Strange Happenings: Your Developing Body

In recent months, I have noticed that my body looks slightly different. It’s not because of a growth spurt, but I’ve changed nonetheless. Consequently, I decided to investigate the changes that the female body undergoes in your twenties. Some of the biggest changes in the body occur during puberty. As it turns out, though, change is far from over then. In our twenties, the female body is high-functioning as preparation for reproduction. Development occurs in all parts of the body during this time. Here are some of the top changes in your body that occur during your twenties.

Your Brain

The pre-frontal cortex, which has a large role in decision making, judgment, risk-taking, and short term memory, goes through further development. New connections are being made between neurons, nerve fibers are being insulated, and synapses are being pruned. Part of the reason that mental disorders emerge during this time is that the brain may grow in damaging ways.

Hormones levels become more regular, so your menstrual cycle may become more regular as well. Of course, not everyone (yours truly included) experiences this. However, the body also beings to produce more prostaglandin, so cramps are more painful. Prostaglandin prompts uterine contractions, creating cramps, and is associated with inflammation and pain. This hormone plays a vital role in your menstrual cycle because it helps shed the lining of the uterus.

Your Body

During your twenties, bones cell production is at its most productive period; this means your bones are at their most dense. Weight-bearing exercise is essential for stimulating bone cell growth during your twenties, as well as encouraging the intake of enough calcium and vitamin D. Building up healthy bone is important so that you have strong bones as you grow older and they begin to deteriorate. 

Image Source: Bruce Mars on Pexels​

Collagen levels are at their highest during your twenties, so some may have supple and soft skin. Interestingly, the amount of collagen and subcutaneous fat in your face decreases, making it look slimmer. On the downside, fluctuating hormones can cause adult acne. For example, an excess of sebum is made, clogging pores. Skin cells also may not shed, causing zits and pimples. Of course, stress, starchy foods, and makeup can make the acne worse. Additionally, between 25 and 35 years of age, most women get cellulite. Cellulite occurs because a decrease of estrogen means less circulation and nutrition, which decreases collagen production. In turn, fat cells grow larger in order to push through the collagen. 

Most women reach their highest basal metabolic (BMR) rate during their early twenties. BMR is the rate at which you burn calories and depends on genetics and exercise level. Typically, active people have higher metabolic rates. However, it also starts to decrease later on.

Your twenties are a prime time for fat accumulation as well. A decades-long fat shifting process begins in your twenties. The fat from your cheeks, neck, breasts, and lower legs shifts to your waists, infragluteal region under your bottom, and abdomen. This is partially a result of hormones and changing metabolism. Most women incrementally gain some weight during this time. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does give you an idea of the major bodily changes happening inside of you right now!