Health of Adolescent Women in a Nutshell
Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynecology
Aster Aadhar Hospital, Kolhapur, India
The adolescence stage roughly begins at 10 years of age and reaches maturity by 18 years. A woman’s body in the adolescent phase goes through plenty of changes both physically as well as mentally and significant development takes place before adulthood sets in. It’s important to remember that these changes will happen differently for each teen. Some teens may have these signs of maturity sooner or later than others.
An adolescent girl goes through a lot of hormonal developments during this phase which comes with several concerns that should be addressed:
- Onset of menstruation: Menstruation is the process of discharging blood and other material from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from puberty until the menopause, except during pregnancy. It is essential to follow proper hygiene habits and care during the cycle every month.
- Proper diet and exercise: Since the body goes through various new changes, it is important to take care of the diet and movements of the body. One must avoid junk food and instead eat proper meals rich in proteins, calcium, fruits, vegetables and dairy items. This goes a long way to build up the body for the next stage of life. This also helps in keeping extreme conditions in check such as being underweight or obese.
- Regular health checkup: Regular checkups are recommended to rule out any abnormalities or hereditary diseases, if there is any history in the family. This will help in early detection and diagnosis so that the condition can be treated early.
- Vaccination: Essential vaccinations need to be given against specific diseases such as Rubella, Cervical Cancer, etc.
- Sex education: As a woman moves towards the adolescent stage, her body goes through several sexual changes as well. It becomes essential for key family members such as mother or sister to give her a proper sex education and keep her informed about menstruation, sexual health and habits, etc.
In addition to above, whenever any woman feels any changes in their body, they must consult their Gynecologist immediately to rule out any underlying conditions. Ref: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=puberty-adolescent-female-90-P01635