WHAT IS PUBERTY?
- Your body begins to release hormones causing hair to grow in places it didn’t before, on pubic and under arm, and for boys the face as well.2
- Breast development and possible tenderness and change in their figure, including widening of the hips.2
- The start of menstruation periods may be irregular at first and a clear or whitish vaginal discharge may appear before periods.2
WHAT’S GOING ON?
What is happening to your body?
Puberty is simply a series of natural changes that every child go through , some kids struggle through puberty , while others sail through puberty without concern . only a small percentage of children experience extreme turmoil during this phase of their development. This happens for boys between 9 and 14 years and for girls between 8 and 13 years.2
During puberty, your body will grow faster than at any other time in your life, except for when you were a baby.
It helps to know about the changes that puberty causes before they happen. That way, you know what to expect. It's also important to remember that everybody goes through these changes.1
Puberty starts when brain release sex hormones to ovaries and testes this may lead to mood changes and energy level variations this is a normal part of puberty.2
- Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body.3
- They help control how cells and organs do their work.3
- Hormones are chemical substances that control the functioning of the body's organs. In this case, the hormones in the Pill control the ovaries and the uterus.4
WHAT ARE HORMONES?
What are they and what do they do?
In short, they are just natural chemicals in your body that help to keep things functioning the way that they should.4
Just as those hormones create changes in the way your body looks on the outside, they also create changes on the inside. While your body is adjusting to all the new hormones, so is your mind. During puberty, you might feel confused or have strong emotions that you've never experienced before. You may feel anxious about how your changing body looks.5
You might feel overly sensitive or become easily upset. Some teens lose their tempers more than usual and get angry at their friends or families.5
How hormones affect the menstrual cycle?
The average cycle is 28 days but, for some women, it is as short as 21 days, for others it is as long as 35 days. Every month there is a complex interaction between the pituitary gland in the brain, the ovaries and the uterus (or womb). When you first start having periods, it can also take a while before your periods develop a regular pattern.6
Day one of your cycle is the first day of your period. This is when your uterus starts shedding the lining it has built up over the last 28 days. After your period is over, the lining of your uterus starts to build up again to become a thick and spongy ‘nest’ in preparation for a possible pregnancy. On day 14 (for most women), one of your ovaries will release an egg, which will make its way through a fallopian tube and will eventually make its way to your uterus (called ovulation). On day 28 (for most women), if you have not become pregnant, the lining of your uterus starts to shed. This is your period. The blood you lose during your period is the lining of your uterus.6
How does pregnancy happen?
Pregnancy happens when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg, which can happen even if you’ve not had sexual intercourse (penetration).7
During sex, semen is ejaculated from the man’s penis into the woman’s vagina. A man's semen (the liquid produced when he ejaculates or "comes") contains millions of sperm. One ejaculation can contain more than 300 million sperm.7
A woman's ovaries release one or more eggs (ovulation) 12-16 days before her next period. The man’s sperm enters the woman's body through her vagina, then travels through her cervix and womb to the fallopian tubes, where an egg is fertilized (conception). The egg can be fertilized by sperm contained in semen or pre-ejaculate.7
How do hormones in contraception work?
The hormones in contraceptives don’t only prevent ovulation. Some also prevent fertilized eggs from implanting into the womb. Others cause the mucus in the cervix (the opening of the womb) to become thick and sticky, making it harder for the sperm to move and reach the egg cell.8
Hormonal contraceptives are only reliable if they are used properly. If, for instance, a woman forgets to take her pill one day, her ovaries may release an egg (ovulation) and she could become pregnant.8
The effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives may be reduced by medication such as antibiotics, blood-pressure-lowering or cholesterol-lowering drugs, antifungal drugs or herbal products like St. John’s wort. Also, if women who take the pill vomit or have diarrhea, the pill may no longer provide enough protection. So, they have to use another form of contraception too – for instance, a condom.8
How will contraception affect my period?
Birth control pills were once only packaged as 21 days of active hormone pills and seven days of placebo pills. While taking placebo pills, menstrual period-like bleeding occurs. Today women have many more options — from regimens with 24 days of active pills and four days of placebo pills to regimens that are all active pills.9
studies have shown that the effect of the birth control pill on weight is small — if it exists at all.9
- Most girls get their first period when they're around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK.10
- Your menstrual cycle might be light or heavy and still be considered normal.11
- A girl can get pregnant as soon as her period starts. A girl can even get pregnant right before her very first period. This is because a girl's hormones might already be active. The hormones may have led to ovulation and the building of the uterine wall. If a girl has sex, she can get pregnant, even though she has never had a period.10
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
A period happens because of changes in hormones in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the lining of the uterus (or womb) to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach to and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again. Most girls get their first period when they're around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK.10
How will your period affect you?
Many girls have cramps with their period, especially in the first few days. If cramps bother you, You can try: a warm heating pad on your belly.
You have many choices about how to deal with period blood.
You may need to experiment a bit to find which works best for you. Some girls use only one method and others switch between different methods.
Most girls use pads when they first get their period. Many girls find tampons more convenient than pads, Some girls prefer a menstrual cup.10
Periods and pregnancy
A girl can get pregnant as soon as her period starts. A girl can even get pregnant right before her very first period. This is because a girl's hormones might already be active. The hormones may have led to ovulation and the building of the uterine wall. If a girl has sex, she can get pregnant, even though she has never had a period.10
DON’T MYTH WITH ME!
Can I use an IUS if I haven’t already had children?
Of course you can. You shouldn’t get an Intrauterine System (IUS) if you’re trying to get pregnant, otherwise it’s a suitable form of contraception for anybody to consider using.
Will taking the pill make me gain weight?
Taking the pill does not have a noticeable long-term effect on body weight. Some women experience small changes in weight after starting the pill, but this is not proven in clinical studies looking at its long-term effect on body weight. If you're concerned talk to your healthcare provider about your options.
Do I need to use contraception if I’m breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy for up to six months if periods have not resumed and the baby is solely breastfed frequently day and night. This doesn’t make pregnancy impossible though and as soon as any one of this criteria is not met, you can become pregnant again.
Will being on the pill for a long time affect my fertility later on in life?
It’s actually possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill so no, taking the pill long-term will not affect your fertility.
Can I get pregnant if I’m on my period?
Expert opinion says yes, you can get pregnant while menstruating. The fact that there are a number of stages of a period and that sperm can survive inside a woman`s uterus for up to six days means you should always protect yourself if you don’t want to get pregnant.
Can the IUS move about inside me and cause problems?
The Intrauterine System (IUS) is an effective method that is inserted by a well-trained healthcare provider and it stays in place for up to 3 or 5 years. The risk of uterine perforation is rare (i.e. <1/1000).
Can I get pregnant if I don’t have an orgasm?
The pleasure of sex isn’t connected to the science of sex at all. If you have sex without contraception you can get pregnant, whether you enjoy it or not.
Can taking hormonal contraceptives make me infertile?
Hormonal contraception does not cause infertility. It may take a bit of time for your body to return to a state where you can become pregnant again but this is only temporary. Fertility returns to healthy women to its previous level no matter how long you have taken a hormonal contraceptive method.
Can I reuse a condom?
No, condoms are not coffee cups that you can rinse out and reuse. They might look ok, but they are made of very thin material that deteriorates with use and can split if used more than once. Also the spermicide inside which helps to stop sperm will have gone, so use a new one each time.
Is emergency contraception 100% effective?
No contraceptive is 100% effective. It is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, ideally up to 12 hours after, if it’s taken more than 24 hours later, it’s already much less effective. The more prepared you are before sex, the less likely you’ll be to need emergency contraception at all.
Do I need to give my body a break from taking oral contraceptives?
From a medical point of view, there is absolutely no reason to make a pill break if you tolerate it well. The only reason to take a break from taking the pill is that you want to get pregnant. Other than that, you can stay on your chosen method of contraception for as long as you want.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.12
Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. But the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense. Still, you don't have to let these problems control your life. Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.12
Menstrual cycle irregularities can have many different causes, including:11
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. A missed period can be an early sign of pregnancy. Breastfeeding typically delays the return of menstruation after pregnancy.11
Eating disorders, extreme weight loss or excessive exercising. Eating disorders - such as anorexia nervosa - extreme weight loss and increased physical activity can disrupt menstruation.11
For some, the physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to affect their daily lives. Regardless of symptom severity, the signs and symptoms generally disappear within four days after the start of the menstrual period for most women.12
But a small number of women with premenstrual syndrome have disabling symptoms every month. This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD signs and symptoms include depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension.12
If you haven't been able to manage your premenstrual syndrome with lifestyle changes and the symptoms of PMS are affecting your health and daily activities, see your doctor.12
The list of potential signs and symptoms for premenstrual syndrome is long, but most women only experience a few of these problems.12
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms include: Tension or anxiety, Depressed mood, crying spells, Mood swings and irritability or anger, Appetite changes and food cravings, Trouble falling asleep (insomnia), Social withdrawal, Poor concentration, Change in libido.12
Physical signs and symptoms include: Joint or muscle pain, Headache, Fatigue, Weight gain related to fluid retention, Abdominal bloating, Breast tenderness, Acne flare-ups, Constipation or diarrhea.12
Hormonal contraceptives can also relieve period pain, and often lead to lighter periods. If a teenage girl or woman has acne, the hormones may improve her skin too.8
Menstrual suppression is a treatment that uses medication to reduce or stop menstrual periods. Under the care of a doctor, this is a safe option for all girls, teens and young women once they have already had at least one menstrual period.
Any girl, teen or young woman with menstrual periods can consider using medication to safely reduce or stop their periods. Sometimes doctors suggest menstrual suppression for medical reasons like heavy periods, painful periods or endometriosis. Menstrual suppression can also help with other medical conditions that may get worse during menstrual periods such as headaches, seizures, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic pain.
Young women with physical or developmental disabilities may prefer to not have periods if personal hygiene is difficult. Finally, some may choose to have fewer or no menstrual periods because it is their personal preference to not experience menstrual bleeding each month.13
Your body will need about one to three months to adjust to the pill. Use another form of birth control, such as latex condoms, during the first week. After the first week of taking pills regularly, you can only use the pill for birth control.14
1-Kids Health .All About Puberty . Available at : https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/puberty.html, Last Accessed : 7/7/2021.
2-Better Health Channel. Parenting children through puberty. Available at : https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Parenting-children-through-puberty, Last Accessed :7/72021.
3-Teens Health.Definition Hormones. Available at : https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/hormones.html#:~:text=Hormones,beta%20cells%20in%20the%20pancreas, Last accessed :(7/7/2021).
4-Teens Health . BirthsControl Pill . Available at : https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/contraception-birth.html, Last accessed :(7/7/2021).
5-Teens Health . Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty. Available at : https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/puberty.html, Last accessed :(7/72021).
6-The women's. About Periods. Available at : https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/periods/periods-overview/about-periods, Last accessed :(7/7/2021).
7-NHS. Can I get pregnant if I have sex without penetration. Available at : https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/can-i-get-pregnant-if-i-have-sex-without-penetration/#:~:text=It's%20possible%20for%20you%20to,partner%20ejaculates%20near%20your%20vagina, Last Accessed :(7/7/2021).
8-NCBI . Contraception: Hormonal contraceptives. Available at : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441576/, last Accessed :(7/7/2021).
9-MayoClinic. Birth Control. Available at : https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-pill/art-20045136, Last Accessed :(7/7/2021).
10-Teens Health . All About Period. Available at : https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/menstruation.html, Last Accessed :(7/7/2021).
11-Mayo's Clinic .Menstrual cycle: What's normal, what's not. Available at : https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186, Last Accessed :(7/7/2021).
12- MayoClinic. Premenstural Syndrome . Available at : https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780, Last Accessed :( 7/7/2021).
13-Children's Hospital Colorado. Menstural Supression. Available at : https://www.childrenscolorado.org/doctors-and-departments/departments/pediatric-gynecology/pediatric-gyn-services/menstrual-suppression/, Last Accessed: (8/7/2021).
14-Clevland . Birth control :The Pill . Available at : https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/3977-birth-control-the-pill, Last Accessed (7/72021).