Adolescence is a transition period in life between childhood and adulthood. As a part of growth mechanism, the body undergoes a lot of changes physically as well as psychologically. Puberty commences the sexual maturity in adolescents. Hormones play a major role during this period. The reproductive phase in boys and girls are different. Let’s go through a reproductive phase, menstrual cycle and reproductive health in details.
Reproductive Phase: Menstrual Cycle
Adolescence marks the onset of reproductive phase in boys and girls. The development of secondary sexual characteristic is beginning of this. Once the gonads begin to produce gametes (sperm in male and ovum in female), they are capable of reproducing. However, the production of gametes in males and females takes place in different ways.
Reproductive phase in both females and males begin at puberty. In males, reproductive phase lasts until death but in females, it ends by the age of 50 years. Menstrual cycle/ menstruation mark the commencement of puberty in girls.
In a girl, reproductive phase emerges from the age of 10 to 15 when she attains the puberty. When puberty arrives eggs in ovaries starts to mature. One of the ovaries releases the matured ovum in every 28 to 30 days. This is called ovulation. The uterus becomes thicker and prepares itself for implantation. If the egg fuses with the sperm it becomes fertilized. The fertilized egg (egg fused with sperm) leads to pregnancy. Contrary to this, unfertilized egg leads to shedding of uterus walls and causes bleeding in women. This bleeding phase is called menstruation. The first menstrual flow is named as menarche. By the age of 50 years, menstrual cycle stops forever and is marked as menopause. The time interval from one menstrual cycle to another can vary from 28 to 30 days.
The sex hormones along with few other hormones are responsible for this phase in women. The variation in these hormones may change the ovulation day. The irregularity in menstrual cycle is also attributed to hormonal imbalance.
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