Are girls entering puberty and starting periods earlier?

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Are girls entering puberty and starting periods earlier?

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There's this myth that girls are getting their periods at younger and younger and younger ages, and it's actually not true at all. The average age for girls to get their period is about 12 1/2. That means that half of all girls will get their period when they're older than 12 1/2 and half will get their period when they're younger. And this has been true for many generations. It was true for our generation and even our mother's generation, about the same age. Now there's a big difference between that and a couple of hundred years ago. Girls did get their periods later when this country was being settled and the nutritional supply was not that good and girls were growing and developing older. That had to do with nutrition and nothing else. The big difference is not in when girls are getting their period, it's when girls are developing. Bodies are starting to change at a younger and younger age. So we'll see girls develop breasts or pubic hair or body odor much younger than we did. And no one really understands why this is the case. There are very smart people looking into what's in our environment, what's in our cosmetics, and what's in our food supply to try to determine what the cause is. Development is taking longer, puberty is taking longer, but girls are getting their period at about the same age.

See Cara Natterson, MD's video on Are girls entering puberty and starting periods earlier?...

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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