A Quick Guide to Feminine Health
As young girls become teenagers, they break off from being carefree children and become embroiled in the magic and mysteries of feminine health. The beginning of the reproductive years can be confusing and frustrating, and carries with it an entirely new set of rules for caring for your body.
A woman’s body
The human body is an amazing machine, but even more so when the human is a woman. The ability to conceive, grow and carry a fetus and give birth is a wonderful gift. It requires organs that are specifically designed for the purpose, including the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries and the womb. Breasts are also part of this reproductive wonder, as they provide nourishment for newborns through nutrient rich mother’s milk.
As young girls enter their reproductive years, their bodies begin to change. These changes signal that their bodies are preparing for the important purpose of conceiving and bearing children. Girls begin to menstruate, their breasts begin to develop and enlarge and their body shapes change. The body will continue to undergo test runs of the reproductive system every month until actual conception occurs.
Along with the changes that occur during puberty and continue into adulthood come the responsibility of maintaining the parts of the body involved during the reproduction process. Feminine health is not an inborn instinct; rather, it is a learned experience. While each woman’s body responds in different ways to the continual changes it faces on a monthly basis, the care that each woman takes for the body is the same for all.
Knowing and caring for your body
First, it is important to know your body and how it works. Each woman should have the ability to listen to her body and know when something is not quite right. Document your periods; noting signs of its arrival, duration and how you feel. Cramps, clotting, dull aches, headaches, fatigue, bloating, emotional upheavals and more are things that you should record. Breast examinations should begin at an early age so that you are familiar with how the tissues feel before your period, during your period and after your period. This information will enable you to detect early problems. There are certain things that a young woman should watch for that can signal issues:
- Itching. If you suddenly experience frequent itching “down there”, it is important to overcome embarrassment and let someone know. Often, itching is a sign of a yeast or bacterial infection, but can also be a response to soap, detergent or tampons.
- Irritation. Avoid tight and restrictive clothing. Skin tight jeans, leggings and thong panties are popular items of clothing that restrict air flow and promote a warm, moist atmosphere perfect for breeding bacteria. It is important that panties be “breathable”, or to allow air flow. Since the vagina produces moisture, the area is susceptible for wetness that not only is uncomfortable but also unhealthy.
- Abnormal periods. Getting to know your body’s cycle will help you to notice problems such as abnormal periods quickly. Heavy bleeding can place you at risk for an iron deficiency as well as anemia, so it is important to let your doctor know if you are experiencing excessive bleeding.
- Breast care. A woman’s breast tissue is continually changing, so it is vital to know what is normal for your body. Regular self checks performed in the shower will help you to become familiar with your body. Any lumps or hard bumps felt should be reported to your doctor.
Feminine health is something that should be addressed from young girls entering puberty and carried along into adulthood. Becoming familiar with your body and its ever changing characteristics will help to alert you to early problems that will prevent them from becoming serious issues.