Girls and puberty

You might be developing boobs, your periods might have started, and you might have hair growing in new places such as your vulva. (But what is a vulva anyway?)

On top of all that, you have a big crush on the most unlikely person in your year. This is what growing up is all about.

Puberty is when your body starts to mature and change . Everyone goes through it, but it can be a tough time.

When will I start puberty?

Puberty usually happens between 10 and 14 years old, but every girl is different.

We all grow and change at different rates, and there’s nothing you can do to make it happen sooner or later. Your body will change when it’s ready.

Your breasts may grow quickly or slowly. You might have your first period, then not have another one for months. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’, so don’t panic if your experience is different from other girls.

If you feel confused, you’re not the only person. Try talking to someone you trust, such as your mum, dad, sister, friends or a teacher you trust. Find out more about puberty below.

What will happen to my body?

During puberty, you might experience the following changes:

  • Growing: you’ll get taller, and this might happen quite quickly
  • Breasts and hips: your breasts and hips get bigger. You might feel itchy or uncomfortable when this happens.
  • Hair: hair grows under your arms and around your vagina. Some girls develop hair in other parts of their body, such as their top lip.
  • Periods: your periods will start at some point during puberty. You might get period pains before or during your period.
  • Vaginal discharge: your vagina may produce discharge (fluid). This is normal. It’s your vagina’s way of keeping clean and healthy. The discharge should be colourless or white, and shouldn’t smell. If it looks green or yellow and smells, see a doctor because you might have an infection, such as thrush (this is common and easily treated)
  • Spots and sweat: hormones can make you sweaty or spotty, but as long as you have good personal hygiene, you can still look and feel healthy.
  • On the inside: you might have mood swings and feel emotional.

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