Adolescent Antecedents to Gynecological Health

  • Jane Gardner
  • Isabelle Valadian


Are there factors occurring in childhood and adolescence that influence the reproductive and gynecological health of women? The logic that leads to this possibility includes:
  • The reproductive organs increase greatly in size and weight during pre-adolescence and adolescence.

  • During periods of rapid growth (critical periods) body organs are most vulnerable to insults.

  • The rate of growth and development can be slowed or otherwise modified by disease, deficient diet or other more obscure factors.

  • If factors (such as undernutrition) are imposed on organs while cell division is occurring, the process slows and may stop before full organ growth. If this does occur the number of cells in the organ will always be too few.

  • Body organs with abberrations in cell number or cell size have altered patterns of functioning.

Therefore, the overall aim of this study is to identify factors which occur during adolescence that may affect adult reproductive system functioning.


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  1. Gardner, J. and Valadian, I., 1983, Changes over thirty years in an index of gynecological health, Ann. of Hum. Biol., 10; (1) 41–55.Google Scholar
  2. Gardner, J., 1983, Adolescent menstrual characteristics as predic-tors of gynecological health, Ann. of Hum. Biol., 10: (1) 31–40.Google Scholar
  3. Stuart, H.C., 1959, The search for knowledge of the child and the significance of his growth and development - Examples from the Harvard Longitudinal Studies, Pediatrics, 24: 701.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Valadian, I. and Reed, R., 1974, Influence of nutrition factors during early adolescence on reproductive efficiency, in: Congenital Defects: New Directions in Research, eds. Jamerich, D.T., Shalko, R.G. and Porter, I.H.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Gardner
    • 1
  • Isabelle Valadian
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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