Protocol - History of Prepubertal Development - Female

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Female participants answer questions about when menstruation began and when they reached full height.

Specific Instructions

The PhenX Reproductive Health Working Group recommends adding the response categories "can’t remember" and "don’t know" to Question 1 for females.




1. How old were you when your menstrual periods began?

[ ] 9 or less

[ ] 10

[ ] 11

[ ] 12

[ ] 13

[ ] 14

[ ] 15

[ ] 16

[ ] 17 or more

[ ] never had periods

2. At about what age did you reach your full height?

[ ] Before age 13

[ ] 13 - 17 years of age

[ ] after age 17

[ ] don’t know

Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs

Pencil and paper for self-administered questions.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered questionnaire




Females aged 21-64

Selection Rationale

The protocols are from well-established studies with questions that have been used for more than a decade.


Chinese, English

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Hx prepubertal devel female proto 62657-2 LOINC
Human Phenotype Ontology Puberty and gonadal disorders HP:0008373 HPO
caDSR Form PhenX PX100601 - History Of Prepubertal Development Female 5970771 caDSR Form
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #5 (ERP 5) reviewed the measures in the Reproductive Health domain.

Guidance from ERP 5 includes:

  • Revised descriptions of the measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary.

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link).

Protocol Name from Source

Black Womens Health Study (BWHS), 1995


Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. (1995). Black Women’s Health Study 1995. Boston, MA: Author. Question 7 (question 1). Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. (1999). Black Women’s Health Study 1999. Boston, MA: Author. Question 5 (question 2).

General References

Jenner, M. R., Kelch, R. P., Kaplan, S. L., & Grümbach, M. M. (1972). Hormonal changes in puberty. IV. Plasma estradiol, LH, and FSH in prepubertal children, pubertal females, and in precocious puberty, premature thelarche, hypogonadism, and in a child with a feminizing ovarian tumor. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 34(3), 521-530.

Jost, A. (1970). Hormonal factors in the sex differentiation of the mammalian foetus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 259(828), 119-130.

MacLaughlin, D. T., & Donahoe, P. K. (2004). Sex determination and differentiation. New England Journal of Medicine, 350(4), 367-378.

Maliqueo, M., Sir-Petermann, T., Perez, V., Echiburu, B., Guevara, L. A., Galvez, C., Crisosto, N., & Azziz, R. (2009). Adrenal Function during Childhood and Puberty in Daughters of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 94: 3282-3288.

Marshall, W., & Tanner, J. (1969). Variations in the pattern of pubertal changes in girls. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 44, 291-303.

Sizonenko, P. C., Burr, I. M., Kaplan, S. L., & Grumbach, M. M. (1970). Hormonal changes in puberty. II. Correlation of serum luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone with stages of puberty and bone age in normal girls. Pediatric Research, 4(1), 36-45.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX100601010000 How old were you when your menstrual periods more
began? show less
Variable Mapping
PX100601020000 At about what age did you reach your full height? N/A
Reproductive Health
Measure Name

History of Prepubertal Development

Release Date

February 26, 2010


Questions to assess how old participants were when they reached puberty.


The purpose of these questions is to determine when participants reached puberty. It is important to measure because it is linked to sexual development and maturity.


Reproductive health, puberty, Black Women’s Health Study, BWHS, Study for Future Families, SFF, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, NLSY

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
100601 History of Prepubertal Development - Female
100602 History of Prepubertal Development - Male

There are no publications listed for this protocol.