The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Will a girl gain weight before menstruation?

Answer

If you are asking if weight gain is common before a girl's first menstruation cycle (the first period is called menarche), the answer is "yes." Menarche is one of the earlier signs that a girl is in her adolescent years. About the time of puberty, your body begins to store up extra fat to help fuel the many changes that takes place during adolescence. This excess fat is usually used up when you go through your growth spurt.

Once you begin experiencing a monthly menstruation cycle, you will also notice a gain in weight just prior to your periods. The gain is temporary and is due to water retention caused by the shifting hormones in your body. The same shift in hormones might cause other symptoms, such as a craving for sweets, headaches, fatigue, or even grouchiness. Fortunately these symptoms only last a few days to a week at a time.