Adolescence is considered as a period of transition from childhood to Adulthood (10-19 years). It is characterized by physical, developmental and psychological changes.
The physical changes follow an orderly sequence with initial acceleration of growth followed by development of growth followed by development of breasts, pubic hair and axillary hair. It culminates in periods (menarche) by 11-13 years. These changes are completed by the age pf 16.
Problem of adolescents are multidimensional in nature and require a holistic approach.
*Irregular Cycles – Cycles are an ovulatory in first few months and irregular cycles may be normal for first one year.
*Heavy flow –Hypothyroidism and
*PCOD – has become very common in terms it’s characterized by Irregular cycles, obesity (usually), acne and hirsutism. Lack of exercise and diet habits are precipitator factor.
*Delayed puberty – Absence of menses by age of 16 irrespective of presence or absence of secondary sex characteristics.
*Precocious puberty – Menarche before the age of 10 years.
*Vulvovaginitis – White discharge more common before menarche due to lack of estrogen hormones so the vagina looks red and thin. It causes discomfort and itching.
White discharge could be due to infections and foreign bodies. Hence, hygiene should be maintained.
10% of adolescent girls are sexually active. Chances of STD and pregnancy should be kept in mind.
Knowledge of contraception (birth control) and sex education should be imparted. HPV vaccination may be recommended.
Dr.Anuradha Panda, MD, DGo
Obg and Gynecology,
Apollo Health City,