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Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child's body into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction to enable fertilization. It is initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads: the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy.
For girls, you might start to see early physical changes from about 10 or 11 years, but they might start as young as 8 years or as old as 13 years. Physical changes around puberty include:
For boys, physical changes usually start around 11 or 12 years, but they might start as young as 9 years or as old as 14 years. Physical changes include:
For girls –
For girls –
There are many causes of abnormal puberty. The main aim of assessment is to determine those children with an underlying pathological abnormality from those with constitutional and benign pubertal changes. It is important to recognise abnormal timing and progression of puberty. This may require a combination of clinical assessment, investigations and expert advice.
Investigations should be used selectively and based on a thorough clinical assessment.
A cycle is counted from the first day of 1 period to the first day of the next period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. Cycles can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days in adults and from 21 to 45 days in young teens. The rise and fall of levels of hormones during the month control the menstrual cycle.
You can take the following hygiene measures during menstruation:
Menstrual periods are considered irregular if periods have not started by 15 years of age or 3 years of thelarche, are regular earlier but become markedly irregular, occur more frequently than every 21 days or less frequently than every 45 days, last more than 7 days. Some of the other menstrual health issues include Pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS, Dysmenorrhea (instense menstrual pain & cramps), Amenorrhea (skips a cycle for more than 90 days).
Some of the other issues affecting girls and women’s health are detailed below –
Contraception – It is very important to educate the impact on the girl's health through sexual education. The number of Teen Pregnancies is on a big rise these days.
Obesity & Eating Disorders - Exercise & Diet control for adolescents is a must. Lack of physical activity is resulting in obesity which in turn is connected to several disorders and diseases such as thyroid, diabetes, etc. PCOS also has its roots in adolescence bcoz obesity contributes to abnormal hormonal secretion.
Acne is another pressing concern stemming out of today’s lifestyle and eating habits. More and more girls are facing skin health issues and resorting to skin treatments and make up to cover up the effects of acne. Instead they should increase intake of Vitamin A (red colored fruits & vegetables).
Immunization - To know more about vaccines click here - http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf
As parents we need to put special efforts and focus on HPV vaccination for cervical cancer starting at the age of 10 itself.
The key lies in making excellent dishes at home that are healthy and appealing to adolescents. There has to be an increase in the intake of calcium particularly milk in the form of a milkshake, smoothies, etc.. Decrease intake of oil and junk food (everything is fine once in awhile but not on a regular basis).
Bone Mass accumulation during puberty is critical to the development of peak bone mass, which is a major determinant of the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life. Adolescence is a time in life that harbors many risks and changes but also one that presents great opportunities for sustained health and well-being.
K.M. Nursing Home has evolved to become synonymous with personalized care and uncompromised attention to details. As part of our Silver Jubilee Celebrations, we launched our new extension K.M. Speciality hospital and its division Bloom , the Centre for woman & child wellness.
K.M SPECIALITY HOSPITAL &
Bloom – Centre for Woman & Child Wellness
No. 453/454, R.K. Shanmugam Salai, K.K. Nagar,
Chennai - 600 078