Age at menarche and menstrual cycle pattern among school girls in Basrah


  • Amall Y.Almulla Department of community medicine, University of Basrah


Age at menarche, school girls, Basrah


Background: Menarche is an index of female hormonal, psychological, cognitive changes     and physical behavior occurs during puberty, when female become capable to reproduce and it is the first important process of female puberty.Age of menarche has largely decreased in most developed countries in recent decades. Methods: A total of 509 girls were studied by across sectional study which was conducted to investigate age at menarche and menstrual pattern among school girls in Basrah city between Oct. – Dec. 2011.Random selection of school (3 were secondary, 2 were primary schools and only fourth, fifth and sixth class were selected from primary schools), because their age range within age of menarche. Results: Age at menarche was analyzed in 446 schoolgirls taking part in cross-sectional study in Basrah.The analysis yielded mean age of menarche of(11.7+_0.94). About 7.3% of girls experience early menarche below 10 years, 76% of them experience their menarche at 11-12 years of age and 16.7 % were 13years of age and more.Father education level reveal a significant effect on age at menarche, girls whose  father had a lower educational level showed a later age at menarche, those who were later born and with big family size had a higher age at menarche and also those with chronic disease. Decrease in age at menarche was found with increase BMI.Variability in menstrual cycle was found with prevalence of irregularity about 72.4% of girls , 54.3% had dysmenorrhea  and mean duration of flow was (5.5_+1.6)days.Logistic regression analysis revealed family size and chronic disease were positively associated with age at menarche while present of older girls and family income were negatively associated with age at menarche and other variables had no such association. CONCLUSION: Findings of current study suggest a change in mean age at menarche over the time which is concurrence with world trend.


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