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 Health for Her

Teen Health

Facts to Know

Puberty lasts for several years. It is the stage of your life when your body is changing from the body of a child to the body of an adult. Hormones, which are natural chemicals in your body, are orchestrating these alterations in your body.

  • During puberty, one breast might grow larger than the other; but donít worry, if there is any difference in size nobody will be able to notice. Once your breasts start growing, the differences will most likely be so slight. And your breasts will even out before they are finished developing. But if they donít, no need to worry since many womenís breasts donít match each other exactly.

  • It might take a while, perhaps even a year, for your periods to become regular every month. During the first year, your cycle may be as short as three weeks or as long as six weeks. Even after your periods become regular, exercise, stress, or a change in diet could throw it of track. If you are sexually active and skip a period, talk to your health care provider immediately.

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  • Nearly three million cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur among teenagers every year.

  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for persons between 10 and 14 years of age and the third leading cause of death for those 15 to 24 years old. In fact, one survey of high school students reported that 60 percent had thought about committing suicide and nearly 10 percent had tried. Actions or talk of suicide is a cry for help in itself. Most teenagers are looking for acceptance, understanding, attention and love.

  • Teenage girls are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with their bodies, although more often than not they are properly proportioned. Much of the blame is being directed at media. This low body image among young women is leading to an increase in the number of teenage girls with eating disorders. Two disorders are bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Someone with bulimia will eat a huge amount of food and then vomit or use laxatives to keep from gaining weight. This is also called bingeing and purging. Someone with anorexia nervosa will avoid food completely in fear of looking fat.


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  • The average age for a girl to try alcohol is 13-years-old. It is the drug most often used by 12- to 17-year-olds. Although most parents think peer pressure is the main reason teenagers drink, 79 percent of teens say they drink to get drunk or because it "feels goodĒ.

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