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The period from 10-19 yrs (WHO) or 10-23 yrs (USA) is usually referred to the adolescent years. It can be further subdivided into early (10-13 yrs) , middle (14-17 yrs) and late adolescence (>17 yrs).

During adolescence, the child gradually matures into an adult physically, emotionally and intellectually. Physical development during adolescence includes puberty and growth in height, weight and the development of secondary sexual characteristics like breast development, genital growth, pubic and axillary hair and the onset of menstrual cycles.

However, problems can arise in areas such as gender identity, eating disorders, early and delayed puberty, disordered menstrual cycles and being very short compared to one's peers.

If a girl develops periods at a young age, it can mean that she may also stop her pubertal growth spurt earlier and become a short adult. This may not be recognized at the time, as children with early onset of puberty tend to be taller than their friends.

Some children may be late developers and are likely to be teased and bullied because of their height or their size. Most will not require any specific treatment, but some may require induction of puberty and may also need growth hormone to fulfill their height potential. Girls on the whole develop earlier than boys.

Girls usually have their growth spurt when breasts or pubic hair start to appear but they will usually grow taller by only 5-6 cm after their first menstrual period.

Adolescents with eating disorders are a special group with complicated medical issues. Not only may they have a primary problem of not eating, but they may at the same time have problems with bone mineral density, achievement of normal final height and establishment of sexual maturity.

For more information, please contact clinic at:
Camden Medical Centre
One Orchard Boulevard #02-06
Singapore 248649
Tel: (65) 6235 3678
Fax: (65) 6235 2618
SMS: (65) 9710 7136
General email, appointments and enquiries:

Growing Issues
Paediatrics & Endocrinology
Adolescent Medicine
Insulin Pumps
Glucose Monitoring and CGMS
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