Puberty In Girls—What’s Happening to My Body?
While puberty brings a lot of changes to your life and your
body, you should know you’re not alone on this journey. All women, including your
mom, female teachers and aunts, went through puberty. They can be a great resource
for you as you have questions along the way.
As you prepare to grow into a beautiful, confident young
lady it can be exciting, but also scary. But don’t worry! It’s totally normal, and
we’ll be here for you, too. Read below to find out more about puberty in girls and
the exciting changes that await you and other girls like you.
1. Body Growth
One major change you may notice is growing faster than you did during childhood.
This is known as a growth spurt. First, you may notice your feet and hands getting
bigger. Next, the arm and leg bones grow, making you taller. You may gain some weight
to match the increase in your bone size, too. This may be an awkward time until
the rest of the body catches up, but once it does, your body will be more proportional.
2. Breast Development
You will start to grow breasts. They develop in stages. At first you may notice
what feel like little "buds," or swellings, under your nipples. After that, your
breasts will gradually get bigger and fuller and may become a little sore. Wearing
a bra will be important so you can have the proper support for your breasts. Check
Bra Guide to find your size. Also, it’s important to remember that every
girl is different. How large or small your breasts become depends on the physical
genetic traits in your family. Full breast development typically takes two to three
3. Body Hair
Soon, you will find new hair growing in new places. Curly hair will start growing
in the pubic area (the area that extends from your lower stomach to between your
legs). In some girls, pubic hair may appear before breast development. At first,
this hair is soft, and there's not much of it. Later, the hair grows longer and
becomes a little curly. Although it starts growing between the legs, it eventually
covers the entire pubic area and may include the upper, inner thighs. This usually
takes two to three years. A few months after pubic hair begins to grow, hair will
also grow under your arms.
4. Body Sweat
Your sweat glands will become larger and more active, causing you to sweat more.
This may happen even before your breasts develop. Once this happens you will want
to wear an antiperspirant/deodorant to help reduce sweating.
5. Skin and Hair Changes
During puberty, the pores in your skin produce more oil, especially on your face.
This can cause acne. You may have to wash your hair and face more often now that
you're going through puberty. It would be a good idea to create a daily skin care routine
to meet the needs of your changing skin.
6. Genitals Develop
Your genitals, or private areas, also grow and change during puberty. Your outside
parts (the vulva) are enclosed by two sets of "lips." The larger lips have hair.
The inner, smaller lips don't. These increase in size a little bit. Inside your
body, the vagina is getting longer and the uterus is getting bigger.
7. Discharge Occurs
Discharge is a clear or creamy fluid produced by your body to moisten and cleanse
the vagina. Before you start your period, you'll probably notice yellow or white
stains inside your underwear. This is natural moisture from the vagina. It's perfectly
normal, and it's a sign that menstruation will likely start in six to 18 months.
Sometimes, vaginal discharge can become white, clumpy, thick and/or milky. In this
case, you might have a yeast infection. Talk to your parents or doctor if you have
8. First Period Starts
All of these changes lead up to the start of your first period. You may not be sure
of what’s normal, but there’s no need to worry. When you first start menstruation,
it can be unpredictable for the first two years. It typically takes one to two years
for cycles to develop, so you may not be regular for a while. Check out this article to learn
more about your period and the best ways to stay protected.
Every girl develops differently and at her own pace, so don’t
be discouraged. These changes usually happen in the order listed above, but this
may not be the order that they happen to you — and that is totally OK! No matter
what order all these changes happen, just know you’re on your way to becoming a
woman — and that is an awesome thing!
Learn about puberty in girls and get helpful tips and advice from teen girls at BeingGirl.com.