Teen Health Issues for Girls

by Sharon Hopkins

Puberty can be a difficult time for girls. Suddenly there is so much going on at the same time. Your body is changing, your mood swing from high to low, your skin may break out, and you even smell different! The number one question asked by teen girls is, ‘Am I normal?’ The resounding answer is – Yes. While different girls develop at different rates, rest assured all these changes are normal.

The best way to face the challenges of puberty is to know what to expect. Puberty refers to a stage of development that usually starts between the ages of eight to thirteen and can last for another few years. Girls who are overweight or have mothers, who started puberty early, may experience early puberty as well. Similarly, girls who are thin and have a family history of late puberty should not worry if they don’t start developing until they are fifteen or so. If you are fifteen or older and have not got your period, you should visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical condition that may be delaying the onset of puberty.

So what changes can you expect during puberty and how do you cope with them? As your body starts to release hormones that stimulate the reproductive system, you will begin to notice the following signs of puberty:

  • Weight gain and an increase in body fat
  • Growth spurt in terms of height
  • Breast development
  • Hips may widen and become curvy
  • Menstrual cycle begins
  • Vaginal discharge may increase or become noticeable
  • Body hair develops on your underarms, on the genitals, and even on the upper lip
  • Perspiration and body odor increases
  • Skin problems such as acne develop
  • Emotional changes and mood swings
While these changes may seem overwhelming at first, as time goes by you will learn to cope and deal with the new you. If your weight gain is worrying you, do not go on crash diets to lose those extra pounds. This is all good body fat and necessary for your reproductive healthy and development. Breast size and shape are a universal cause for concern among teenage girls. Some worry that their breasts are not big enough while others hate their big breasts. Keep in mind that breasts continue to change and grow well into your 20s so don’t waste your time worrying about something that is not under your control. Two years or more after your breasts first start to develop, you will get your first menstrual period. During the first year of menarche, periods can last from two to eight days and may not always be regular. Speak to your mother or older sister for more information about what is normal and how to cope with your periods. With regards to any problem you may have with body odor, its important to maintain a high level of hygiene during puberty. Bathe regularly and use a deodorant or powder to help combat excessive perspiration. You can also tackle issues such as body hair and acne with a number of home remedies. Many girls suffer from growing pains during puberty. As the body undergoes a significant growth spurt, legs and hands may physically ache. This is not cause for concern but if the pain gets too much, you may want to think of getting a massage once in a while to combat the discomfort of puberty.

Apart from all the physical changes, your emotional temperament will change as well. Some girls may become more sensitive or lose their temper more easily. Others may find it difficult to deal with all these new feelings and emotions. You may be confused about sex and have a lot of questions about what is normal and is not. Speak to someone – an adult, a teacher or a friend to share your worries and make it easier to cope. Gradually it will become easier – that’s a promise! 
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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