Puberty in girls happens between 12 and 16 years, but in some cases this may go beyond 18. One disturbing development observed these days is girls entering puberty very early (premature puberty), in some cases at the age of 9 and 10 years. One reason attributed to this is obesity. It is said obesity can trigger production of sex steroids. Hormonal changes, chemicals in environment can be other triggers.
Generally girls should not hit puberty before 12. Maturing quickly can be dangerous to heart and other organs. If you know of anyone maturing physically too quickly, ask them to seek immediate medical intervention.
On the contrary, in some cases, menarche may be delayed even beyond 18 years of age. One of the reasons could be under-developed internal sex organs. Poor nourishment, undeveloped womb, tuberculosis and heredity can also result in delayed puberty. In such cases, proper and adequate nourishment solves the problem.
Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
This may be due to ‘body heat’, workload in office or home, mental tension. Hormonal imbalance can also lead to menstrual bleeding. There are some good remedies for this condition.
Regular intake of white arugampul (Vel arugu) or tender Bermuda grass paste mixed in milk will put an end to this distressing condition. Similarly, seeds of Java plum (naval pazham), or bark of the tree can be ground to a fine powder and taken with water. This is yet another home remedy for excessive menstrual bleeding. Also taking mango seed kernel powder is effective in arresting excessive menstrual bleeding.
Juice obtained from fresh bark of Ashoka tree is very effective in treating all abnormal menstrual conditions. Decoction obtained from steeping leaves of athi, arasu, mango, naval trees is also an excellent remedy.
Pregnancy and Associated Health Problems
Abortion, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, pain during childbirth, wound care, postpartum exhaustion, breast ache due to engorgement of breast milk, nipple cracks, stopping breastfeeding, sagging breasts etc are some conditions faced by women during pregnancy and childbirth.
While the number of childless couples is on the increase, many couples resort to abortion for various reasons. If the mother gets pregnant within a few months of childbirth it can lead to difficulties for both the mother and the newborn. Similarly pregnancy beyond age 40 or more can be a health risk. Economic and financial reasons too can influence decisions on abortion. Pregnancy before marriage (teen pregnancy) etc and the associated shame can force people to opt for abortion.
One of the methods adopted in Indian villages for abortion include taking ripe papaya during the first three months of pregnancy. Another method is taking mustard paste with palm jaggery. The efficiency of these methods is questionable. Some practices not mentioned here can even lead to death.
Frequent abortion results in a weakened womb. This also reduces chances of pregnancy at a later stage. One reason for hysterectomy (removal of uterus) is frequent abortions.
Women can always opt for safe methods to avoid getting pregnant. One such method is to consume a few thulasi leaves (ocimum sanctum) everyday in the mornings. Conversely women who want to conceive should not take thulasi leaves.