Breasts - Structures and Types

Breasts - Structures and Types - Development

Breast Development in Teenage Girls

In 1948 a British Scientist called J.M Tanner was invited by the Ministry of Health to establish a long term study, on the growth of healthy children. He was accompanied by R.H Whitehouse.

During their research, the team followed and studied the pubertal growth of both young boys and girls. They measured and photographed the group every three to six months. It was during the end of their studies, they were able to determine that the completion of breast growth took around four years in girls, and categorized these developments into five stages.(5Breast Development

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Stage 1: Preadolescent: There is usually a height spurt, with no pubic hair yet appearing. The breasts have no glandular tissues, however only the tips of the nipples are raised.

Stage 2: The Areola - which is the pigmented area around the nipples, enlarges becoming darker. The breast tissue called buds appear and the nipple raises to become a mound. Meanwhile, the body fat generally increases by about 18 to 19 % with a few darkened hairs appearing along the labia majora of the vulva.

Stage 3: Enlargement of the Breast - By this stage, it’s found that 20% of girls have their first menstrual period. The breasts are also slightly larger with glandular tissues present. It is found that most girls reach their maximum growth rate medically referred as peak height velocity by this stage.

Stage 4: Second Mound - By this stage, 50% of girls get their menstrual periods. For most girls, it is the end of their peak height velocity. But in some cases, it is found that girls can continue to grow 3 to 4 inches more.

During this period, there is a further development of the breast tissues. The areola and the nipples continue to become further raised, forming the second mound above the rest of the breast.

Stage 5: The budding breasts reach its final stage of development. Here, they are mature adult breasts by becoming rounder while the nipples rise slightly. By this time, it is quite common to find the pigmented hair growth on the inner thighs.

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