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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
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In female mice, expression of LIN28B decreases in the ovary prior to the onset of puberty, and neither let-7a nor let-7g levels significantly changed [13].
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