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How the Female Body Changes From Puberty to Menopause

From puberty all the way to menopause, it’s incredible how much our bodies change over-time and adapt to each stage of life. Our body runs on it’s own time and releases different signals during each of the stages, affecting which hormones are being released and coordinating specific changes to our physiology. Here's a breakdown of the 4 stages!


Puberty

Ah, we all remember getting our very first period. Puberty can be an exciting time to learn about your new body and how it grows and develops during puberty. The first indicator of puberty is the breasts which start developing around ages 9-11 [1] and usually grow at different rates so it’s common to have one breast bigger than the other. Hormones FSH ( Follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinizing hormone) are released to signal the ovaries to produce oestrogen so the body can mature in preparation for possible pregnancy, and so we start menstruating. [2]

Our special My First Period is designed to make this transition through puberty even smoother than ever. With our 3 smallest sizes, a wet bag, soap and drying strap you’ll be all prepared for your first period and the many more to come.



Pregnancy

The magical stage where new life is created! It all begins when an ovum becomes fertilised and implants itself into the uterus wall. [3] Your body was preparing for this since the day you got your first period. Incredibly female bodies can produce more oestrogen during just one pregnancy than during their whole life. [4] This hormone along with progesterone supports the developing baby and prepares the body for labour. [5] Throughout the entire pregnancy a uterus will expand to up to 500 times its normal size and shrink back down in around 6 weeks, wow! [6]

During this stage it’s not uncommon to experience light bladder leakage due to the extra pressure on your pelvic floor. hannahpads light incontinence range helps you feel protected and dry so you can go about your day with confidence.



Postpartum

Following birth it’s normal to experience heavy bleeding called lochia, as your body expels whatever is still left inside your uterus since having the baby. This can last 4-6 weeks and starts off dark red in colour but gradually becomes yellow or creamy. [7]

For maximum comfort and protection our larger sizes will support you post-birth so you can focus on your new bub!

 

Menopause

Menopause occurs when your period has been absent for at least 12 months, due to an increase in FSH and a decrease in oestrogen. [8] Some common symptoms experienced during this stage is host flashes, fatigue and vaginal dryness. [9] Due to the drop in oestrogen and weakening of the pelvic muscles stress incontinence and urge incontinence can occur during menopause. This can be managed by using hannahpads to keep you protected and dry throughout the day. To help improve incontinence issues it’s recommended to practice Kegel exercises as this strengthens the muscles involved with urination.

  

References:

[1] https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/development/puberty-sexual-development/physical-changes-in-puberty 

[2] https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/puberty.html 

[3] http://www.australianunity.com.au/health-insurance/existing-members/wellplan-online/having-a-baby/what-happens-to-your-body-during-pregnancy 

[4] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/bodily-changes-during#hair-skin-and-nails 

[5] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/bodily-changes-during#hormonal-changes 

[6] https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/changing/your-expanding-uterus/

[7] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9682-pregnancy-physical-changes-after-delivery 

[8] https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/health-after-menopause 

[9] https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause#1 

August 19, 2019 — hannahpad Australia & New Zealand