Dolly Doctor

Scientists discover a hidden benefit of getting your first period later in life

Good news for those of you still waiting.

By Amber Manto

Great news if you got your period after the age of 12 – scientists have found your life expectancy may be longer.

The study, by University of California in San Diego, followed 16,000 women over 21 years. It found participants who menstruated for the first time after the age of 12, then experienced menopause (which is when you stop having periods) after the age of 50, were in better health and lived longer than those who had earlier periods and an earlier menopause.

Of the diverse group of participants, 55% ended up living into their 90s.

"Our team found that women who started menstruation at a later age were less likely to have certain health issues like coronary heart disease, and those who experienced menopause later in life were more likely to be in excellent health overall, which may be a possible explanation for our findings," Aladdin Shadyab, PhD, with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, told medical journal Menopause.

Researchers have more work to do though until this can be considered #fact, as obviously other factors such as lifestyle, genetics and your environment can contribute to your reproductive years and life expectancy.

So even if you got your period before the age of 12, don’t stress as living a healthy life could very well help you live into old age. And on the other hand, if you’re well into your teens and still waiting for your first period to arrive you can at least take some comfort in knowing that while it can be tough feeling left out now, you’ll be pretty happy when you’re still cruising around enjoying life at 103.