Q: Does the age at which you first get your period affect fertility?

A: Usually not at all. Most women begin menstruating at around age 12 or 13, but starting a few years earlier or later than that has no bearing on how quickly you'll get pregnant or at what age you'll enter menopause.

If, however, you started menstruating late due to a medical condition that also throws off fertility -- like thyroid disease or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) -- then you may experience irregular periods that may result in your having a harder time becoming pregnant.

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