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Article Home Women's Health Puberty in females

Puberty in females

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Puberty is the process of physical changes by which the child?s body becomes an adult and able to reproduce. This process allows the women to conceive, carry, bear and feed offspring. Female hormones play an important role in this transition.

The pituitary gland located in brain secretes hormones called follicle stimulating hormone which signals the ovaries to produce estrogens. Estrogens are female sex hormones which is responsible for female body development and maturity for reproduction. The change sin puberty varies from one woman to another.


Physical changes for females occur in breasts, pubic hair, and acne.


Breast: The breast development begins from 7 years of age and 13. Breast go throws 5 stages of development. The breast development continues to through the puberty. The area becomes enlarged. The areola enlarges and becomes darker. It rises to become a round around the areola with small amount of breast tissue called a bud.


Growth of pubic hair: The pubic hair starts growing the vaginal lips, and the outer opening of private parts. The hair becomes darker, coarser and grows like an inverted triangle.


Growth spurt: Puberty causes growth spurt resulting in an average growth about 3.5 inches a year. Height growth is of course accompanied by an increase in weight. Girl gain about 15 to 55 pounds of weight and 2 to 10 inches of height during puberty.


Acne: The sweat glands and sebaceous glands start growing. The over activity of sebaceous glands leads to excess of sebum formation leading to clogging of pores leading to acne.


Menstruation: The girl starts to have a regular menstrual cycle.


Premenstrual syndrome: Since there is more of hormonal surge during puberty, many feel moodiness at times mainly before the periods. This is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It can cause irritability, difficulty in sleeping, fluid retention, anxiety, dietary cravings

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Other features are widening of lips, cramps, mood swings, irritability, and fatigue.


Precocious puberty is the term to describe the development sexual maturation before the age of 8. The causes for precocious puberty are tumors, hypothalamic hamartomas, CNS injury by inflammation, surgery, trauma etc.


Delayed puberty means if the girl has not attained puberty even after 14 years. It can occur due to chronic illness like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, malnourishment. Other conditions like thyroid disorders, problem in pituitary, chromosomal abnormalities, underweight can cause this.