Age at menarche; Factors that Influence It, and Menstrual Pattern of Secondary School Adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


  • Eskinder Kebede Addis Ababa University
  • Eyasu Mesfin Addis Ababa University
  • Myshelle Ramlal Singh University of Michigan


Age at menarche, adolescents, perimenstrual symptom



Menarche is the first menstrual period of a girl, marking the start of puberty. Age at menarche is a complex trait and has a strong genetic component. The mean age of menarche varies from population to population and is known to be a sensitive indicator of various characteristics of the population, including nutritional status, environmental conditions, and magnitude of socioeconomic inequalities in society


Objectives To assess the mean age of menarche, influencing factors, and menstrual patterns of secondary school female adolescent



A cross-sectional study was conducted in selected high schools in Addis Ababa. All-female adolescents within the selected schools who were in grades 9th and 10th and who fulfilled the eligibility criteria were included. A p-value of<0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. 


The mean and median ages at menarche in this study were13.75(±1.30) and 13 years, respectively. The mean age at menarche was 0.96 years younger for private school girls(12.82 years) compared to government school girls(13.78 years). The private school girls had about 4 times higher odds of having menarche at an earlier age(AOR 4.12;95% CI 2.44-6.95). Of the total study population, 77(19.3%) adolescents had a menstrual cycle length shorter than 21 days. 


The mean age of menarche of the respondents in this study was 13.26 ±1.319 years. Age at menarche was influenced by the socioeconomic status of the girl child and her families. Sociodemographic attributes may be a marker for the age of menarche and symptoms.


Key words: Age at menarche, adolescents, perimenstrual symptom



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Original Article