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MENARCHE: (pronounced men-r-key) is the word used to describe the onset of your first menstrual cycle.

The timing of menarche is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, including nutritional health.

No two girls are alike and no two menarches are alike. For most girls, menarche does not necessarily signal that ovulation has occurred. It is estimated that approximately 80% of girls will not ovulate during the first year of their menstrual cycle.

By year three following the onset of the menstrual cycle it is estimated that about 50% of girls will be ovulating regularly, while 50% will not be ovulating at all.

By year six, 10% of girls will still not be ovulating. This may indicate a serious medical condition.

Not every girl follows a typical pattern and if she ovulates before her first menstruation and engages in sexual intercourse, she may become pregnant.

Normal ovulation is usually indicated by predictable and consistent intervals between menses, predictable and consistent duration of menses, and predictable and consistent patterns of flow (e.g., heaviness or cramping).

Continuing ovulation typically requires a body fat content of at least 22%. This is important to know in this age of adolescent weight consciousness and eating disorders.

Educating adolescents about using the KNOWHEN® Ovulation Test to monitor their ovulation pattern may also help them detect irregularities sooner, which allows them to seek medical advice sooner.