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Study Notes

Physical Changes in Early Adulthood (19-45 years)

BTEC National

Last updated 23 Sept 2022

During early adulthood stage an individual reaches physical maturity (by the age of 28). This is known as maturation. Adults have reached their peak level of physical strength and their full height and weight by this time. As the adult reaches the end of this life stage, stamina and strength start to slowly decline.

Characteristics of physical maturity during early adulthood

  • Hand-eye coordination is at its best
  • Individuals have grown to full height
  • Maximum physical strength and stamina have been reached
  • Women are at their most fertile
  • Later phase of early adulthood, perimenopause may occur

Pregnancy during early adulthood

The early adulthood stage is when women are most likely to become pregnant. Pregnancy and lactation are key characteristics of early adulthood.

During pregnancy, hormones change, and the levels of progesterone steadily increase. Progesterone is responsible for maintaining the pregnancy and is produced by the ovaries, the placenta (when a woman is pregnant) and the adrenal glands.

Oestrogen is needed for the correct development of the foetal organs, including the liver, kidneys and lungs.

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