Problems of Girls
In every sphere there are good things and bad things. Fortunately good things prevail. She should think that she was unfortunate enough to come across a bad thing. She should take this as an experience for the guidance of future new relationship. Failures should be pillers of success. Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) upto 10 weeks of conception is quite safe. If the pregnancy is of over 20 weeks, MTP is not legal and should not be attempted, since it carries a risk also. In such a case, a full term delivery should be conducted and the child should be given for adoption. Marrying a boy because he made her pregnant is not a wise decision, since such marriages do not last. There are about three crores of unmarried mothers in the world, the commonest cause being the ignorance about the act that can lead to pregnancy, the consequences of which a girl has to suffer solely.
Some girls get their first period (menarche) as early as at 11 years of age; while some get it as late as at 16 years. Age of menarche varies depending upon general health of the girl, her heredity, living conditions, climate, etc. The average age is 13 years. If a girl does not get the menstrual period even upto the age of 16 years, she should see a doctor. The reason could be absence of or defect in the uterus, vagina or ovary, a hymen without a perforation, deficiency of sex hormones or a genetic defect. Poor diet, malnutrition and TB can also delay the onset of menstruation. A few days before the period starts, some girls may experience symptoms like tired feeling, irritability, tension, excitability, nausea, pain in lower abdomen or in lower back or tenderness in the breasts. These symptoms disappear after the menstruation starts or thereafter.
Some girls experience emotional changes before and during menstruation. Most girls feel only little discomfort. These symptoms are due to the changes in the hormonal levels. Pain is due to the contractions of the muscles of the uterus and difficulty in opening of the mouth of the uterus to allow the blood flow out. All these changes are natural. The girls should continue to do their usual activities, like playing, cooking, bathing, socialising, as menstruation is physiological function of the body and not a disease. Drinking plenty of fluids, taking nutritious diet (milk, egg, fish, vegetables, fruits, pulses), and outdoor activities would help. Lying on back with bent knees, placing a hot water bottle on lower abdomen or on back will help in relieving the pain. Rarely she may have to consult a doctor who would prescribe a tablet of Mefenamic acid, Dicyclomine, Paracetamol, Pentazocin, Acetaminophen, or hormones in rare cases.
Daily swimming, cycling, running and fasting once a week will help to reduce the weight.
Problems of Boys
Those who do not have wet dreams, may not be able father a child later. Absence of wet dreams is suggestive of a block in the reproductive passage or non functioning of the sex glands. Semen is like any other secretion from the body meant to be thrown out (e.g., tears, saliva, perspiration) and hence harmless when lost. The fequency of wet dreams is inversely proportional to the masturbation. Boys who masturbate periodically, have less frequency of wet dreams and vice versa. In a way, wet dream is a “masturbation” done by the nature to keep the individual sexually fit.
Circumcision is not advised. As the child grows and attains puberty, the foreskin naturally retracts over the glans of the penis. However, if it cannot be retracted completely over the glans for the purpose of cleaning, circumcision is advised. An adult who may be able to retract the foreskin over the flaccid penis but finds difficulty in doing so over the erect penis. He has no difficulty in cleaning; but if he finds intercourse uncomfortable or painful, he should undergo circumcision operation. In some of the individuals, the foreskin may get retracted behind the glans of the penis and may remain there, being unable to pull it forward to its usual position. This condition is called “Paraphimosis.” This should be treated as an emergency and the circumcision should be done promptly. Otherwise swelling of the foreskin appears hampering the blood supply of the penis. Amongst Jews and Muslims circumcision is done for religious purpose.
Due care should be taken to preserve Frenulum, the most sex-sensitive band of skin on the under surface of glans of the penis. It should be done by a surgeon. There is a myth that circumcised individual has increased sexual sensitivity and increased duration of intercourse. This is not true. Is circumcision done in women? Medically, it is not necessary. However, it is done in some countries. When done by an unscrupulous person the female genital anatomy is mutilated.
Avoid use of greasy oils and cosmetics. The face should be washed several times a day with soap and warm water. Take a diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables. Exposure to sunshine helps since ultra violet light dries up the grease and peels the top layer of the skin. Tetracycline capsules by mouth and Benzoyl Peroxide or Tretinoin cream application may be necessary in extreme cases. These should be used only on doctor’s advice. The effect of treatment is temporar. The nature itself cures pimples permanently after some years.
All the addictions lead to deterioration of mental and physical health and ultimately to death. It is easy to enter into this death trap, but difficult to come out of it. Therefore, the best policy is to avoid the temptations of such addict-forming substances. Parents should be careful about their college going children, who feel “free” to do anything they like. If a boy/girl comes late at night, fails in examinations repeatedly, frequently asks for pocket money, dresses shabbily, deteriorates in health, quarrels frequently and if costly articles are found to be missing from home, the parents should suspect of addiction in their child. Addiction should be considered as a disease and the addict should be treated at a deaddiction centre under the supervision of a psychiatrist. Is it possible to prevent addiction? To a certain extent, yes.
We cannot change the society, cannot stop cut-throat competition at every level; but we can definitely provide love, security and protection to our children. Parents should have a good communication with the adolescents, provide them emotional support, keep vigilance on their friends and on their ways of spending pocket money. Criticism and scolding do not work. In fact these create a barrier between the parents and the children. Parents have to spend more time with their children to have a dialogue with them and should treat them as friends.