Adolescence: Adolescence is the period of life when many changes take place in the body; leading to reproductive maturity. Adolescence begins at around 10 years of age and lasts till 18 or 19 years of age.
Teenage: The years during adolescence period are counted as ‘teen’, .e.g. thirteen, fourteen and fifteen. Hence, this period is also called teenage.
Puberty: The process of changes during adolescence period is called puberty. Beginning of puberty marks the beginning of adolescence. The end of adolescence or puberty marks the completion of reproductive maturity.
Adam's Apple: Enlargement of voice box is apparent as a prominent protrusion in the neck. This protrusion is called Adam’s apple.
Characters which help in distinguishing a male from a female are called secondary sexual characters. Marked difference between male and female of a species because of apparent physical traits is called sexual dimorphism.
The changes during this period are controlled by hormones. Hormones are substances secreted by endocrine glands. Hormones play important role in various metabolic activities.
In boys, testis secretes the hormone testosterone. This hormone is responsible for many changes in boys. In girls, ovaries secrete the hormone estrogen. This is responsible for development of breasts.
Action of these hormones is under the control a hormone secreted by pituitary gland. Another hormone from pituitary gland stimulates the maturation of eggs and production of sperms. Endocrine glands are ductless glands; which means that a hormone reaches the target site through bloodstream.
The reproductive phase begins with the onset of puberty and it happens at around the same age in boys and girls. But reproductive phase in men lasts much longer than in females. Reproductive phase in women lasts till about 50 years of age. Reproductive phase in men lasts even beyond 60 years of age.
Menstruation: In females, one egg is released by either of the ovaries during each month. After that, the uterus develops a thickening to support a foetus to prepare for a possible pregnancy. If fertilization does not take place; egg and thickening in uterus are discarded in small fragments. This results in bleeding through the vagina for some days. The bleeding (through vagina) at the end of menstrual cycle is called menstruation.
Menstrual Cycle: The cycle of events which begin from release of an egg and end in shedding off egg is called menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle is usually of 28 to 30 days.
Menarche: The first menstrual bleeding in a girl’s life is called menarche. Menarche marks the beginning of puberty in girl.
Menopause: Cessation of menstrual cycle is called menopause. This happens at around 45 – 50 years of age. Menopause marks the end of reproductive phase.
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