Menarche: The Beginning of Menstrual Life
Menarche represents a developmental milestone in a woman's life. This paper reviews current knowledge about the physiological aspects of menarche and its place in the sequence of pubertal development. Hypotheses regarding the mechanisms that trigger menarche are presented, as is our current understanding of the influence of hormones, genetic factors, nutrition, exercise, and illness. Also discussed are the ways in which the changes of puberty and menarche affect the adolescent girl's psychosocial development, the unique problems of the early maturing girl, and the kind of preparation for menarche that is needed.