Sexual maturation of girls

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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Sexual maturation of girls (or otherwise, pubertal period, puberty) is a change in the developmental processes of the teenage girl's body, which leads to the maturation and the appearance of a reproductive function (the ability to continue the genus).

Start of puberty is carried out by means of signals sent by the brain to the sexual glands of girls - the ovaries. Ovaries respond to the received commands by working out different kinds of hormones that stimulate the growth of the girl and her development - the brain, bone system, muscles, skin and reproductive organs grow and increase.

The first half of the pubertal is characterized by the acceleration of body growth, which ends growing by the end of the puberty period. If before the beginning of puberty external differences in the structure of the bodies of girls and boys are practically absent (only the external genital organs differ), then during the puberty period with the girl's body there are great changes. The most obvious of these are secondary sexual characteristics: the formation of mammary glands, an increase in the width of the thighs, and so on. Although the transformations take place not only in the outer plan, there are significant changes in many systems, structures and bodies that relate to their functions, size, shape and composition.

To sexual maturity also include issues of a psychological nature, namely sexual identification of the girl.

Sexual maturation of the girl occurs under the influence of hormones secreted by glands of internal secretion - the pituitary gland, ovaries, adrenals, and also changes in the functioning of the central nervous system. The regulation of puberty of girls is primarily concerned with the hormones estrogen produced by the ovaries, and the hormones androgens that are produced by the adrenal glands.

Estrogens are responsible for the growth of the breast of the girl (milk glands), as well as an increase in the size of the pelvic region, small labia, vagina and uterus. In addition, estrogens are responsible for the distribution of fat in the subcutaneous cover that occurs in different parts of the girl's body. The formation of the sex drive of an adult girl also occurs under the influence of estrogens.

The interaction of estrogens with other hormones produced in the body of the girl, cause the full maturation of eggs in the ovaries.

Hormones androgens have less effect on the changes occurring with the girl during puberty. They affect the appearance of hair in the pubic region and the groin, as well as in the armpits. Large labia grows also under the influence of these hormones. Androgens stimulate the work of sebaceous glands in the skin, which causes the appearance of adolescent acne and acne in the girl, as well as increasing the fat content of the hair on the head.

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The period of puberty in girls

The period of puberty in girls is long enough - about ten years. It is characterized by the presence of several stages of improving the sexual maturity of the girl.

The onset of puberty occurs at the age of eight to nine years, which is characterized by an acceleration in the growth of girls.

The appearance of further signs of puberty - the increase in the mammary glands, the growth of pubic hair begins at about ten - twelve years of age.

On average, two years after the above external transformations, the first menstruation appears.

The final stage of puberty for girls is age, which occurs after four to six years after the onset of the first menstrual bleeding. Usually, this happens at the age of seventeen to eighteen.

However, there are groups of girls who, due to the peculiarities of their development, puberty can begin at the age of nine. It means, not only the accelerated growth of the body and its limbs, but the formation of secondary sexual characteristics - the development of mammary glands and so on. It happens that absolutely healthy girls begin to enter the puberty period from the age of seven to eight years, which is due to the genetic peculiarities of their development.

Also, the onset of puberty in certain categories of girls may be delayed until thirteen to fifteen years of age. At the same time, girls are healthy and normally developing, and such delays in maturation are caused by hereditary factors.

The onset of puberty in girls

It is generally accepted that the puberty of girls begins with the period of adolescence. But this is a mistaken opinion, in fact everything happens much earlier.

The onset of puberty occurs at the age of eight to nine years. This stage is characterized by a strong jump in the growth of girls, which can reach about ten centimeters per year. It happens that the girls at this time overtake in the growth of their peers boys.

In this period of puberty, the bone system, the muscular system and the nerve endings grow at different rates. Therefore, outwardly girls who entered the puberty period, can seem awkward and awkward, somewhat angular.

Often such changes in the figure give the girls suffering and fear that they will remain forever like funny grasshoppers. Parents need to reassure the girls by telling them that soon their figures will acquire positive transformations.

Later, about eleven to thirteen years, the secondary sexual characteristics begin to change rapidly - the mammary glands grow, the waist decreases, the shape of the body is rounded, and so on.

Age of puberty in girls

The age of puberty in girls is as follows:

  1. The onset of puberty occurs about eleven or thirteen years.
  2. The end of puberty occurs at the age of seventeen to eighteen years.

There are several categories of adolescents who are not maturing equally. One of the girls begins to enter the puberty period earlier and, accordingly, earlier and ends puberty. These teenagers are called accelerators. At them the beginning of puberty in the form of increase in mammary glands is observed at the age of nine - ten-eleven. A jump in growth occurs approximately a year before. Accordingly, the appearance of the first menstruation in the above girls occurs at ten to eleven.

In another category of adolescents, the onset of puberty is delayed until thirteen to fourteen to fifteen years. This is manifested in the retardation of growth and the formation of secondary sexual characteristics. The first menstruation appears in these categories of girls in thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years. Accordingly, the pubertal period ends at a later age, at the age of eighteen. Such adolescents are called retardants, that is, slowed down in their development, which is absolutely normal and genetically conditioned.

However, there are certain abnormalities of development and hormonal disorders in girls, which cause a delay in puberty and the appearance of menstruation. Therefore, if there are no signs of puberty in fourteen to fifteen years and monthly signs have not begun by the age of fifteen, it is recommended to show the girl to specialists in a gynecologist and endocrinologist.

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Signs of puberty in girls

Signs of puberty in girls are manifested in the following:

  • A sharp jump in growth - a girl can grow up to ten centimeters a year. At the same time, girls are outstripping the growth of their peers-boys. The equalization of differences in growth occurs at the age of seventeen to eighteen years, that is, by the end of puberty in girls. At this time, the girls have a stop in growth, at a time when the boys continue to grow.
  • The change in the figure of a teenage girl in the initial stage of the puberty period is an increase in the length of the limbs in comparison with the length of the trunk. Because of this, there is a change in the proportions of the body, which leads to a visual impression of his incoherence.
  • Later, secondary female sexual characteristics begin to form. First of all, the mammary glands begin to increase. Then, after a while, smooth pubic hair appears on the pubis. After a short time, pubic hair begins to change in structure - become wavy. The following changes in the girl's body affect the appearance of axillary hair.
  • Small and large labia grow in size.
  • Soon there comes the first menstruation - menarche.
  • Changes in the appearance of the girl continue - the volume of thighs increases, the waist becomes thinner, the shoulders already, and the figure acquires round, smooth outlines, characteristic of the female body.
  • The amount of hair on the arms and legs of the girl increases, and they become darker.
  • There is a hormonal reconstruction of the girl's body, which changes the appearance of her skin and hair. Activation of sebaceous glands located in the skin begins. Therefore, the skin and hair become more fatty; the face, neck and back of the girl begin to become covered with red pimples and blackheads.
  • The total percentage of fat in the body of the girl increases, and fat deposits are seen, mainly in the pelvic region, on the abdomen and hips.

Stages of puberty girls

The stages of puberty of girls are correlated with the appearance of each sign of puberty.

  • A sharp jump in growth - in a normally developing girl such an increase in growth occurs at about eleven years. If before this period, approximately seven to eight years, girls are added in growth of five to six centimeters per year, then entry into the age of puberty marks an increase from eight to ten centimeters per year. At this time, the child so quickly grows out of newly bought clothes and shoes, that it surprises not only his parents, but the girl herself.

At this time, the annual weight gain reaches the mark of four to nine kilograms, although up to this period the usual weight gain averaged two and a half - three and a half kilograms.

The increase in growth affects the increase in the appetite of the child and the amount of food eaten, because such transformations require increased inflow of energy and building materials.

  • Such changes may appear earlier, in the period of about nine years in girls who are formed earlier than their peers.
  • In the future there is an increase in the size of the pelvis and hips, which refers to the formation of secondary sexual characteristics. It happens that such changes occur at the age of nine.
  • Further changes in the girl's body are manifested in an increase in mammary glands. First of all, the nipple and areola around the nipple increase. In six months - a year the breasts become like small cones. At this time, it is not recommended to use a bra, which can stop the formation of mammary glands.
  • Approximately, near the start of the first menstruation, all of the breast gland grows in size and becomes round in shape, similar to the mammary glands of adult women. This usually occurs during the appearance of the first menstruation. At this time and it is worth wearing the first bras, which will contribute to the convenience of the girl's movements.
  • At the age of twelve - thirteen, the formation of secondary sexual characteristics continues: in the pubic region, hair grows and a waist is formed, characteristic of the structure of the female body. Primary sexual characteristics also develop - there is an increase in the external genitalia (small and large labia).
  • There are various skin changes associated with the activation of sebum secretion. Such "innovations" are caused by the process of hormonal and physical changes in the girl's body. The increase in the amount of sebum provokes the appearance of red pimples on the skin of a girl and acne, and also causes a high fat content of the hair.

Such changes do not please the grown-up girls who are very worried about the worsening of appearance. Parents need to consult with hairdressers and beauticians about the purchase of special shampoos and cosmetics for the skin, with which you can maintain a good condition of the skin of the body and hair, as well as maintain the external appeal of the girl. It is not superfluous to go through special cleansing cosmetic skin procedures in the cosmetologist's office. In addition, an adult girl needs to be taught the rules of careful personal hygiene, so as not to provoke deterioration of the skin and hair.

  • The appearance of the first menstruation, called menarche. This fact means that the girl is already sexually mature, that is, capable of reproductive function. At first - for two years - the menstrual cycle often happens unsteady. This manifests itself in the unsettled rhythm of bleeding, as well as in their strength and duration. After the monthly periods become cyclical, we can say that the girl is ready to conceive and give birth to a child (but only from the physiological point of view, and not psychological and social).

As noted above, in the first two years, menstruation in girls has an unsettled cycle, that is, deviations of a different nature appear. These features are not a violation of the normal development of the girl, but are considered fluctuations that do not go beyond the usual physiological stages of manifestation of puberty. First of all, it concerns violations of the regularity of the menstrual cycle, which has two phases. At a time when menstrual bleeding has only just begun, the primary eggs can not mature until the end, and therefore there is no separation of mature eggs from the ovaries. The formation of a yellow body in this case either does not occur at all, or is underdeveloped, which does not stimulate the production of an increased content of progesterone in the girl's blood.

The first phase of the menstrual cycle leads to increased growth of the mucous membrane of the uterus (endometrium), which occurs under the influence of estrogens. This provokes the appearance of uncomfortable sensations and prolonged uterine bleeding, called juvenile. Approximately, five to ten percent of girls experience similar manifestations.

Sometimes, menstruation can take place not every month, but with interruptions in two or three months. Perhaps the manifestation of other irregularities in the cycles of menstruation, but such deviations, as already mentioned, disappear after a couple of years.

It is very important to the period of the appearance of the monthly to prepare the girl for intermittent bleeding. It is necessary to tell the girl about the hormonal changes in her body, that her body is already ready for reproductive functions. Such a conversation can be conducted by the mother of the girl and / or gynecologist. It is necessary to prepare the girl for acceptance of the fact that menstruation is a common phenomenon in women's life. But if the bleeding is accompanied by pain and other unpleasant sensations that can disturb the girl and cause her discomfort, it is necessary to consult with a specialist gynecologist.

It is also necessary to have a conversation with a girl about the dangers of early initiation of sexual activity and possible pregnancy in this case, which leads to tragic consequences at this age.

  • Since the beginning of menstruation, the increase in the growth of the girl does not occur at an accelerated rate. At this age, on average, by thirteen years, the growth rate is reduced to one and a half to two and a half centimeters per year.
  • At the age of fourteen to sixteen, the figure of the girl begins to take on feminine outlines - in addition to the already grown breast and thinned waist, the hips begin to be rounded, the pelvis grows, the shape of the legs changes, and so on. In the region of the armpits, there is hair. Monthly become rhythmic. The development of the bone system, the increase in bones stops.

To maintain the hygiene of a girl, she needs to be taught how to use a shaving machine for women to shave her hair under the armpits. Pubic hair should not be expelled, because at this age it is not necessary at all.

Early puberty in girls

Early sexual development is the emergence of secondary sexual characteristics and the emergence of menstruation (in some cases) in girls about ten years. Such manifestations in development, which are slightly ahead of the norm, are not considered a deviation or violation. Therefore, it can be said that for some girls, a slight advance in terms of development is a variant of the norm. Such features of development are observed in girls-accelerators, which differ from their contemporaries early physical, sexual, psychological and emotional development.

Early puberty in girls should not bother parents. But in these cases it is recommended to conduct special conversations that can explain the girl's changes in her own body and teach her personal hygiene skills.

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Premature puberty in girls

Premature puberty is characterized by the emergence of a complete set of secondary sexual characteristics (or some of them) in girls up to the age of eight. Sometimes at this age there is the appearance of menarche - the first menstruation. There are several forms of premature puberty in girls:

  1. True premature sexual development. This form of premature development is considered cerebral, that is, due to the processes occurring in the brain. By the early stages of the onset of puberty, early manifestation of the activity of the hypothalamus or adenohypophysis, which are responsible for reproductive functions, results. The activity of these glands stimulates the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Activation of LH leads to the production of estrogen in the body of the girl, which leads to changes in her body, due to puberty. The activity of FSH leads to the onset of growth and maturation of the follicles in the ovaries.

True premature puberty has a number of characteristics:

  • issexually by nature, that is, it is related to the female sex genetically and by gonadal sign;
  • full of its manifestations, that is, characterized by the presence of a telarche (growth of the breast gland), adrenarche (the appearance of pubic and axillary hair) and the speeding up of the growth of the body.
  • complete, that is, characterized by the premature appearance of menarche.

Causes of cerebral form of true premature puberty can be infections that were carried by a girl under the age of one year. To such manifestations lead and organic lesions of the brain, which presses on the hypothalamus, as well as certain problems that have arisen in the period of maternal pregnancy.

There is not only a cerebral form of true premature puberty, but also a constitutional form. The last form of deviation in puberty is more rare and has a hereditary character.

False premature sexual development

This kind of premature ripening is due to increased secretion of estrogens in the adrenal glands or ovaries. The use of drugs in the treatment of girls containing estrogens or gonadotropic hormones also provokes the appearance of false puberty.

The false type of premature development is characterized, like the true, by the accelerated growth rate of the girl. But false development always has an incomplete character, which is manifested in the absence of a premature menarche. Also, false development can take place both in the isosexual and heterosexual type.

Characteristics of false isosexual type of development (by female type):

  • rapid growth rate;
  • there is an increase in mammary glands;
  • occurs pubic hair, inguinal zones and underarms.

Characteristics of a false heterosexual type of development (male):

  • up to the age of eight there is an increase in the clitoris, which begins to resemble the penis;
  • there are pivotal hair in the area of the upper lip and chin;
  • bones grow faster than girls developing in an isosexual type;
  • the fatty layer is distributed according to the male type.

It should be noted that the heterosexual type of development is quite rare and is caused by hormonal disorders in the body of girls who received hormone androgen preparations. If there was a timely appeal to specialists, deviations in the development of the girl can be reversed, into the female channel. The use of the correct method of treatment, which is carried out for a long time, can completely restore the correct sexual development of the girl. Thoracic glands will form in a timely manner, the menstrual cycle will be established on time. In the future, the reproductive functions of the cured girl will be preserved, she will be able to conceive and tolerate the baby well, and also give birth to it normally. If you neglect treatment, then the development of the female type in these girls does not come at all.

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Incomplete premature sexual development

This kind of premature puberty is caused by the appearance in the body of a girl of excess gonadotropic hormones. A strong increase in estrogen can also lead to similar abnormalities in sexual development.

Characteristics of incomplete premature puberty:

  • is not accompanied by accelerated growth rates;
  • only the mammary glands are formed, without the appearance of other secondary sexual characteristics;
  • there is only the embryology of the groin, pubic and axillary zones without the formation of other secondary sexual characteristics.

Diseases of a different nature, which provoke the appearance of premature sexual development. Such diseases include:

  • the emergence of follicular ovarian cysts,
  • the presence of ovarian tumors,
  • the appearance of primary hypothyroidism,
  • McKun-Albright Syndrome,
  • Russell - Silver syndrome.

Such diseases are characterized by the appearance of bloody discharge, which resemble menstrual bleeding. But secondary sexual characteristics do not develop.

Films about the sexual maturation of girls

Films about the sexual maturation of girls are recommended to be viewed together with a mother or another adult woman who can explain to the girl any incomprehensible or embarrassing moments. Parents are advised to watch the film themselves before a joint viewing with their child, to be sure of its usefulness and lack of personnel and information that, in the opinion of mom or dad, are premature for their daughter. Start watching these films is at an age when there were first signs of puberty girls, as well as when she had an interest in such issues.

Films about the sexual maturation of girls are represented by the following documentary films and cartoons:

  • The film is about the formation and protection of the reproductive functions of the girls "When a Girl Ages ...", who won the main prize in the nomination "Applied Animation" of the Open Suzdal Festival in the city of Suzdal in 2003. The film was created with the support of the Russian Ministry of Health and the pharmaceutical company Gedeon-Richter.
  • The documentary film "Maiden's strength" from the channel Discovery.
  • A documentary film produced in the UK in 1998 "The human body. Sexual maturation. "
  • A documentary film, created in 2008, "About sex - puberty."

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