A Study of Age at Menarche the Secular Trend and Factors Associated with it: Rivers State, Nigeria
Menarche is the time of the first menstrual period. The steady decline in age at menarche among girls was studied in young girls in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. Two hundred (200) young girls between ages of 9-16years were contacted in the study. Thy were classified thus:- early menarche (between 9 to 11years of age), ideal menarche (between 12 to 13 years of age), and late menarche (between 15 to 16 years of age). The mean results and the percentage of the correlation studies of age at menarche and socio-economic status, diet and exercise were as follows: early menarche (9-11) years were (37%), ideal (12-14) years were (48.5%) and late age (16-15) years (14.5%). The mean age of menarche (12.16) observed in our study possibly indicate that the secular trend has not been stabilized. The result suggests that there was a decline in the age at menarche within the study population. The age at menarche is strongly associated with socioeconomic status, and diet thus was statiscally significant. Knowledge of the age at menarche will help the government to design and implement programmes about reproductive health of women to set laws about age at marriage, family planning, abortion and to decide the appropriate age at which the topics like the sex education, conception and sanitary practices can be incorporated in school.