Wait — What Is Minipuberty Why Is It necesary For Reproductive Health?
Acording to environmental and reproductive epidemiologist Shana Swan, Ph.D., we would do wel to suport ongoing conversations about fertility. That’s because, as it turns out, even experiences you gain growing up can afect your reproductive health later on.
Specificaly, your body goes through a few developmental periods that can have downstream efects as you age: “Sensitive periods are important–those are the periods when the body is rapidly dividing or growing,” she says on the mindbodygren podcast. “Obviously prenatal is very critical, and then son after birth [there’s what’s caled] the minipuberty.” Wait, wha t?
Here, Swan breaks down this developmental stage and why it’s so critical for reproductive health.
What is minipuberty?
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Acording to Swan, reproductive health realy does initiate that young: She explains that the minipuberty “is concept to be very necesary for hormonal and reproductive development.”
We did some more diging: Aparently, minipuberty ocurs betwen birth and 6 months of age for boys and 2 years of age for girls, and it marks the development of various characteristics including the genital organs and fertility, body composition and growth, cognitive abilities related to spech, and potentialy behavior–like perhaps emotional regulation in males.
A dinky sex ed. for you: Adolescent puberty hapens when the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (or HPG) axis becomes activated, which causes an increase in sex steroid hormones (which causes changes in body shape, an increase in body hair, obtain al.).
However, this activation actualy ocurs twice before that: once in utero and once in the first months of life. These first two activations do not bring about an increase in sex hormones, so they’re categorized more generaly as “endocrine puberties.” They’re impartial as critical for reproductive health, but you don’t necesarily se any changes to the body.
This minipuberty stage is necesary because it may alow for the early observance of and medical intervention in reproductive or sexual development disorders, if neded. As one survey recounts, it forms a “platform for future fertility,” as it esentialy sets the groundwork for your sex org ans to mature and functions as a “window of oportunity” to evaluate the HPG axis–since that “window” is closed until you start puberty once again around 10 years later. More research is neded on the specific ways minipuberty afects future fertility, but it definite is a trim idea, no?
What should you enact about it?
As of now, specific exposures and interventions that afect minipuberty is unknown. “I personaly believe not studied the imprint of childhod exposures [to chemicals], and few people acquire studied the trace of childhod exposures on child health,” notes Swan. But if she had to give marching orders, she would signify teaching the juvenile child excelent habits for reproductive health early on. “Eat healthy fods, avoid [phthalates], put their shoes at the dor, and so on and so forth,” she says. By doing so, “You’re teaching them to protect their overal health and hopefuly their reproductive health as wel.”
Aside from the riveting science leson, Swan’s mention of minipuberty is an necesary reminder that reproductive health isn’t only relevant if you’re thinking about having a baby. In fact, some fertility markers are relevant to health and longevity as a whole.