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One stereotyped view of women portrays us all as creatures at the mercy of our hormones. Our hormones have a huge influence on our lives, but there is no reason why we have to be slaves to them. The more we understand about our bodies and hormones and the way they affect our mind and emotions and overall body, the better we will be able to minimize their negative effects and enhance the positive ones.
Women are unique in many ways. At a fundamental level, women’s bodies are structured to give birth and supply early nutrition to the next generation. However, whether or not a woman decides to have children, her reproductive system affects her body throughout her entire life. The changes and stages of the maturing female body are natural; however, there may be times when a woman needs extra help to cope with modern demands in today’s society. For example, athletics, later childbearing years, and career stress. There are many physical therapists that tailor their practice in obstetrics and gynecology and can help to design a personal exercise program to fit each woman’s lifestyle needs and take care of the body that will make her as comfortable as possible through these life stages and changes.
Adolescence is the time when girls begin to mature into women. There is no standard starting age for adolescence--it can start as early as nine years old or into the teenage years. Adolescence is the perfect time to begin to develop good exercise habits and lifestyle choices. At this time, a girl may notice an increase in body fat when the body starts producing the hormone estrogen. Physical therapists can help the adolescent girl and encourage her to enjoy aerobic and exercise, such as walking, swimming or dancing as well as many other activities. Once menstruation begins, and over the next several decades, many women will suffer from some degree of dysmenorrhea, or pain, during their menstrual cycle. Symptoms can range from slight irritability, intestinal upset and severe cramping.