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Earlier Menstruation Not Linked to Earlier Sex

Update Date: Nov 13, 2013 01:12 PM EST

Girls who get their period earlier are not at risk of losing their virginity at a young age, a new study suggests.

Lead researcher Jennifer L. Marino, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the University of Melbourne in Australia and her team looked at data from 554 girls participating in the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort Study to describe the longitudinal correlation between age at menarche and first sexual intercourse

The study classified younger age at menarche at under 12 years old and older menarche as 14 or older. Researchers said relative to average age of menarche is 12 to 13 years.

Researchers found that the likelihood of FSI by age 16 years was equivalent for girls with younger age at menarche and average age of menarche. However, the likelihood for first sexual intercourse by age 16 was less for girls with older age at menarche.

Researchers also noted that the median interval between menarche and age at menarche was longer for girls with younger age at menarche versus average age at menarche.

The study revealed that girls with younger age at menarche were significantly less likely to report first sexual intercourse within four years of menarche compared to those with average age at menarche.

"Younger age at menarche was not a risk factor for younger age at FSI in this cohort," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings are published in the journal Pediatrics.

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