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MAMTA Health Institute for Mother & Child | New Delhi


Puberty is not a point of time, but rather a process during which there is further sexual differentiation. Most girls notice that their bodies start to change anywhere between the age of 9 and 16. In some girls it can start and end earlier than others. It is in this stage of life when the body begins to change on the outside as well as inside. It changes from that of a child into that of an adult, with secondary sexual characteristics and the ability to reproduce sexually. Puberty can be scientifically defined as the time during which there is sudden enlargement of the gonads, other genitalia and secondary sex characteristics, leading to reproductive capacity.

Perhaps the most important single event in the process the first menstruation for females (as is the first ejaculation for males), although menstruation is not necessarily a sign of reproductive capability since girls typically do not produce mature eggs until a year or two after the first menstruation. During puberty there is a marked increase in the level of sex hormones both in girls and boys. The hypothalamus, pituitary (both situated in the brain), the endocrine system and gonads control the changes.

Both boys and girls gain about 25 percent of the adult height and 50 percent of the adult weight during puberty. At the start of puberty growth spurt is experienced i.e. height increases in a short period of time. With the pubertal spurt girls show fat deposition in characteristic female distribution (boys tend to become more muscular). To know more about the ways to address these issues of adolescence click here.

Generally, puberty ends by the age of 17 or 18, and then the body is matured into an adult body.


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