Whether your first period was accompanied by a dramatic,聽Carrie-esque bloodbath or just a cringe-worthy lecture on the joys of menstruation, it鈥檚 hard to forget your first visit from Aunt Flo. Thankfully, unique tech like聽period underwear聽and聽period wearables聽have made those first days of cramps feel like they were the stone ages. But new women鈥檚 health research might have you reconsidering your first monthly visitor.

A聽new study聽published in the American Journal of Epidemiology聽reveals that the age when you started your period could聽be a聽signifier of聽future health concerns. The research comes from the University of Queenland鈥檚 School of Public Health, where Australian researchers discovered that women who had their first period at age 11 or younger were 50 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes, a common complication during pregnancy, than women聽who didn鈥檛 start聽their periods until they were 13 years old.

The researchers analyzed health reports from 4,749 women who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women鈥檚 Health. Even after researchers considered factors like body mass index (BMI) and lifestyle factors, women who experienced periods at 11 or younger were still at a significantly higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Although more research is needed to determine why the two are linked, the authors theorized that聽the cause is due to hormonal changes.

Considering聽girls are experiencing puberty at younger ages than ever, this new research is especially important. With this news in mind,聽women and their doctors can聽prepare for聽potential pregnancy complications before they happen, hopefully leading to improved healthcare for them and their babies. So while聽periods might suck, studying them聽for new health revelations聽definitely doesn鈥檛.

Do you remember your first period? Tweet at us @BritandCo and tell us about it!

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