How do hormones affect gender identity

Development & Puberty

Puberty - development into a woman

With adolescence, the girl develops into an adult woman. During this development phase, major changes take place: the body is reshaped, the personality continues to develop and various changes also take place in the brain.

The psychological and psychosocial developments are summarized under the term adolescence. The age associated with adolescence is perceived differently in different cultures. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines this period as a phase of life between 10 and 20 years.

The diverse biological changes including the formation of so-called secondary sexual characteristics, which signal sexual maturity, are known as puberty. In common parlance, however, the biological, psychological and psychosocial changes are often undifferentiated with the term “puberty”. The first signs of this physical maturation can now appear in girls as early as the age of eight.

puberty

Sexual maturation, d. H. the development from girl to sexually mature woman takes place during puberty. It usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13.5 years. It is controlled by hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (pituitary gland) and the ovaries (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian control circuit). Follicles in the ovaries begin to produce estrogens, stimulated by the FSH of the anterior pituitary gland. The estrogens are released into the blood and stimulate the growth and maturation of the sexual organs. Due to disorders of the hypothlamus-pituitary-ovary control circuit, puberty can occur prematurely or later.

Various factors have different degrees of influence on the course and severity of puberty - including genetic factors, environmental factors, the nutritional status and fat percentage of the body, as well as physical and emotional health.

The slow development of pubic hair (pubarche) and breast development (thelarche) are often the first signs of the onset of puberty and can appear as early as eight years. About one to one and a half years before the first menstrual period, the so-called "white flow" occurs more or less pronounced in girls. Due to the estrogen, there is a general moisture penetration of the vaginal tissue and an increased secretion of a watery or whitish-yellow fluorine from the cervix. This white river has a slightly yogurt-like body odor, so it doesn't smell unpleasant. A whitish, brittle film of the dried-on discharge usually shows up in the slip.

The white flow is a completely normal developmental sign!

A doctor should only be examined if there is an itching or burning sensation in or on the vagina in addition to the discharge, or if the odor of the discharge is perceived as unpleasant. These could show signs of inflammation - caused by fungi or bacteria, for example.

The first menstrual period (menarche) begins about one and a half to two years after pubarche / thelarche - an average of 12.8 years. Regular ovulatory cycles occur two to three years after the first menstrual period. At this point, the uterus and vagina have also reached their fully grown shape and size, and body growth is 98% complete. The girl has reached full physical sexual maturity, can have sexual intercourse and carry a pregnancy to term without any major problems.

At an early sexual maturity, a girl can be mature at 12 to 13 years of age and have a child.

Premature or premature puberty (pubertas preacox) is present if the breast develops or pubic hair appears before the 8th birthday and / or the menarche begins before the 9th birthday.

Psychosexual maturity usually comes later than puberty. For this, a young person has to deal with their physical changes and accept them for themselves. The development of one's own sexual identity and the integration of this sexuality into one's own personality are considered to be important developmental tasks.

Important aspects of psychosexual maturity are also a responsible approach to sexuality, protection against unwanted pregnancies and against sexually transmitted diseases.

During puberty, one's own body changes very much, which creates uncertainty among many teenagers. Ideals of beauty and values ​​often leave girls and young women feeling dissatisfied with their own bodies or fear of not being "normal". This can lead to lifelong problems with one's own sexuality. Confidential conversations with caregivers or friends are all the more important so that young girls learn to understand and accept their own bodies.