Hormonal Changes During Puberty
Puberty is characterized by the developmental changes a teen undergoes, as a result of the changing hormones in your body. While this normally happens between the ages 8-14 in females and 10-16 in males, there is no ‘ideal’ age.
Hormones are chemicals that trigger the physical growth and emotional changes in your body. At this point, your emotions, moods and reactions to situations start getting stronger. Puberty and hormones go hand in hand, and so it is good to learn about the hormonal changes.
We are here to help you understand what happens during puberty, so that you can embrace the change and move through this time with confidence.
Understanding hormonal changes during puberty
Changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones in girls are the main changes that take place during puberty. The changes are triggered by the release of something called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, by the brain, which marks the onset of puberty. On reaching the pituitary gland, the GnRH sends a signal to the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Once the signal is received, the ovaries start maturing eggs, which have been in there since birth. And this is when you are ready to get your first period.
Effects of hormonal changes on the body
The hormonal changes during puberty also bring about a host of physical changes. A few of the being development of breast buds, filling out of the hips and hair growth in your pubic area and underarms. Sweating and developing your unique body odour are also bound to happen and hence it’s very important that you remember to follow personal hygiene as part of your daily routine. Acne and pimples are also triggered by puberty.
The most significant part of your puberty is menstruation. Getting your period is that time of the month when the body sheds tissue, blood, and fluid through the vagina. This is the result of the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone that make the ovaries release an egg. At this point, the uterus creates a thick lining for the egg to attach to, if it has been fertilized (this means you are pregnant). In the case where an egg is not fertilized, the lining sheds off in the form of your period.
Effects of hormonal changes on emotions
The hormonal changes in women that affect your body, also impact your mind. Puberty is likely to affect your moods, thoughts, and emotions. You may see yourself developing new strong feelings you have never experienced before or you may become self-conscious about your looks. The combination of puberty and hormones can cause mood swings in teenagers, which is normal. It can also trigger a flurry of negative emotions such as an identity crises, low self-esteem, or feeling depressed and lonely. You must however always remember that you are not alone it this. Every adult has made it through it and every one of your girl friends has, is or will go through it. This is a part of growing up, and it is completely normal. However, if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, its best to reach out to a trusted adult.
A positive outlook, sufficient knowledge about the hormonal changes in your body, and talking to someone responsible can greatly help you navigate puberty. Although exciting, puberty brings responsibilities with it – ensuring personal hygiene, making informed decisions, and lastly taking care of your mind and body. Its most important to note that the changes happening in your body are all taking you towards becoming a confident, healthy woman, a stage to embrace with great pride.