Women who have their first baby at an advanced maternal age may be more at risk of complications, says a recent UK study.
The team at the University of Cambridge found women who started menstruation early, from the age of 12 onwards, were more likely to require medical assistance during childbirth such as forceps, or a Caesarean section.
The effect was taken care of if these women began a family at an early age.
But such was not the case for older mothers. Previous research also found that the risk of a medically-assisted delivery shot up with a woman's age at the time of her first birth.
"The main significance of this study is not that menarche is usefully predictive of the risk of complications, but that the current finding sheds light on why advanced maternal age at the time of first birth might be associated with increased risks," The BBC quoted Researcher Professor Gordon Smith as saying.
Professor Philip Steer, BJOG editor-in-chief, however, added larger investigation was required before reaching conclusions about the impact of early onset of menstruation in women.
He advised: "It is particularly important for them to ensure they lead healthy lifestyles and maintain a normal body weight, as a high BMI during pregnancy is itself associated with poor uterine contractions and an increased need for operative delivery."
The University of Cambridge study has been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.