Why Do Females Gain Weight Before Their First Period?
Have you ever gone to bed feeling a few pounds lighter than you did the day before and then woke up feeling five pounds heavier? This can be quite frustrating, especially if you’re on a weight loss program.
You’re not alone! While it’s normal to gain a few pounds during your period, you don’t want that extra weight to stick around.
Most women who have periods don’t notice any bloating or weight gain before their periods begin. And that’s good news, since that bloating and weight gain typically go away once you start bleeding.
The bloating and swelling that goes along with your period is often a result of a number of factors, including fluctuating hormones, water retention and food cravings.
During the premenstrual stage of your cycle, hormones called estrogen and progesterone increase, which can make you crave salty foods and sugary drinks. It also causes you to eat more calories, says Dr. Octavia Cannon, past president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
These fluctuations in your body’s hormones can cause weight gain, explains Cannon. “The hormones released from your ovaries make you hungry, so you eat more,” she explains.
However, those high levels of estrogen and progesterone also lower your body’s serotonin level, so you may be more likely to crave sweets and junk food.
But if you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, you should have no trouble losing the excess weight during your period. If you’re overweight or obese, your body may be producing too much oestrogen, which can affect your menstrual cycles and cause you to have irregular periods.
If your menstrual cycles are irregular, or you don’t have your first period by age 12 or 3 years after puberty, talk to your doctor about why it hasn’t happened yet. It could be due to stress, an imbalance in your hormones or another health issue.
A lot of girls get their first periods very early, at ages 9 and 10. But it varies from one person to the next.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the average girl will get her first period around age 12. But that doesn’t mean that every girl will.
The age of onset for menarche varies from one person to the next, and it has a lot to do with genetics. Some girls will begin menarche a few years before their parents are ready for it.
Some girls, particularly those with low self-esteem or who are uncomfortable about their body shapes, struggle during this time of development. It’s important for them to have sensitive conversations about their feelings, especially as they move from childhood to adolescence.
You should also encourage your child to have a talk with their doctor about any changes they’re experiencing in their body. This can help them feel more confident about their appearance, and help you monitor any changes in weight.
It’s also normal for girls to experience a thin, clear or whitish discharge from their vaginal tract 6 months to a year before they get their periods. If the discharge is itchy or smells bad, or if you’re concerned about any other symptoms of a menstrual infection, such as pain or cramps, call your doctor immediately.