Do you remember when you got your first period? If you have a daughter, you might’ve already shared this info with her; that way, she may have an idea of when to expect hers. But recent research shows that a woman’s first period is also linked to when her son starts puberty.
The October 2018 research published in Human Reproduction is the largest study yet to investigate this particular link in both sons and daughters. Researchers looked at 15,822 kids and found that the earlier moms had their first menstrual cycle, the earlier their sons hit puberty. The later these women had their first period, the later their boys started this new chapter in their lives.
As you might expect, the same association was also found with moms and daughters in the study, but that link has been common knowledge for quite some time now. In contrast, much less has been known about the link between mothers and sons. It’s interesting to know that a mom’s first moment of “growing up” may also play a big role in when her son starts to grow up as well.
“We found that mothers who reported having their first menstrual bleed earlier than their peers had sons with signs of puberty starting earlier than their peers,” said study author Nis Brix, MD, in a press release. “The largest difference was when hair started growing in the armpits, which started, on average, approximately two and a half months earlier. Their voices broke nearly two months earlier.”
Interestingly enough, the researchers revealed that many medical professionals had long suspected this was the case. Dr. Brix explained that whenever a child has an early or late onset of puberty, doctors typically check to find out whether other family members — including the mom — were in a similar situation.
Brix said, “Put differently: ‘We already knew it, but now we have the results to confirm it.'”