Puberty is a natural phase in which a child’s body goes through significant changes before adulthood. It is a multi-faceted process that involves both physical and hormonal changes that leads to the development of the body.
It is a crucial period for a child especially a girl as it marks the transformation from childhood to womanhood. Puberty is a time of self-exploration and demands effective care and constant attention. Navigating through this phase is challenging and unwavering support is vital for health and well-being.
List Of physical changes girls can expect as they go through puberty
- Breast Development: Breast development is an initial sign of puberty in girls. Hormonal changes stimulate these changes and it is considered a pivotal part of puberty. Estrogen which is a sex hormone produced by ovaries plays a crucial role in breast development. The primary phase of breast development starts with the growth of breast buds that eventually gets bigger and take a rounded shape. Other than this significant changes like the areola getting darker and nipples becoming more elevated and prominent also occur.
- Pubic Hair Growth: The growth of pubic hair is a natural part of puberty and begins around the same time as breast development. Hormones play an active role in the development of such sexual characteristics. The pubic area becomes active with the rising level of estrogen which makes the pubic hair darker and thicker.
- Growth: During puberty, girls experience significant changes in height and weight as this is the phase of growth and development. Changes in height and weight are quite common and are influenced by various factors. As the body is preparing for reproductive function we can notice several changes that include redistribution of fat. The growth rate and patterns differ according to the individual and some might experience these changes sooner or later.
- Menstruation: Menstruation is a crucial turn during puberty that marks the transition from childhood to womanhood. It is through menstruation, which is a monthly process that the body prepares for pregnancy. As soon as the body becomes physically and hormonally mature the menstruation process starts. Usually, it occurs between the age of 9 and 16 symbolizing the ability of pregnancy. It signifies that the ovary is releasing an egg to fertilize and the uterine lining gets thickened for the egg to be implanted. The body sheds the lining in case of pregnancy failure which results in menstrual bleeding. One might need emotional and psychological support during this phase to navigate the challenges and concerns.
- Changes in Skin: It is possible to notice certain changes in the skin as girls approach puberty. With hormonal fluctuations, there will be increased sebum production by the sebaceous gland. This commonly results in acne and it is a common concern in girls during puberty. Sometimes, changes in the texture and appearance of the skin could also be noticed. A proper skincare routine and developing healthy habits will help to maintain skin health.
- Mood Swings: Along with puberty come emotional changes and mood swings as it is a period of hormonal as well as physical changes. The hormones impact the neurotransmitters which regulate mood and emotions influencing the responses and behaviors.
The Start of Puberty
Puberty typically starts between the age of 8-13. The timing might be different for different individuals as it is influenced by a combination of factors.
The first stage is the prepuberty stage which marks the time before the physical changes begin. Then it is followed by thelarche which indicates breast development and pubarche meaning pubic hair growth.
It is important to maintain your health and well-being during such a crucial phase of life by making simple lifestyle changes.
Maintaining hygiene, being physically active to balance out your hormones, and following a healthy and nutrient-rich diet will help the body adjust to these changes. The right help and guidance from medical professionals and loved ones during this challenging phase will make it endurable.
The End of Puberty
The end of puberty is mainly during the late teens and at this point, most of the physical developments have achieved stability. It is usually around the ages of 18-19 when puberty ends but some girls tend to experience changes even in their twenties.
With the completion of puberty, one is stepping into adulthood with a fully functioning reproductive system. Even though, the journey towards self-identity and development of cognitive abilities continue to flourish.
Puberty the the journey from childhood to adulthood is a significant milestone in this phase of life. As girls deal with this phase educating them about the signs to expect and encouraging them to embrace these changes.
Let them know it is a natural and essential phase and all those changes that they are experiencing are normal which will build their strength and confidence.