The earlier a girl gets her first period, the younger she will have her first sexual experience, get pregnant and marry.

Over half of girls (55 percent) who had periods before the age of 14 – when most girls have hit puberty – had sex before the age of 16, a study reveals.

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Their findings were 'similar to what has been observed in high-income countries such as the US', they note.

Two of the studies were conducted in Malawi; the others were conducted in South Africa, Nepal, Jamaica, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India, and Bangladesh.

This compares to just 4 percent of those who menstruated at 16 or over – considered late for the start of puberty.

Eleven is the average age for girls to start their periods, but experts have previously suggested puberty is starting younger, and that the trend is linked to obesity.

), an abugida from the Brahmic family of scripts, is used to write the Telugu language, a Dravidian language spoken in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as several other neighbouring states.

The Telugu script is also widely used for writing Sanskrit texts and to some extent the Gondi language.It gained prominence during the Vengi Chalukyas era.It shares many similarities with its sibling Kannada script.The independent form is used when the vowel occurs at the beginning of a word or syllable, or is a complete syllable in itself (example: a, u, o).The diacritic form is added to consonants (represented by the dotted circle) to form a consonant-vowel syllable (example: ka, kru, mo).'Menstruation marks the beginning of a girl's reproductive life and is an important indicator of girls' physical, nutritional, and reproductive health, yet it is often overlooked in public health,' said senior study author Dr Marni Sommer, who is associate professor at the school.