Menarche is appearance of the first menstrual period. It heralds the onset of puberty. In majority of women, the usually accepted age for attaining menarche is between 11 to 14 years. However, recent reports indicate that the age of menarche is slowly reducing in our country.
The appearance of secondary sex characters heralds the onset of puberty. In girls, the breast size increases, the vaginal, axial hair make their appearance and external genitals increase in size. Their height also increases. Attraction towards opposite sex also develops then and the body develops feminine contours.
Menses begins due to interplay of various hormones. The initial periods may be scanty or irregular. With time they usually settle down to a certain frequency. The age of puberty is slightly delayed in boys. It is not called menarche.