Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. There is evidence of early puberty leading to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer — particularly breast cancer. Until now, unfortunately, scientists have poorly understood the processes that make some girls develop younger than others.
Adolescent breast development is just one of the many changes that girls have to deal with as they head into their teen years. All the changes to her body can be scary for some girls, while other girls worry that they may not be developing as quickly as they'd like. Knowing what to expect in breast development can help put a girls' mind at ease.
Teenage girls develop breasts years before they will need to produce milk for nursing. In fact, breast development starts in the womb, and by the time a baby enters the world, she already has a nipples and the beginning stages of her milk ducts. The most prominent changes, however, occur during the teenage years.
Breast development happens in certain stages during a woman's life: first before birth, again at puberty, and later during the childbearing years. This starts with a thickening in the chest area called the mammary ridge or milk line. By the time a baby girl is born, nipples and the beginnings of the milk-duct system have formed.
Nearly all the organ systems in the human body begin to grow and develop after birth. However, the reproductive system remains inactive for several years. While it is dormant, the brain secretes very small amounts of reproductive hormones gonadotrophinspreventing any sexual development from occurring.
Puberty is the stage of adolescence when your child begins to develop physically into an adult. As the breasts develop, problems like lumps or infections sometimes occur. These problems can be alarming. But they are common and rarely serious.
Like most parts of the body, breasts can be sore from time to time. Not only for girls, but for guys too. You may be worried about your body's development, about what causes breast soreness, and even about cancer.