Being the first to get your period as a preteen may have seemed exciting, but it could have long term impacts.
A new study has found that women who started their period at an early age have a 50% increased chance of developing diabetes during their pregnancy. The correlation between an early period and the increased likelihood of gestational diabetes may have to do with the increased chance of a woman being overweight prior and during her pregnancy.
“A large proportion of women who develop diabetes during pregnancy are overweight or obese, and encouraging those with an early start of puberty to control their weight before pregnancy may help to lower their risk of gestational diabetes,” explains the co-author of the study, Danielle Schoenaker.
According to the CDC, gestational diabetes is tested for between the 24th and 28th week of a woman’s pregnancy. As the study notes, knowing when a woman started her period could potentially help doctors structure a woman’s diet to potentially prevent GD.
The study slates an early period as one that began before the age of 11. Other studies have found that premature menopause can also be caused by the early onset of a period.