The period up to 7-8 years is considered as asexual, or a period of hormonal rest. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormones in very small amounts; the pituitary gland secretes luteoviruses hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone , and also in small quantity. Moreover, these hormones are formed and released into the blood systematically, cyclic production is absent. But since there are hormones, they act on the ovaries, so in the cortical layer of the ovaries, you can find maturing and atretic follicles.
Already at the time of the birth of the girl, the external genitals are quite well formed, the same structure remains in the period of hormonal rest: the genital slit is closed, the labia and clitoris are closed with large labia. The mucous membrane is thin, smooth, pale pink. Large vestibular glands are not functioning. There is a hymen – a thin semilunar or annular film. The vagina is located vertically, its walls are thin, the folding is weakly expressed, the arches are practically absent. The contents of the vagina is very poor, its reaction is neutral or slightly alkaline, you can find up to 10-15 leukocytes in the field of view, the microbial flora is mixed (both cocci and sticks), i.e. it is clear that compared to the indicators of a woman, the girl is more vulnerable to the mucous membrane of the genital organs, her low immunity, resistance to pathogenic factors. Therefore, an important role is played by the proper hygienic education of the girl, training her proper care of the genitals, and in the presence of inflammatory manifestations (such as itching, increased amount of discharge, pain, redness, etc.) it is necessary to appeal to the pediatric gynecologist for examination and treatment. During this period, it is necessary to carefully monitor the behavior of the girl: the games can already be sexually colored; more “enlightened” friends can teach the girl what she is not supposed to know at this age. Moreover, in this period perhaps the emergence of Masturbation. Scold and punish for this (if found) the girl can not, and it is necessary to gently switch her attention to other activities, to ensure that the girl was always busy with some interesting thing, an interesting game, periodically monitor how and what the girls play, maybe suggest and teach how to make the game more interesting, ie, to divert interest from sexual topics to non-sexual. If the girl is to blame and punish, we can bring up a notorious and cold sexually woman, or, conversely, dramatically increase her interest in sex, but she may be hiding.
A developing girl should have everything on time. Information that came too early, maybe a little girl to spoil.
To go into details, as a rule, the child will not ask, at this time the child does not understand the structure of the genitals.
Internal genitals also undergo changes during this period.
In the first 3 years, the uterus decreases slightly, and then slowly increases:
1) to the end of the first year length of the uterus is 2,5 cm, weight – 2.3 grams;
2) to 4 years mass uterine cervix – 2.8 g;
3) to 6 years mass uterine cervix – 4 g.
Changes and the ratio of the cervix and the uterus :
1) at the end of 1 year – 2: 1;
2) in 4 years – 1,7: 1;
3) in 8 years – 1.4: 1.
For 3-4 years the uterus descends into the pelvis, while the front wall of the vaginal approaches the bladder, and the back wall of the vagina to the rectum.
The fallopian tube in a “neutral period” are changed slightly, remain elongated and convoluted. Change, but only slightly and ovaries: their weight increases from 0.53 to 1.01 g and to 8 years – 1.5 g ovaries Increases due to the growth of the follicles. Follicles Mature randomly, none of them reaches the stage of Mature follicle, there is an intense atresia of the follicles and the death of the eggs in them.
By the age of 8, the girl has formed all five levels of the reproductive system : the cerebral cortex – hypothalamus – pituitary gland, ovaries – uterus, vagina, tubes, mammary gland (target organs). But this system still functions only on the principle of “negative feedback”: the allocation of estradiol in the ovaries is negligible, the maturation of the follicle to the end is very rare.
Prepubertal period (from 8 years before the first menstruation – menarche) – phase I of puberty. This period in the girl’s life takes 2-4 years, sometimes more, begins with the development of secondary sexual characteristics, ends with the appearance of the first menstruation – menarche.
During this period, due to the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary system of the adrenal glands and ovaries there are significant changes in the genitals and throughout the body.
Wave-like emissions of the luteinizing hormone of the pituitary gland exclusively during sleep stimulate the adrenal cortex, the increased function of which is generally characteristic of the prepubescent period. The adrenal cortex strongly secretes androgens (male sex hormones), androgens cause rapid growth of the girl. Periodic emissions of follicle stimulating hormone of the pituitary gland contribute to the release of estrogen in the ovaries, and under the influence of estrogen appear the first changes in shape: rounded hips (there is an increase in the number and redistribution of adipose tissue), begins the growth of pelvic bones.
Sexual development during this period is closely related to the overall physical development of the girl and coincides with the intensive growth of bones.
At 11-12 years of age, girls outstrip boys in growth, and girls with good physical development tend to occur earlier and puberty.
Secondary sexual characteristics in this period are developing simultaneously: breast enlargement and body hair pubis, for example, starts early in this body hair of the armpits.
The first menstruation (menarche) usually occurs in a girl in 12-13 years, recently it began to appear earlier, in 10-11 years, but maybe later the beginning – from 14-15 years. If menarche appears earlier than 10 years or is absent at 18 years, you should consult a doctor. The early appearance or delay of the first menstrual period is not always associated with any painful changes. It is influenced by climate, racial characteristics, living conditions, etc.
Puberty (from the first menstruation to 14-15 years) – in fact, this is the period of formation of menstrual function, the completion of the development of both secondary sexual characteristics and the development of internal genital organs, the period when the girl becomes a woman ready for fertilization, hatching, birth and feeding the child. Hormonal function at all five levels of regulation is finally stabilized, cycles become regular and ovulatory (ie, accompanied by the release of the egg). But in the first 2 years of puberty, 20 % of girls still have anovulatory cycles. But even with ovulatory cycles at the beginning of the puberty period, the yellow body of the ovary is still incomplete and allocates little progesterone.
As a result, there is no secretory phase of the endometrium, i.e. the uterine mucosa, although subjected to cyclic changes, but it is still incomplete and unable to take the embryo for its development.
And only by the end of the puberty period, there are clear gaps between menstruations, ovulation and normal function of the yellow body are formed, so the uterine mucosa undergoes all phases of changes, including the secretory, i.e. is ready for embryo perception. At this time, the physical development of the girl more or less corresponds to the function of childbirth.
The size of the genitals also reach Mature values – the uterus increases rapidly in size, the ratio of the body and the neck changes (3: 1), the uterus is set bottom forward, the front surface – forward and down, improves blood supply to the uterus and vagina. As the uterus is greatly increased, the broad ligament is increased, then place the uterine tube become more direct.