What is Puberty?
Adolescence is the transition period from childhood to adulthood. During adolescence, the child changes physically and psychologically and progresses towards becoming an adult individual. During this period, gonads (ovaries and testicles) and breast, hair growth, penis enlargement and voice changes occur. Reproductive potential is gained.
What Affects Puberty?
Genetic factors play a role in puberty development. Many genes are involved in the onset of puberty. The age of first menstrual period is similar between identical twins and mother and daughter.
Environmental factors also play a role in puberty development. Geographical location, chronic diseases, air pollution, climate, nutrition, exposure to substances that disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system, physical and mental stresses are also effective in the onset of puberty.
When Does Puberty Begin?
With the changes in nutrition and living conditions, the age of first menstruation, which was 15-16 in the early 1800s, decreased to 13-13.5 years until the middle of the 1900s. The most important reasons for this are the increase in obesity and exposure to substances that disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system in the childhood age group.
Puberty begins between the ages of 8 and 13 in girls, and between the ages of 9 and 14 in boys. Girls, on average, have their first period between the ages of 10 and 16. While the average age of onset of puberty is 10.1 years in healthy Turkish children, it is 11.6 years in boys.
How Do We Understand Adolescence?
While the first indication of the onset of puberty is breast enlargement in girls, the testicles begin to grow in boys. Therefore, breast enlargement in girls and testicular enlargement in boys indicates the onset of puberty.