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Early periods linked to childbirth complications

Published on 18/09/2009
The age at which a woman begins to menstruate may predict whether she is at risk of experiencing complications in pregnancy and childbirth, a new study suggests.

Research conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Cambridge University found a link between when a female has her first period and the likelihood of required medical assistance during childbirth.

According to the report, women who started their periods early are more likely to need help delivering their baby with intervention such as forceps, vacuum extractor, or by caesarean section.

In response to the findings, Gail Johnson, education and professional development advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Early menarche and late first pregnancy might lead to complications. But you have to consider that late first pregnancy possibly already carries some increased risk.

"We do know that women who have a high BMI at any stage in their pregnancy are at increased risk of developing diabetes or complex pregnancy and operative delivery."

Last month, figures from the Office for National Statistics indicated that the total fertility rate in the UK reached 1.96 children per woman in 2008 - the highest level since 1973.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2009

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