Puberty is full of exciting changes. Figuring out when it’s going to start can also be exciting. When will my breasts grow? When will I get my period? When will I start wearing deodorant? You may already be experiencing some of puberty’s symptoms, or you may have only heard of them. Either way, it’s good to know what to expect during this important stage of life. Without further ado, here are the signs of puberty in girls.
When will this happen to you?
- Boobs! The first sign of puberty in girls is the development of breast buds, small mounds of flesh below the nipple. Breast buds will continue growing into fully formed breasts. This is the time to start wearing a bra. Bras can be lots of fun! Ask your mum or a trusted adult to help you pick one out at the shop.
- Body hair. During puberty, girls start growing pubic hair – i.e. hair on the area between the lower abdomen and upper thighs. In fact, this is one of the first signs of puberty. At first it will start out thin, and then get thick and curly over time. A few months after the start of pubic hair growth, girls start growing underarm hair. The hair on girls’ legs thickens up during puberty, too. It’s up to each girl whether or not she wants to remove any of this hair. You certainly don’t need to if you don’t want to. It’s a personal decision.
- Growth spurts. Puberty is a time of rapid growth. You may notice it first in your hands and feet. If they’re starting to get much bigger, this is an early sign of puberty. Then you might notice you’re getting taller – and more quickly than you did as a child. Some girls grow up to 9 cm in a year during puberty. Girls will reach their adult height by the end of puberty – about 4 to 6 years after puberty starts.
- Genital changes. Another puberty sign is changes in your genitals. Your genitals, or private parts, grow bigger during puberty. Inside your body, your vagina and uterus are also growing longer.
- Skin changes. One sign of puberty is changes in the amount of oil the pores on your skin produce. This means you may get spots or acne on your face. This is a good time to develop a good daily skin care routine. Pick out a facial soap you like and be sure to wash your face every day. Increased oil production in your skin will also make your hair oilier, meaning you might have to wash your hair more often than you did as a child.
- Sweat! During puberty, your sweat glands develop, too. Sweat is important because it helps regulate the temperature of your body – as the sweat evaporates away from your body it takes the heat with it! Because sweat will increase, you’ll develop your own unique body odour – another symptom of puberty. Be sure to take frequent showers. You may also want to start wearing deodorant on your underarms. Ask your mum or a trusted adult to buy you some.
- Discharge. Discharge is the white or clear fluid that comes out of your vagina, and it is a sign of puberty in girls. Discharge is your body’s way of keeping your vagina healthy by preventing it from drying out and protecting it from infections. All women get it! For a daily boost of freshness that keeps you dry and comfortable, try wearing a pantyliner. ALWAYS Dailies panty liners are great for everyday wear because they are so thin you’ll barely know you have one on.
- Your first period. A much-anticipated sign of puberty in girls is starting menstruation – the cycle of shedding blood, tissue, and fluid out of your vagina for 3 to 7 days each month. Getting your first period is an exciting milestone. It is part of growing into a strong, healthy woman. Wearing a sanitary towel will protect your knickers and clothes from blood when you have your period. ALWAYS Ultra pads are super thin and absorbent. In fact, they have an absorbent core that turns liquid into gel, keeping liquid away from your skin for a clean, fresh feeling.
Most girls start puberty between the ages of 8 of 11 with their period starting about 2 years after the first signs of puberty (e.g. breast development). However, there’s no “right” time to start puberty. Each girl’s body operates on its own schedule. You’ll progress through the signs of puberty when your body is good and ready. Until then, learning about what to expect will give you a leg up for added confidence during puberty.