidepressants, chemotherapy, and allergy medications. Apart from that, herbal ingredients such as herbal medicine also have the potential for similar impacts. If your child experiences delayed menstruation and is consuming herbal medicine, it is recommended to stop consuming it. Apart from that, if your child is undergoing treatment for a certain disease and menstruation does not come, you should consult a doctor.
Apart from these factors, there are several other diseases that can cause delays in the first menstruation, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, Turner syndrome, or hypopituitarism. All of these things need to be considered to maintain your child's reproductive health.
How to Deal with Delayed First Menstruation
Feeling anxious because your daughter hasn't had her first period is normal. However, there is no need to worry too much, because there are several ways you can stimulate the onset of your child's first menstruation:
- Carry out a sufficient exercise routine, for example walking for half an hour every day.
- Implement a healthy eating pattern.
- Make sure he gets enough sleep, namely at least 8 hours per night.
- Maintain adequate water intake with at least 8 glasses per day.
- Manage stress effectively.
Unnoticed delays in menstruation in teenagers can potentially present serious problems, such as infertility, pain in the pelvic area, risk of osteoporosis, and even heart and blood vessel disease. But no need to worry, with proper care, all these risks can be minimized. If your child is over 15 years old but has not menstruated, you should immediately consult a doctor to get appropriate examination and treatment.