PUBERTY DEVELOPMENT is a very special period of women life. Actually it is very crucial and emotional period. Future women health and especially reproductive health depends a lot from puberty development process.
It is very important to know and to understand whole puberty development stages, hormonal changes and potencial risks for future reproductive health.
There are many variations of puberty and the timing of puberty in girls can vary considerably. In some cases girls can already feel changes as early as 8 years of age. At the same time other girls of the similar age do not begin their adolescent development until age 13. In average girls usually take 3 to 3 ½ years to complete their pubertal development, but this process could take from 2 to 6 years to complete.
Puberty includes the complex of physical and emotional changes. Mood swings, easy anger and loss of emotional control are common. The emotional turbulence may last longer than the time span of physical development.
According to TeenGrowth.com at different ages the following changes are more typical for puberty development:
10 ½ -11
Most girls begin puberty with breast enlargement, but some start with the appearance of pubic hair. Growth of breast tissue usually begins with the development of a small, tender “knot” just beneath the nipple. This may appear first on one side then on the other, or on both sides at the same time. These tender lumps are called “breast buds.”
The average girl begins pubic hair development between ages 11 and 12, usually within about six months of starting breast development. The hair begins along the lips of the vagina (labia majora), becomes darker, courser and curlier, and spreads upward onto the pubic mound (symphysis pubis.)
The typical girl experiences her pubertal growth spurt at this time. Her fastest growth, called the “peak height velocity,” usually occurs at approximately 12 years of age, just before her periods start. Body fat accumulation increases and more fat is distributed on the hips. Further breast enlargement is seen. Underarm hair and odor develop, and some girls develop acne. Under the influence of estrogen from the ovaries, the uterus enlarges and begins to secrete a mucous discharge. Most girls begin their cycles of menstrual bleeding around 12 ½, about two years after the first appearance of breast buds; however, there is considerable variation in the timing of when a girl’s menstrual cycle starts. Periods are often very irregular for the first year after they begin because ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary) may not occur for 12 to 18 months. The AVERAGE girl grows about 2 inches after starting her menstrual period, but this may range from 1 to 6 inches.
The nipples may be elevated on a secondary mound on top of the breasts as they continue to enlarge. By age 15, MOST girls have achieved almost full adult breast size and have reached their adult heights. Menstrual periods now occur every month and girls may notice soreness in the breasts and crampy, lower abdominal pain before they get their period. Although the physical growth of girls is typically completed by age 15, the emotional roller coaster, which is normal during the adolescent stages of development, usually continues through the teenage years and into the 20s. Time for sexual feelings, learning about self-protection, virginity, tampons, risks, possibilities, questions.
Stages of female breasts and pubic hair development introduced in the following table:
The preadolescence breast consists of a small elevated nipple with no significant underlying breast tissue
Puberty begins (usually between ages of 8 and 13, average age is 11) with the development of breast tissue and pubic hair. With the hormonal changes of puberty, breast buds form. This stage of breast development is the breast bud stage. Here, there is elevation of the breast and nipple as a small mound; the areola begins to enlarge. Milk ducts inside the breast begin to grow.
In next stage, there is further enlargement and elevation of the breast and areola (with no separation of their contours). The areola begins to darken in color. The milk ducts give rise to milk glands that also begin to grow.
Next, there is projection of the areola and nipple to form a secondary mound.
In the mature adult breast there is projection of the nipple only (though in some woman the areola continues to form a secondary mound).
Summary Five Stages of Puberty
(Credit: J. Geoff Malta, MA, EdM, NCC Adolescent Therapist)
Stage 1 – Usually 8-11
In Stage 1 there are no outside signs of development, but a girl’s ovaries are enlarging and hormone production is beginning
Stage 2 – Usually 8-14 (Average: 11-12)
The first sign is typically the beginning of breast growth, including “breast buds.” A girl may also grow considerable height and weight. The first signs of pubic hair start out fine and straight, rather than curly.
Stage 3 – Usually 9-15 (Average: 12-13)
Breast growth continues, and pubic hair coarsens and becomes darker, but there still isn’t a lot of it. Your body is still growing, and your vagina is enlarging and may begin to produce a clear or whitish discharge, which is a normal self-cleansing process. Some girls get their first menstrual periods late in this stage.
Stage 4 – Usually 10-16 (Average: 13-14)
Pubic hair growth takes on the triangular shape of adulthood, but doesn’t quite cover the entire area. Underarm hair is likely to appear in this stage, as is menarche. Ovulation (release of egg cells) begins in some girls, but typically not in a regular
monthly routine until Stage 5
Stage 5 – Usually 12-19 (Average: 15)
This is the final stage of development, when a girl is physically an adult. Breast and pubic hair growth are complete, and your full height is usually attained by this point. Menstrual periods are well established, and ovulation occurs monthly.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.