What will be the “intimate” health of boys and girls is solved in 2 periods – short, but very important. These are the first 4 months from the moment of conception, which account for the laying of the floor, and the period of puberty in adolescence.
Let’s see what happens during the first stage.
Who is born in the family, son or daughter, is decided during fertilization – all determine the chromosomes. Already in the first days after conception, the future baby, but for now the fetus, the germs of the genital glands appear.
The sex gland consists of brain and cortical substance and carries the future male and female cells. Interestingly, at first they are the same for both girls and boys, and they will have to turn into special ones that distinguish each sex during
7 weeks. It is important that during this time the transformation goes well.
Attention! In the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, much depends on the mother: she should try to avoid infections, medication, alcohol, smoking, otherwise it can all affect the formation of the baby’s organs.
If the Y chromosome is present in the fertilized egg, which is responsible for the male sex, between the 6th and 7th weeks of gestation, an egg is formed from the medulla of the reproductive gland, and the cortical layer gradually “fades away.” If the influence of the Y-chromosome has not manifested itself before this time, the gonad is transformed into an ovary – this time due to the cortical layer, and the brain remains unclaimed.
It turns out that the genitals of girls and boys are formed from the same “material”: for example, boys create seminal vesicles and vas deferens ducts from the ducts of the primary kidney (mesonephros), and in girls from the paramesonophral duct adjacent to this kidney – the uterus and partially vagina.
Protection before birth
Much of the health of the genital system of the baby, like other organs, depends on the expectant mother. Since the biggest troubles arise because of harmful effects in the first weeks after conception, it is important for a woman to prepare for pregnancy in advance, and then it would be good to know about its occurrence in time.
If a woman has endocrine diseases, they should be cured or at least muffled before the onset of the “situation”. Do not forget about proper nutrition and vitamin-mineral complexes for expectant mothers.
Before birth, the formation of the reproductive organs of future boys is actively managed by hormones, and for girls it happens on its own – even congenital anomalies of the ovaries are not reflected in this process. The transformation into a boy is controlled by hormones produced by the formed testicle: for example, under the action of testosterone, a small tubercle becomes a penis, a scrotum and urethra are formed.
By the time of birth, the genitals of the little man are already formed. The child grows and develops, but in his “personal” sphere there is no serious change up to 10–12 years, when the sex glands are gradually included in the work and hormonal changes begin.
Up to this point, the “childhood support center” functions in the body: two organs, the posterior hypothalamus and the epiphysis, for the time being inhibit the production of male and female hormones, not allowing the child to grow up ahead of time. Thanks to their work until adolescence, there are no particular differences in constitution between boys and girls.
The first thing that allows to judge about problems is a violation of the external structure of the genitals. Since they are laid before birth, the most serious of them come to light already in the hospital.
What situations do doctors encounter most often?
Hypospadias. With this problem, the external opening of the urethra is located incorrectly, for example, not in the center of the glans penis, but at the side.
If this defect leads to difficulties (for example, with a “small toilet”), the child is operated on.
Cryptorchidism. This is the situation when one or (less frequently) both testicles do not have time to descend into the scrotum at the time of birth.
This is a natural condition for all boys born prematurely, and in full-term babies, this happens in about 1 in 150–200 cases, if one testicle is “late”, and in 1 in 600, if we are talking about both. Most often, these organs themselves occupy their place in the first 3 months of life.
At this time, the child is being watched by doctors, and if it becomes clear that the situation will not change without an operation, it will be held without delay.
Varicocele. This is varicose veins of the testicle and spermatic cord (it connects the testicle to the surrounding muscles).
Varicocele develops when the walls of blood vessels are too weak: because of it, the vein responsible for the outflow of blood from the testicle is clamped by other vessels and tissues. The blood stagnates, less oxygen enters the tissues, and this impairs the work of the testicle and spermatic cord.
And since the sperm duct is located inside the cord, the expansion of the veins in the future will prevent the movement of sperm. So varicocele, if not treated, affects the ability to have children – not by chance this is the most common cause of male infertility in our time.
Most often, the disease does not manifest itself, and it is possible to detect it by chance (when inspecting or conducting ultrasound on other problems), and for the treatment the baby will definitely need the help of a surgeon.
Attention! If irregularities in the structure of the genital organs require surgery, it is better not to delay it: although many of these problems do not bother the child right up to adolescence and even adulthood, in the future they may face serious complications, such as infertility.
The intimate organs of newborn babies are very tiny, and doctors at the maternity hospital examine them especially carefully. But sometimes “something strange” is first noticed by mothers at home.
Violations in the structure of the external genital organs. They can literally lie on the surface (for example, an enlarged or poorly developed clitoris, fusion of the labia), and those that are hidden in the depths (such as clogging or the absence of a hymen) are only detected during the examination. The only way to eliminate them is an operation.
And with serious hormonal disorders, the girl will need treatment with drugs.
Violations in the internal genital organs. Sometimes changes affect the uterus and ovaries (for example, they may be absent – then doctors talk about agenesis, or aplasia, of these organs), and it is possible to identify such disorders only with the help of ultrasound, x-rays or endoscopic techniques.
Why do babies have problems in the structure of the genitals? As we found out, most often the conditions for this appear before birth.
We list the most common.
Violations of the set or work of sex chromosomes. Often they are inherited.
For example, if a girl instead of 2 sex chromosomes (XX) has only 1 (Shereshevsky-Turner syndrome), the baby will be stunted in growth and development – including the sex organs.
Changes in the sensitivity of fetal tissues to sex hormones. Because of this, it may be too fast or, conversely, the slow development of “intimate” organs.
These troubles are hereditary, and sometimes arise because of mother’s problems while waiting for the baby.
Diseases of the onset of pregnancy. The endocrine problems of mothers and the hormonal treatment they receive, without knowing about the “situation”, especially affect the reproductive system of children.
In order for healthy boys and girls to come out of little boys and girls, several conditions must coincide. We have already discovered two of them: this is the correct set of chromosomes and the normal development of the hormonal system and genital organs. The third point is the general health of the body.
Here are a few things that pediatricians remind parents of.
Proper care. Although caring for newborn girls and boys is little different, for young ladies there are some nuances. Wash the babies strictly from front to back so as not to carry the infection into the vagina, and the direction to the boys is not important.
Girls need to especially carefully wash the folds in the groin and perineum – particles of feces can cause inflammation of the genital organs.
Attention! In the first days after the birth of a baby, a sexual crisis occurs in his body – a hormonal restructuring in response to the release from mother’s estrogen.
On the 4-6th day, the mammary glands are enlarged, and a liquid similar to milk can be released from the nipples – this is the case in boys and girls. These phenomena increase to 8−10 th day of life, and after 2−3 weeks disappear. On the 4th-8th day, girls may have gray-white vaginal discharge, and 10% of babies have bloody spots.
Boys can have scrotal edema at the same time. All these states pass by themselves, and it is not worth interfering. You can not squeeze the milk out of the mammary glands, smear them with ointment or treat the genitals with something.
Be sure to consult a doctor!
Visits to the doctor. Scheduled examinations of babies by pediatricians will help not to miss, among other things, the problems of the sexual sphere.
In boys, it is easier to monitor the health of these organs than in girls, because for them there are standards for the size of the testicles and penis depending on age. It is more difficult to find out the “intimate” problems of girls, especially since they do not conduct routine check-ups of gynecologists.
So keep track of whether everything is in order with my daughter, have mom.
The reason for going to the doctor should be the following situations:
- the boy developed soreness and swelling in the penis and scrotum, in the girl – in the region of the small and large labia or clitoris;
- swollen mammary glands (for both sexes);
- the baby has greatly increased the scrotum, the voice has become rougher;
- hair began to grow on the face and body of a boy or girl;
- the child is too attentive to their genitals, for a long time examines and plays with them (from 2 years).