onset of puberty

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onset of puberty

Boys: Between the ages of 13 and 15, a relatively rapid increase in height and weight occurs, with broadening of the shoulders and increase in size of the penis and testicles. Pubic and facial hair begin to grow. Endocrine and sebaceous gland activity is increased. Nocturnal emissions usually occur.

Girls: Between the ages of 9 and 16, a marked increase in growth is accompanied by breast enlargement and appearance of pubic hair. Within 1 to 2 years after these changes, underarm hair grows and the normal whitish vaginal secretion (physiological leukorrhea) characteristic of the adult female is noticed. Several months later the first menstrual period (menarche) occurs. Each individual will vary somewhat from this schedule.

Patient care

Before puberty, young girls should be told about menstruation and the techniques of menstrual protection through use of perineal pads or tampons. In addition, they should be told that a certain amount of intermenstrual vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) is normal but if the secretion is malodorous or causes irritation of the vulva, a health care provider should be consulted. See: menstruation

At puberty, boys should be assured that the size of the penis is not related to the degree of masculinity and is not an important factor in experiencing or providing sexual gratification.

See also: puberty
References in periodicals archive ?
Both studies suggest that parent-child distance and strained family relations may be related to earlier onset of puberty.
But they added that health care providers should advise more aggressive interventions to limit calorie intake and increase activity in " healthy" overweight children, even before the onset of puberty.
Influence of perinatal factors on the onset of puberty in boys and girls: implications for interpretation of link with risk of long term diseases.
The standard of care involves the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to suppress hormonal production to delay the onset of puberty.
The goal of treatment for precocious puberty is to stop, and possibly reverse the onset of puberty, improve final height and to avoid psychosocial /behavioural effects.
That can delay the onset of puberty and affect growth because sufferers miss out on key nutrients.
One of the processes it is thought to control is the onset of puberty.
For girls, wearing it had been the norm from onset of puberty to wedlock.
The onset of puberty can be affected by factors including obesity as well as pharmaceutical and other chemical exposures.
The onset of puberty and girls' sensitivity were cited by psychologists as reasons for the differences between the results.
Richard Sharpe of the Medical Research Council's Centre for Reproductive Biology in Edinburgh says the study ought to raise concerns, but because it looked at only a small number of children, the results may simply represent natural variations in the onset of puberty.