The period of life, when the body undergoes changes, leading to reproductive maturity. Adolescence begins around the age of 11 and lasts up to 18 or 19 years of age. Adolescents are called teenagers as this period covers the teens (13-18 or 19 years of age). For females, the adolescence begins a year or two earlier than boys. The period of adolescence varies from person to person.
The period of adolescence during which an adolescent reaches sexual maturity and becomes able to reproduce.
Changes at Puberty:
1. Increase in Height: There is sudden increase in height of person during puberty due to elongation of the bones of arms and legs. Even though height of person depends on inherited gene, eating habits and exercise during adolescence also decides height. Initially girls grow faster than boys. Both reach maximum height by the age of about 18 year.
*Formula for calculating full height(cm) = Present height(cm)/ % of full height at this age X 100
2. Changes in body shape: In boys, the shoulders broaden and muscles of the body grow more prominently than in the girls. For girls, there is widening of the region below the waist and less growth of muscle.
3. Voice change: During puberty, it is being noticed that voice of boys starts cracking and their voice box or larynx starts to grow.
Adam’s apple: The increase in the size of voice box in boys is seen as a prominent protrusion in the neck. This protrusion is called Adam’s apple.
Fig: Adam's Apple
4. Increased activity of sweat and sebaceous glands: During puberty, there is increase in the secretion of sweat glands and sebaceous glands which may lead to appearance of acne and pimples.
5. Development of sex organs: At puberty, male sex organs like testes and penis develop completely and begin to produce sperms. In girls, the ovaries enlarge and start releasing eggs/ova.
6. Reaching mental, intellectual and emotional maturity: Adolescents are more independent and self conscious than earlier. They tend to think more. Feeling of insecure when while trying to adjust to the changes in mind and body is prominent. During adolescence, a person’s brain has greatest capacity for learning.
SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS
Characters which develops prominently during adolescence which helps to distinguish between male and female are known as secondary sexual characters. Some of these characters are as listed below:
Secondary Sexual Characters
Begins to develop breasts
Begins to grow facial hair i.e. moustaches, beard
Hair under arms, pubic region
Hair on chest, arm pit, pubic region
Hormones are chemical substances secreted by endocrine system/ endocrine glands (Ductless gland i.e. endocrine glands release hormone directly into blood stream to reach particular body part/TARGET SITE). Hormones control the changes during adolescence. Pituitary gland (found attached to brain) secretes hormone which in turn control the production of hormone from other endocrine glands. Some endocrine glands, their secretion and effect are given in the table below;
SECRETION or HORMONE
HORMONAL DEFICIENCY DISEASE OF THE HORMONE PRODUCED
Secondary sexual characters like growth of facial hair
Develop breasts(*Mammary glands develop inside breasts)
HORMONES OTHER THAN SEX HORMONE
Control carbohydrate metabolism
Regulate normal growth of person
Helps body to adjust to stress resulted by anger, worry etc. Maintains correct salt balance in the blood
Controls body metabolism
Goitre(Sufficient Iodine in diet may prevent goitre)
Role Of Hormones In Initiating Reproductive Function:
Reproductive Phase Of Life In Humans:
How Is The Sex Of The Baby Determined?
The physical and mental well being of an individual is regarded as health. To keep the body healthy, every human being at any age needs to have a balanced diet, must observe personal hygiene and undertake adequate physical exercise.
Nutritional needs of the adolescents: Adolescence is a stage of rapid growth and development. So balanced diet comprising proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins in requisite quantity is essential.
Iron builds blood. Iron rich food such as leafy vegetables, jaggery, meat, citrus, Indian gooseberry is good for adolescent.
Personal hygiene: Take bath once a day. It is more necessary for adolescents due to increased activity of sweat glands which may lead to smelly body. All parts of body should be washed and cleaned everyday.
Physical exercise: Adolescents should take walk, exercise and play outdoor games in fresh air to keep them fit and healthy.
Say no to drugs: During teenage, anyone might get affected by the negative energies surrounding him. At such times, falling for drugs can ruin your life.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease) is caused due to this virus. It is incurable disease as yet no medicine can cure it. It might spread due to sexual contact, because of infected needles and from an infected mother to her unborn child. . Hence, prevention is the only way to keep away from this dangerous disease.