This is when adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction.
At this stage boys and girls undergo a series of biological and physical changes.
It is common for girls to experience puberty between the ages of
9 and 14 while boys experience it between the ages of 12 and 16.
Although boys and girls share similar body changes when they reach puberty,
there are some changes that are exclusive to boys and vice-versa for girls.
For example boys don’t experience menstruation but girls do when they reach puberty.
Development of facial hair
Onset of menstruation
Involuntary ejaculation of semen during sleep (wet dreams)
Increase in size of testicles
Development of breasts
Growth of pubic hair
Growth of pubic hair
Menstruation – When Does it Start and End
All girls go through a pre-menarche stage. This is the time in-between when girls reach puberty
and when they have their first menstrual period. It is common for girls to experience their
first menstrual period between the ages of 9 and 19 years. However most girls will begin to
have regular periods between the age of 16 to 18.
Delay in starting periods is not a cause for concern. When menstruation starts a woman can
expect to see her menstrual period continuously until she reaches her menopause, in her late 40s and 50s
Your menstrual cycle is the interval between your first and your next menstrual period.
On average, the length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days, but generally this varies
from woman to woman. Regular cycles that are longer or shorter than 24 to 35 days, are normal.
Hormones play a vital role during your menstrual cycle. The two main hormones that are released during your
cycle are progesterone and oestrogen. Their presence contributes to the mood
swings you may experience during your menstrual cycle.
Tissue and blood lines the uterus (womb)
Ovary develops an egg and releases it as ovulation occurs and levels of oestrogen begin to rise (sexual intercourse during this time can result in pregnancy)
Egg is absorbed into the body if pregnancy doesn’t occur ples
Uterus lining falls away and leave the body as a period (menstrual flow)
How to calculate your menstrual cycle
You can calculate your cycle by;
Marking on a calendar the first day of your period.
Mark the calendar again in the next month, on the first day your period begins.
The total number of days in-between the two dates will show you how many days make your cycle.
You will need to make these calculations over a few months to get an average of your cycle.
A better understanding of your cycle can protect you against unwanted pregnancies.