Puberty: Development Phases from Teenage Girl to Mature Woman

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During the development phase from a girl to a sexually mature woman, the body is reshaped, the personality continues to develop and various changes also take place in the brain.

The mental and psychosocial developments, the term Adolescence summarized. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines this period as a phase of life between 10 and 20 years. In contrast, refers to the biological changes, including the formation of secondary sexual characteristics which indicate sexual maturity, as Puberty.

The control of sexual maturation

Sexual maturation usually begins between the ages of 8 and 13.5 years. It is controlled by hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus, in the pituitary gland (pituitary gland) and in the ovaries (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian control circuit).

Follicles in the ovaries begin to produce estrogens, stimulated by the FSH of the anterior pituitary gland. The estrogens are released into the blood and stimulate the growth and maturation of the sexual organs. Due to disturbances in the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary control circuit, puberty can occur prematurely (Precocious puberty) or delayed ( Late-Puberty). Genetic factors have an additional influence on the course and severity of puberty,

The first signs

About one to one and a half years before the first menstrual period, the so-called “white flow” can appear more or less pronounced. Due to the estrogen, there is an increased secretion of watery or whitish-yellow fluorine from the cervix. This white flow does not smell unpleasant and is not a sign of a vaginal infection.

A doctor should only be examined if there is an itching or burning sensation in or on the vagina in addition to the discharge, or if the odor of the discharge is perceived as unpleasant.

The onset of puberty is also reflected in the pubic area (Pubarche) and the breast development (thelarche).

The menarche

The first menstrual period (menarche) starts about one and a half to two years later – at an average of 12.8 years. Only two to three years after the first menstrual period occurred regular cycles with an egg-crack on.

Read Also: Causes, Types, and Symptoms of Menstrual Pain

At this point in time, the uterus and vagina have reached their fully grown shape and size, and body growth is 98% complete. At an early sexual maturity, a girl can be mature at 12 to 13 years of age and have a child.

Psychosexual development

Psychosexual development is usually only at a later date than sexual maturity. For this, a young person has to deal with their physical changes and accept them for themselves. The development of one’s own sexual identity and the integration of this sexuality into one’s own personality are considered to be important developmental tasks.

Important aspects of psychosexual maturity are also a responsible use of sexuality, protection against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

How the change can affect Personal growth and acceptance

During puberty, one’s own body changes very strongly, which creates uncertainty among many teenagers. Ideals of beauty and values ​​often leave girls and young women feeling dissatisfied with their own bodies or fear of not being “normal”. This can lead to lifelong problems with one’s own sexuality. Confidential conversations with parents or friends are all the more important so that young girls learn to understand and accept their own bodies.

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