Teen Health – Girls
Confidential Teenage Health Support
Whether you’re a teenager, or the primary carer of a teenager, there’s no doubt that the changes that occur in a teen’s body and mind can have an impact on everyone in the household.
With the surge in hormones, significant physical changes to the body, plus new found sexual awareness; teens can find themselves travelling an unknown physical and emotional journey that can be painful, confusing and, often, downright scary.
As a parent or carer it’s important for your teenager to know that you’re there to support them during this transition into adulthood. Not only are they dealing with physical and emotional changes, the social impact of being a teenager is significant too.
It’s important to consult with a GP if you there are any health concerns or issues. There is no definition of ‘normal’ for this life change, so keeping clear lines of communication open, and letting your teen know they can talk to you if they wish, will help them transition into adulthood as smoothly as possible.
Teenagers and hormones
Gonadottropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released from the brain when a child hits a certain age (this age is different for all children). Once this hormone is released, the child begins puberty which is where their bodies start to change from a child into an adult.
Every child experiences puberty at a different rate, with different symptoms, and over a different time period so it’s important they know that whatever they’re experiencing, it’s probably quite normal.
In girls, their breasts will grow, their monthly cycle will start, and pubic hair will grow as well as hair under the arms and on legs.
These changes can be extremely daunting but as every child is different it’s important to make sure that you see your GP if you notice changes that might not be connected to puberty.
Teenagers and risk
Apart from their bodies changing, teenagers can also be exposed to more unique situations and regardless of how well they have been cared for at home it’s possible that risks such as drinking alcohol, smoking and taking drugs will present themselves. Not only is there peer pressure to contend with but this is also the time where boundaries are being tested.
If you suspect that your teenager has tried any of the above addictive substances, an appointment with your GP may offer an opportunity to demonstrate and discuss the risks in a non-judgmental and non-threatening way.
Teenagers and sex
As a teenager discovers their sexual urges, there is an increased likelihood that they’ll become sexually active. An appointment with a GP can help to ensure your teen is aware of the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections plus the legal implications of having sex under the age of consent.
If you’re not comfortable having these important conversations with a teenager, your GP can do it for you to minimise risks for the future.
If you’re a teenager who’s concerned about the changes to your body, mind, or social interactions; or a parent or carer who would like advice, call us today to make a friendly, non-judgmental appointment to discuss any issues and help put your mind at ease.
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