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Find answers to commonly asked questions on...


Question 1 Iím a boy of 13 years but look like 9 years. I have an 11-year-old sister who is taller than me. We have the same mother and father and eat the same diet. Then why she and other boys in my class are taller and more developed than me?

Puberty starts at different time for the girls and boys. Puberty in boys generally occurs later than in girls and even among boys at different ages. The major physical changes include the growth spurt in which size and shape of the body changes markedly. In girls physical changes begin by 10 years (range10-12 years) and the growth spurt occurs in early stages. The boys start showing pubertal changes around 12-13 years but gain most of the height during mid-puberty which is between 14-16 years.


Wide variations in age at puberty are common even within the same sex. Even if the siblings share the same diet itís quiet normal that their physical developments will not be exactly the same. You should not be worried, as you will be noticing pubertal changes in yourself and will start gaining height very soon.


Question 2 I have too many pimples and I feel this is because I get excited on watching intimate scenes on television or on watching erotic pictures in the magazines. My friends tell me this is because of excessive sexual desire. Is it true?

What you have heard from your friends is entirely a myth. During puberty, the sweat glands are active and produce greater amounts of sweat and the oil glands produce greater amounts of oil. As a result, acne, pimples on the face and other parts of the body may appear. Bacteria proliferating in the trapped oil or sebum within the glands cause acne to appear. Thus, getting easily excited and having desire and getting pimples may appear at the same time but they are not correlated to each other.


Question 3 My friends say that when a girl starts her period, basically she stops growing. Is that true?

The girls experience a growth spurt in early adolescence, which begins around 10-11 years. They gain maximum height during this period of early adolescence (11-13 years), which becomes slower after this period even though it continues at a slower rate. However they attain menarche (that is the first menstrual bleeding) in middle adolescence by which time most of the growth has taken place. So what you have heard is only partly right. Girls continue to grow but much slowly after menstruation. Growth is possible for both boys and girls till the bones in the limbs fuse by the age of 18 years.


Question 4 I have heard many people to say that when one lives a sexually active life, she becomes thicker. Iím sexually active but still have the same feature as I had before sex. Is there anything wrong with me?

Itís a myth. Being sexually active does not make a woman thicker or it does not change her body or genitals or sex organs in any other way. During puberty, hormonal changes cause girlís hips to widen and breasts to grow. These changes are completely normal, and they happen whether or not a girl is sexually active or not. Having sex does not cause a girlís breast, hips or any other body part to grow.


Question 5 Can my breasts shrink if I wear a bra all time, even when I sleep?

This is a myth that breasts shrink if one wears bra all time. In fact a good bra provides support to the breasts and also makes them look good in appearance. However, itís a good idea to take off your bra before you go to sleep because it can help in blood circulation.


Question 6 Why do some girls get inverted nipples? Will they stay like that forever, or will they "pop" out??

Having inverted nipples is completely normal. Inverted nipples may be pushed outward during the natural growth of breast. If they remain inverted, there is nothing wrong in that. A woman can enjoy sex and breastfed her baby even if one or both of her nipples are inverted. Moreover, there are no health problems associated with having inverted nipples. However, infection can occur if fluid remains in the folds around the inverted nipple. Thus, a woman with inverted nipple should be a little more careful about keeping her nipples clean.


Question 7 I have only one testicle. Would it affect my physical growth and would it be possible for me to have a normal sex life? Is there any operation that could help me?

Having only one testicle would not affect your physical growth in any way unless there is other health related problem. Moreover, it will not hamper the strength, fertility, sexual desire or sperm production. So there should be no problem in enjoying a satisfying sex life. Regarding the operation, you can consult a cosmetic surgery for an artificial implant to give the appearance of a second testicle.


Question 8 My breasts are small and flat and I look more like a boy. How can I develop good breasts?

It is very unfortunate that mass media have created such a fetish about the female breast, which is primarily meant to suckle the newborn infant. The breast is made up of glands and fatty tissues. Since adipose tissue (fat) determines the size of the breast, you can deduce that one way of enlarging your breasts may be to put on more weight. Should underweight be your problem, consult a doctor and take his or her advice. In general, proteins and food rich in carbohydrates may help. Exercises, such as push-ups, develop the pectoral muscles that lie below the breasts.
As far as you are concerned, I would advise you a rich diet and an active outdoor life. Remember that a healthy body and a sparkling mind are far more attractive than the most perfect of vital statistics.


Question 9 I am a 16 year old. My breasts are well developed. Could you advise me as to how I should look after them?

I recommend that you wear a dress, which will support your breasts. The general rule of good health, such as a balanced diet, daily bath and suitable exercise should be observed. Since you are only 16, your body will become more shapely in the next few years with the dissipation of puppy fat.


Another life long habit to develop is to self examine your breasts daily, say at bath time. This will help you detect any lump or abnormality the moment it appears. If you detect any abnormality, consult a doctor immediately. Early treatment rules out the grave dangers arising from neglect.


Question 10 I am very worried about the fact that I have small breasts. I am almost flat chested. I think that is why boys donít show interest in me. What can I do about this problem? Will it affect my chances of marriage, pregnancy and child bearing in any manner? Should I go for breast enhancements or implants?

Many adolescent girls of your age may have small breasts, which subsequently enlarge under the influence of hormones namely estrogen and progesterone. That is why during pregnancy and childbirth breasts get enlarged spontaneously. Well-developed breasts signify proper development of secondary sex characters in a female. Therefore along with the problem of flat chest or underdeveloped breasts if you have underdevelopment of other secondary sex characters like lack of pubic hair or very little growth of external genital organ or if you do not have a proper menstrual period, in that case you may consult a gynecologist or an endocrinologist to exclude any pathological disorders.


If you do not have any of these associated conditions, small breasts will certainly not affect your chances of marriage, pregnancy and child bearing.

Breast enhancement by any fillers or silicon implants is an option that is available but does not need to be exercised. It would rather be better to temporarily use padded brassieres which are easily available and that will provide your breasts a fuller appearance. Meanwhile take up exercises, which help you in building your chest muscles. Preparations of estrogen creams are available in the market, which are sometimes advocated for gentle massage over the breasts for breast enlargement. However it is always better to use those products under the supervision of a doctor.


Also remember that there is more than just physical attributes that can often attract boys. A confident and a charming personality can make you equally popular. So work on it



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