Puberty

What is puberty

Puberty is a crucial and transformative stage in the journey from childhood to adulthood. It is a time when a young girl's body undergoes significant changes, typically occurring between the ages of 10 and 14. These changes encompass a wide range of developments, including biological, physical, and emotional aspects. It is during this period that the body's organs are actively developing, preparing the individual for the possibility of reproduction in the future. Puberty is an entirely natural and normal process, and while it can be accompanied by various challenges, it ultimately serves as a remarkable milestone in shaping one's identity as they transition into adulthood.



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Stages of puberty in girls

Puberty is a fascinating and individualized phase, where a multitude of changes, including physical, emotional, and hormonal, occur in every child's body. Puberty in girls is a multi-stage process of physical development.It starts with breast budding, hair growth, and hip development, followed by menstruation and vaginal discharge. As they progress, breasts take on a fuller shape, and height growth slows down. Menstruation becomes a significant milestone, with periods lasting 3-6 days, initially irregular but typically becoming more regular over time. Emotional challenges like mood swings and low self-esteem but also exciting experiences like forming strong feelings for peers and gaining independence. It's a transformative time for girls as they shape their identities and become confident young women.

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My first period

First Period

First period or Menarche is a significant biological milestone in a girl's life, symbolizing the beginning of puberty and her body's readiness for potential reproduction. Puberty, as a transformative phase, represents the transition from childhood to young womanhood, bringing about various physical and emotional changes that shape her journey towards adulthood.

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What are Periods?

Menstruation, also known as periods, is a natural biological process where blood and tissue from the uterus are discharged through the vagina, occurring about once a month.Menstruation is the body's way of preparing for possible pregnancy, with the ovaries releasing hormones like estrogen and progesterone to build and nurture the uterine lining for a potential fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn't occur, the lining breaks down and is shed, resulting in a period. On average, the menstrual cycle takes about 28 days, but most women experience periods within a range of 21 to 35 days.

What age do girls get their periods?

The age at which girls get their first period can differ significantly, typically occurring between 11 and 15 years old. However, some may start as early as 8 or as late as 15, and all these variations are completely normal and not a cause for concern.Factors influencing early puberty are not fully understood but could include genetics (if family members experienced it), and being overweight (obesity may play a role). If a girl starts her period at age 9, it's usually not a cause for worry. However, if it occurs at age 7 or 8, it could be precocious puberty, linked to brain abnormalities affecting hormone release. Consulting a doctor in such cases is advised.Late puberty in girls, occurring after the ages of 13 to 16, can raise concerns. Causes for delayed puberty include being underweight or participating heavily in extreme sports. Additionally, late puberty might indicate an underlying endocrine or hormone issue. To determine if you are approaching your periods, observe signs of puberty like Budding of Breasts Hair Growth in underarms Pubic hair White vaginal discharge Skin getting oilier with pimples Hips and thighs broadening

What to do when you get your period?

First of all, there's no need to panic. Getting your periods is a completely normal and natural process. Use your preferred feminine hygiene product without hesitation. It's nothing to be scared of or ashamed about. If you feel anxious, have a conversation with your primary caregiver, mom, elder sister, or teachers, as they can provide support and help you understand periods better. Also, keep in mind that your first few periods can be erratic and irregular, which is entirely normal.It's important to keep in mind that initially, periods can be irregular, but over time they will establish a more regular pattern. Feel free to ask questions and engage in open conversations with someone you trust, as they can offer guidance and support throughout this process. If you ever have concerns, don't hesitate to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.

A girls first period what to expect?

For most girls, the first period is typically short, and it may take a few months for the body to establish a regular menstrual cycle. Initially, periods can be irregular, lasting anywhere from 21 to 45 days. Once regular, periods usually occur every 28 to 30 days and last for 3-7 days. During the initial months, it is common to notice only a few spots of brownish blood, although occasionally the flow can be heavier. The color of period blood is mostly red, but the presence of brown blood is due to it not being fresh.The first period is typically lighter with minimal pain, but if any discomfort arises, home remedies can provide relief. Women usually lose about 60ml of blood during their period, though those with heavy flow may lose 80ml.It is quite common to discover blood clots on your menstrual products during your period.It's important to be prepared for your first period by keeping a kit ready. To learn about various menstrual hygiene protection methods, gather information from reading, talking to people, and searching the internet to weigh the pros and cons. In many cases, sanitary pads are considered the most reliable and practical option.

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Tips for parents

Early Awareness: Parents should be attuned to signs of puberty in their children, such as mood swings, increased sleep, breast development, and pubic hair growth, as these may indicate the onset of menstruation. White or colorless vaginal discharge often precedes a girl's first period.

Initiating Conversations: Parents should initiate conversations about menstruation when their child is around 8 to 9 years old or when these signs start to appear. It's essential to make these discussions a normal part of family conversations.



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Normalizing Changes: Parents should reassure their daughters that the physical and emotional changes they are experiencing are entirely normal and a natural part of puberty. This includes discussing common symptoms like cramps, backaches, pimples, mood swings, and fatigue.

Teaching Independence: Parents should teach their daughters how to use and change pads and emphasize the importance of proper disposal and period hygiene.

Involving Fathers and Sons: The passage also highlights the importance of involving fathers and brothers in these conversations. By discussing menstruation with sons, parents can break down gender stereotypes and promote empathy and support for girls and women. Fathers, in particular, can play a crucial role in normalizing periods and fostering understanding and empathy.

School Education: While schools provide information on the biology of menstruation, parents have a significant role in teaching emotional support, empathy, and practical aspects of managing periods.

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Period guide

Reasons for late period

A late period can result from various factors, including pregnancy, stress, changes in diet and exercise, illness, medications, hormonal imbalances, travel, perimenopause, medical conditions, and certain birth control methods. It's important to note that occasional irregularities in your menstrual cycle are relatively common and may not necessarily indicate a serious problem. However, if you consistently experience late periods or have concerns about your menstrual cycle, it's advisable to consult a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues and discuss potential causes and treatment options



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Menstruation and How to track your period?

Pre-Period (PMS): This phase is marked by the onset of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms, which include headaches, bloating, irritability, and increased emotional sensitivity. Many women can relate to the discomfort and mood changes associated with this phase.

Period: The menstrual cycle officially begins on Day 1 when menstrual bleeding starts. Periods typically span 4 to 7 days, with the heaviest flow occurring during the initial days. Although an average cycle is around 28 days, there is variation, with cycles ranging from 21 to 35 days. It's essential to seek medical advice if your period lasts longer than 7 consecutive days.

Peak Ovulation: During this phase, ovulation occurs, presenting the highest chances of conception. The fertile period generally extends for approximately 6 days, with ovulation often taking place around Day 14 in a 28-day cycle. The use of a tracker can assist in identifying these fertile days for family planning or contraception purposes.

Luv Pads Period calculator make it easy to log your periods, track symptoms, and receive predictions about your menstrual cycle.

Irregular Periods

Irregular periods refer to menstrual cycles that deviate from the typical 21 to 35-day range or exhibit significant variations in cycle length. Irregular periods can manifest in various ways:

Missed Periods: When a menstrual period doesn't occur when expected, it's considered a missed period. This can be due to factors like pregnancy, stress, rapid weight changes, or hormonal imbalances.

Frequent Periods: Some individuals may experience periods more frequently than the typical monthly cycle. This can result from conditions like uterine fibroids or hormonal issues.

Extended or Prolonged Periods: Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than the usual 4 to 7 days is considered prolonged. Causes can include hormonal imbalances, uterine issues, or medical conditions.

Heavy or Scanty Flow: Irregular periods can involve exceptionally heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) or extremely light bleeding (hypomenorrhea). These variations may relate to hormonal fluctuations, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or other underlying conditions.

Unpredictable Timing: Irregular periods can make it challenging to predict when the next period will occur. This can disrupt daily life and make family planning difficult.

Common Causes of Irregular Periods are Stress,Weight Fluctuations, Hormonal Imbalances,Medications,Menopause Transition,Medical Conditions,Excessive Exercise.If you experience persistent irregular periods or have concerns about your menstrual health, it's advisable to consult a healthcare provider. They can help identify the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment or management options. Irregular periods can sometimes signal underlying health issues that may require medical attention.

Spotting

Spotting before periods, also known as premenstrual spotting or premenstrual bleeding, refers to the light discharge of blood or brownish-colored fluid that some individuals experience in the days leading up to their menstrual period. This spotting can vary in intensity and duration, and it's considered a common occurrence.This premenstrual spotting typically occurs a few days to a week before the onset of the full menstrual flow and may vary in intensity and color, ranging from light pink to brown. While hormonal fluctuations and cervical changes are common causes, it's important to note that occasional premenstrual spotting is usually considered normal. However, if it becomes persistent, heavy, or is accompanied by unusual symptoms, seeking guidance from a healthcare provider is advisable to rule out underlying issues and ensure proper care if needed.

What causes heavy periods?

Heavy periods, medically known as menorrhagia, are characterized by abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding lasting longer than the typical 4-7 days. Common causes include hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometrial polyps, certain intrauterine devices (IUDs), blood disorders, medications, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pregnancy complications, cancer, thyroid disorders, and perimenopause.If you experience heavy periods that disrupt your daily life or are accompanied by severe pain, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider. They can perform a thorough evaluation, diagnose the underlying cause, and recommend appropriate treatment options to manage or alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding. Treatment may include medications, hormonal therapy, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery, depending on the cause and severity of the condition.

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PMS

PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) encompasses a range of physical and emotional symptoms that typically occur in the weeks leading up to a woman's period. These symptoms can vary significantly among individuals, with some experiencing mild discomfort, such as tender breasts or cravings, while others face more severe issues like bloating, fatigue, and intense mood swings. PMS is a natural part of the menstrual cycle and usually subsides once menstruation begins. The symptoms are largely driven by hormonal changes, and some women who are particularly sensitive to these changes may exhibit extreme emotional fluctuations, including irritability, anxiety, sadness, anger, and even depression



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PMS symptoms before your period

PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, is indeed a highly individualized experience, with symptoms varying in duration and intensity among women. Common physical symptoms include bloating, cramps, fatigue, joint pain, hunger cravings, acne, and sleep disturbances. Emotional symptoms often manifest as oversensitivity, severe mood swings, anger, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

The fluctuating hormone levels leading up to and during menstruation are responsible for these diverse PMS symptoms. Prostaglandins, a hormone, play a role in causing uterine contractions to shed the uterine lining, contributing to cramps, a typical premenstrual symptom. The onset and severity of PMS can vary not only from woman to woman but also from one menstrual cycle to another for the same individual. Some women find relief from PMS symptoms after giving birth, while others may notice them worsening as they approach menopause. PMS typically begins a week or two before menstruation starts.

PMDD/PME

PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, can lead to intense mood swings for some individuals, encompassing sobbing episodes, anger outbursts, anxiety attacks, and rapid emotional fluctuations all within a single day. PMS symptoms typically occur during the luteal phase after ovulation, which lasts about 14 days until menstruation begins. Anxiety is one of the many ways PMS can manifest, causing uneasiness, tension, and excessive worry. While mild-to-moderate mood swings are common during this time, severe symptoms may indicate the presence of PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a mood condition linked to mental health issues, especially in individuals with a personal or family history of anxiety or depression. PMDD symptoms encompass irritability, relationship strain, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, mood swings, reduced interest in activities, trouble concentrating, fatigue, food cravings, sleep difficulties, and more. It's closely related to Premenstrual Exacerbation (PME), where existing conditions like anxiety disorders, depression, migraines, seizures, eating disorders, or schizophrenia worsen during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The key difference is that PME individuals experience symptoms throughout the month, intensifying in the weeks before their period. Some people may also experience PMS-related anxiety due to hormonal changes, but if it significantly impacts daily life, seeking medical advice is recommended.

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PCOS

What is PCOS / PCOD?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. It leads to disrupted ovarian function, causing an excess of male hormones (androgens). PCOS results in enlarged ovaries with fluid-filled sacs containing immature eggs that don't mature or get released, causing irregular menstrual cycles and absent ovulation. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is often used interchangeably with PCOS but differs in that it involves the release of many immature eggs, forming ovarian cysts. PCOD symptoms, such as irregular periods, weight gain, infertility, and hair loss, are generally milder than those of PCOS, which is characterized by more severe androgen production and follicular cysts that disrupt ovulation. PCOD is generally considered easier to treat and cure compared to PCOS.





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PCOS effects and symptoms

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is characterised by hormonal imbalances that can result in depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Its hereditary nature leads to varying symptoms among women of different ages. PCOS often leads to insulin resistance, causing elevated glucose levels and unhealthy fat storage. While there's no permanent cure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a balanced diet can effectively manage its impact. Weight control is vital for addressing issues like high cholesterol, pre-diabetes symptoms, and potential infertility. PCOS can indirectly contribute to health problems like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and endometrial cancer due to heightened estrogen levels.

The signs and symptoms of PCOS typically appear in the late teens and early twenties and include irregular or absent periods, heavy bleeding, abnormal hair growth, acne, weight gain, excessive hair loss, and hyperpigmentation. PCOS can have far-reaching effects on health, including infertility, obesity, sleep apnea, mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of endometrial cancer.

In severe cases of PCOS, medical intervention becomes necessary. Doctors may prescribe medications to regulate the menstrual cycle and address specific symptoms like acne and excessive facial hair growth. In rare instances where conservative treatments prove ineffective, surgical interventions might be considered. If you're experiencing signs and symptoms of PCOS, it's crucial to discuss them with your healthcare provider and follow a prescribed treatment plan. While PCOS is a serious condition, with consistent efforts and appropriate medical care, it is entirely treatable, and its impact can be effectively managed

How to treat PCOS?

To diagnose PCOS, a doctor typically conducts a thorough evaluation, which includes:

Medical History: The doctor asks detailed questions about your medical history.

Physical Examination: Physical signs like facial hair, skin discoloration, and acne are examined. Blood pressure and BMI are also checked.

Pelvic Examination: This assesses reproductive organ health, including the ovaries for signs like swelling or the presence of cysts.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound is used to visualize the ovaries and identify cysts

Blood Test: A blood test measures androgen levels and rules out other hormonal disorders like thyroid issues that can mimic PCOS.

The treatment for PCOS primarily involves significant lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthy, low-carbohydrate diet and incorporating regular moderate to high-intensity exercise. These measures help with weight management, regulate menstrual cycles, and address the underlying causes of PCOS. Treatment plans are individualised to target specific symptoms, such as acne, infertility, hirsutism, or obesity, and may include a combination of lifestyle adjustments, a calorie-controlled diet, physical activity, and medications like birth control pills or drugs to induce ovulation. Consulting a healthcare professional for guidance and a tailored treatment plan is essential, as PCOS is a manageable condition when approached correctly.

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Vaginal discharge

Vaginal Yeast Infection

Your vagina maintains a healthy yeast and bacteria balance to protect against harmful microorganisms, but disruptions can lead to infections like vaginal yeast infections. Vaginal Candidiasis is caused by the overgrowth of Candida fungus, usually residing harmlessly on skin, in the mouth, gut, and vagina. Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina normally regulate Candida growth, but various factors can disrupt this balance and result in an overgrowth, causing a vaginal yeast infection. Women are at risk of yeast infections due to factors like antibiotics, weakened immunity, hormonal imbalances from contraceptives, poor vaginal hygiene, chronic stress, sugary diets, obesity, and sexual contact.



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Why do I have smelly discharge

Healthy vaginal discharge is assessed by experts based on smell, texture, color, and volume. Normal scent is slightly musky, while around periods, a slight metallic smell might occur. Vaginal odor can be affected by tight clothing, silky underwear, hormonal changes, sexual practices, and medications. Different vaginal odors, such as tangy, coppery, molasses, ammonia-like, skunky, fishy, and rotten, can indicate potential issues. To prevent a smelly vagina, focus on maintaining good hygiene practices, choosing comfortable clothing, staying hydrated, and being mindful of your diet. Wipe from front to back, shower after exercise or sex, change pads frequently, and use gentle intimate hygiene products. Opt for breathable cotton underwear and loose clothes, especially in humid conditions. Stay hydrated, and consider consuming water and coconut water. Watch your diet, as foods like garlic and onion can affect odor. Avoid tight-fitting jeans during heavier menstruation. However, avoid using deodorants or sprays, as they can worsen odor and bacterial issues.

What causes stinky vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge varies throughout the menstrual cycle, from dry to wet, creamy to eggy, and stretchy to white sticky. Healthy discharge is typically odorless and contributes to vaginal cleanliness by removing dead cells and bacteria, thanks to the presence of beneficial bacteria like "lactobacillus." This helps prevent infections, but unusual types like white sticky discharge with a gooey texture can occur.White sticky discharge, often encountered twice a month, appears after your period and about ten days before the next period, during ovulation. It indicates fertility, being stretchy, creamy, and wet. After menstruation, the body prepares for reproduction, with the discharge offering a hospitable environment for sperm, protecting and aiding its journey. Monitoring and understanding this discharge is crucial for vaginal health. Maintaining hygiene, wearing cotton underwear can manage discharge effectively and ensure health and comfort.

Is it possible to stop or Reduce vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a natural aspect of a woman's life, and comfort is key.Vaginal discharge is produced by glands inside the vagina and cervix, helping remove old cells and maintain pH levels by flushing out bad bacteria. Instead of trying to eliminate it, focus on healthy treatments to ease any concerns. Simple tips include wearing breathable cotton underwear, gentle cleansing, avoiding scented products, staying hydrated, and using pantyliners for convenience. Other remedies involve dietary adjustments and understanding that vaginal discharge is normal and essential.Different types of discharge occur depending on factors like ovulation, menstruation, sexual activity, and birth control. Changes in color, smell, irritation, itching, or burning could signal a problem. Potential issues include allergies to new products like pads or shower gels, hormonal shifts from oral contraceptives, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) causing increased discharge, pelvic pain, odor, and discoloration. Despite numerous articles about using foods and supplements to balance vaginal pH and treat discharge, remember that discharge is natural and vital. Avoid overthinking, and find ways to manage it comfortably

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Tips for a better period

Foods to eat for a better period

While on your period, many tend to overlook the significance of proper nutrition. However, your diet directly impacts your hormones, affecting cramping, mood swings, nausea, and bloating. Certain foods worsen symptoms, while others offer relief. Maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle involves consuming specific foods.

Staying hydrated is crucial, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Address reduced iron levels caused by menstruation through foods like red meat, fish, beans, chickpeas, raisins, milk, and cheese, which also boost B12 intake. Opt for fiber-rich fruits, nuts, almonds for omega-3, and dark chocolate.

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Intimate hygiene tips every girl should know

Ensuring vaginal well-being necessitates appropriate care.Puberty ushers in changes like periods and vaginal discharge, causing discomfort. Yet, practising intimate hygiene can alleviate these natural processes and uphold a sense of freshness.Incorporate these intimate hygiene tips into your daily routine for a clean and healthy vagina, ensuring you feel carefree and confident.

*Choose feminine hygiene products with balanced pH to avoid skin issues, as regular soaps are not suited for the vaginal area. Cleanse the outer part, the vulva, as the vagina's self-cleaning mechanism manages its inside. *After using the restroom, remember to wipe front to back to prevent bacterial transfer. Wash your hands before and after, ensuring no germs are transmitted to sensitive areas. *When washing, ensure water flows over the vagina from above, not inside. After showering, gently dry with a soft towel, washing it regularly. Female hygiene is private; don't share towels. *Opt for comfortable cotton clothing. Choose breathable cotton innerwear over tight clothes to prevent moisture buildup and bacterial growth, which can lead to odor. *Public restrooms are used by many people, increasing infection risk. Be cautious when using them; carry portable disinfectants in your bag for added protection. *Staying hydrated is vital to maintain bacterial balance. Drinking ample water helps flush out toxins and promote vaginal health. *In summer, increased perspiration can raise the risk of infections and rashes. Bathe twice and prioritise intimate hygiene by keeping your private area clean and dry. *Maintain a clean and fresh feeling by changing sanitary pads every 6-8 hours during your period. Avoid scented products to prevent inflammatory rashes.

Tips for a healthy period

Ensuring a happy period is attainable. As important as a regular menstrual cycle is a healthy period. Follow simple tips to prevent discomfort and irregularities, aiming for a normal period cycle. Menstruation heightens infection risk due to open cervix mucus allowing bacterial access to the uterus. Prioritise menstrual hygiene and clothing choices, change period products regularly, engage in exercise and movement like yoga, ensure sufficient sleep, maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and manage stress. By adopting these habits, you can promote regular periods and a healthy menstrual cycle.

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