Reproductive phase of life in Human
Reproduction is more important for the continuation of human race. The phase in an individual’s life during which there is production of gametes is called reproductive phase. In females, the reproductive phase of life begins at puberty (10 to 12 years of age) and generally lasts till the age of approximately 45 to 50 years, and in males, it is from the age of 13 to life long. The reproductive age may vary from person to person. The following are the reproductive phases in the life of a female.
The first menstrual flow begins at puberty and is termed menarche. The ova begin to mature with the onset of puberty. It is the beginning of adolescence, during which mental and emotional maturation occurs and physical growth becomes pronounced.
Ovulation occurs approximately 14 days before the next ovarian cycle commences. Thus in a 28 days cycle ovulation occurs about day 14. One ovum matures and is released by one of the ovaries once in about 28 to 30 days. The release of ovum from the ovary is called ovulation. During this period, the wall of the uterus becomes thick so as to receive the fertilized egg. This results in pregnancy.
After ovulation the ovum reaches the fallopian tube and fertilization takes place.The fertilized egg undergoes development and it is implanted in the uterus. The corpus luteum continues to grow and produces large amount of progesterone. This results in pregnancy. Normally, it lasts for 280 days, at the end of which parturition takes place.
If the ovum is not fertilized, the corpus luteum begins to degenerate and the production of hormones progesterone and estrogen ceases. The unfertilized egg and the thickened lining of the uterus along with its blood vessels are shed off. This causes bleeding in woman’s reproductive tract which is called menstruation. Menstruation occurs once in about 28 to 30 days. It takes about 3 to 5 days. In some cases, initially menstrual cycle may be irregular. It takes some time to become regular. If it remains irregular for over a year, then it is better to consult a doctor.
Menopause marks the end of the reproductive phase of a woman’s life. At 45 to 50 years of age, the menstrual cycle stops. Stoppage of menstruation is termed as ‘menopause’. During menopause psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, fatigue and loss of concentration may occur. Menopause may be induced by surgical removal of the ovaries, or by pelvic irradiation in a woman of any age.
Now-a-days girls attain puberty at very early age. This is due to food habits. As you eat lot of junk food, the body growth increases and it looks like adults.