Effect of Early Menarche on Reproductive Health: A Scoping Review

Hanny Wulandari, Dwi Ernawati


Universitas ‘Aisyiyah Yogyakarta



Background: Teenagers aged 15-19 encounter a disproportionate burden of adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The urgent ongoing efforts are needed to lead healthy, safe, and productive lives of teenage girls. This scoping review aimed to identify the association of early menarche with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

Subjects and Method: A scoping review method was conducted in eight stages including (1) Identification of study problems; (2) Determining priority problem and study question; (3) Determining framework; (4) Literature searching; (5) Article selection; (6) Critical appraisal; (7) Data extraction; and (8) Mapping. The search included PubMed, EBSCO, and Wiley databases. The keywords were “effect” OR “outcomes” AND “menarche” OR “menstruation” OR “menstrua” OR “menses” OR “early menarche” AND “reproductive health” OR “sexual reproducti” AND “sexual behavior” OR “sexual debut” OR “sexual partners” OR “unsafe sex” OR “unprotected sex”. The inclusion criteria were English-language and full-text articles published between 2009 and 2019. A total of 116 full text articles was obtained. After the review process, nine articles were eligible. The data were reported by the PRISMA flow chart.

Results: Four articles from developing countries (Nigeria, Malawi, Philippine) and five articles from developed countries (France, United States of America, England, Australia) met the inclusion criteria with cross-sectional and cohort design studies. The existing literature showed that early menarche was associated with sexual and reproductive health (early sexual initiation, low use of contraception), sexually transmitted diseases (genital herpes, HIV), and other factors (income, education level, sexual desire).

Conclusion: Early age at menarche may contribute to the increase vulnerability of girls into negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Quality comprehensive sexual education may improve the sexual and reproductive health and well-being of adolescents.

Keywords: early menarche, reproductive health, adolescent females

Correspondence: Hanny Wulandari. Universitas Aisyiyah Yogyakarta. Jl. Ringroad Barat No.63, Mlangi Nogotirto, Gamping, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55592. Email: hannywulandari11@gmail.com. Mobile: +6281249747223.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26911/the7thicph.02.26

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