Growth in females is an aspect that needs undivided attention. We must make an effort to normalize conversations around these issues so that girls around us do not hesitate to ask questions and to share experiences that may seem away from normalcy. Not being aware of when and how these changes occur and not having a comforting environment to discuss such issues cause great concern.
Important facts about girls’ growth
The general timeline for girls to stop growing is between 10 and 14 years of age. Most girls reach their adult height by 15 years of age. Puberty is the final phase before a girl enters adulthood. This is the time, when girls start to experience significant physical and sexual transformation in their bodies. It is a well-known fact that not everyone starts puberty at the same time. It all depends on genetics. It is safe to say that the majority of girls go through puberty within a certain time frame.
Below are some facts about puberty and growth:
- Girls enter and finish puberty sooner than boys.
- Girls normally achieve their adult height by 14 or 15 years of age.
Everyone experiences puberty at different times.
When do girls attain their maximum height?
Girls may attain their adult height before boys. They normally do not grow in height after 15 years of age. The pattern in their growth is determined by genetics. Girls reach their growth peak in 2 years after they hit puberty. After they start getting their periods, they grow 3-4 inches in height. In the case of early puberty, girls tend to be taller. Factors that have a significant impact on girls’ height are listed below:
- Genetics: Children who have conditions such as Down syndrome, Turner syndrome etc. are generally shorter in height. Girls who have Marfan syndrome are generally taller.
- Hormones: If a girl is suffering from lower levels of growth hormones, she will experience slower growth and she is expected to be shorter.
- Nutrition: Girls who are under-nourished tend to be shorter and do not grow much in size.
- Medication: The use of medicines such as corticosteroids slow down growth in girls.
- Prolonged Medical Conditions: Girls suffering from prolonged diseases also tend to be shorter than those who do not have any of these conditions. Young cancer patients also experience slower growth levels.
What is the timeline for puberty in girls?
The standard timeline for puberty in girls is between 10 and 14 years. Not to negate the fact that the time of puberty is impacted by a range of factors. As puberty is the demarcation between childhood and adulthood, there are significant changes that take place inside their bodies, including increasing hormonal production. If we talk about the average age for puberty in girls, it is 11 years of age. Some may reach puberty sooner or later; generally not exceeding 16 years of age in the latter case. Following are some cases which may be considered an anomaly while analyzing puberty and these require medical checks:
- If a girl reaches puberty by 8 years of age
- If a girl has not reached puberty by 16 years of age
- If a girl does not develop breasts by 13 years of age
During puberty, girls experience sudden changes in their bodies. They go through periods and may have sexual desires. They start growing hair on their bodies and some of this hair growth can turn darker. These physical changes also affect their mental state. Having mood swings during puberty is normal.
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What is the timeline for breast development in girls?
Among the initial signs of puberty is breast development. When a girl experiences growth, she develops breast buds, which are bumps under the nipples. These gradually grow and form full-grown breasts. The size of breasts also depends on genes and these vary from one individual to another. The weight of an individual is also a factor that affects breast size. The breast tissue in a woman undergoes changes throughout her life. Menstruation, pregnancy, post-pregnancy period, and menopause are important phases in a woman’s life, wherein the breasts experience a variety of changes. The timeline of breast development in females ranges from 8 years to 18 years. Girls must be indulged in conversations regarding breast development and they must be aware of the following phenomena:
- It is absolutely normal to have both breasts of different sizes.
- Having hair or any kind of bumps around the nipples is perfectly alright.
- Sometimes, breasts might become tender, during periods, pregnancy etc.
What can we do to have a conducive environment for these conversations?
It is important that we make girls around us realize that conversations regarding the body are absolutely normal. One definite way of ensuring this is proactively engaging in conversations when they are around. Having general discussions with members of the family, talking about a movie that portrays such issues etc. are smarter ways of passing on appropriate information to them without pointing at anyone. The more adults indulge in these conversations around young girls, the more comfortable these girls will be in sharing what they experience!