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Menarche is the term for a young woman's first menstrual period. The occurrence of menarche indicates that a young woman is now capable of reproducing. While the worldwide median age at which menarche occurs is 14 years old, in the US, the median age is 12.5 years old.
In some cultures, menarche and the transition to womanhood that it signifies are celebrated with specific rituals, parties, and even foods. Because menarche is sometimes thought of as a "coming of age," it is also the point after which young women of some cultures are paired off with their prospective mates. For some cultures, the topic of menstruation is taboo and young women may know very little about what is happening to their body during menarche and its connection to sexuality.