When will puberty start?Puberty usually starts between the ages of 8 and 14, 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.
What will happen to body at puberty?During puberty, it's normal to experience the following changes:
►Growing taller:You'll get taller, and this might happen quite quickly.
►Breasts and hips get bigger:Your breasts and hips get bigger. You might feel itchy or uncomfortable when this happens. This is normal.
►Hair grows on your body:Hair grows under your arms and around your vagina. Some girls develop hair on other parts of their body, such as their top lip. This is normal.
►Periods start:Your periods will start at some point during puberty. You might get period pains before or during your period. Find out more about periods.
►Vaginal discharge begins:You may notice your vagina produces vaginal 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 as you might have an infection.
►Spots and sweat appear:Hormones can make you sweaty or spotty, but as long as you have good personal hygiene, you can still look and feel healthy. Find out about acne.
►Feelings go up and down:
Whats Happening to Brain?
You may have already noticed that you're changing emotionally. Some changes are really positive others are more challenging. Here are some things you might be feeling:
►Your thinking changes:
It's called cognitive development and it means you're now able to think more abstractly — more like an adult than a kid.
►You can express your feelings a lot better:
Your feelings might start to make a lot more sense to you. You may find that you can express what you're feeling a lot better, whether you're feeling happy or sad. This gives you a clearer sense of self of who you are.
►You feel really emotional:
You may get mad at parents and friends easily. A little thing that wouldn't have bothered you earlier drives you crazy now. Your kid sister might get on your nerves. Feeling angry is normal during puberty because of the hormonal changes. In fact, for the same reason, many of us can become overly emotional right before our periods.
"Mood swings" are also common throughout puberty. This is when you feel really happy one minute and then really angry or even sad the next minute. So if you're feeling angry, you may want to count to 10 (it works!) and think about it before you yell at your mom or friend.
►You cry a lot:
You may cry because of something very serious that makes you feel sad or disappointed — or you may burst into tears because you left your favorite hair band in the gym. This is also normal! It happens to a lot of women having Premenstural Syndrome too, and will happen to most girls throughout puberty. Just accept that you're a little emotional right now.
►You feel a lot more womanly:
Some girls find that they're feeling more feminine. Whether you prefer playing hockey with the guys or talking about nail polish, remember it's normal!
►You think you're weird:
You probably compare yourself to your friends, and feel like there's something really wrong with you. You may feel unsure of yourself. Well guess what? Everyone else does, too! Your personality is growing and you're becoming even more unique — just when all you want is to fit in more easily! Fortunately, your personality will win this one, and you'll become a self-assured adult. Just remember that everyone else your age is self-conscious too, so chances are they won't be worrying about you!
It's Only Puberty: Don't Freak Out:
We keep telling you how normal all of this is for a reason — it really is normal! If you can keep from freaking out, you can use this special time in your life to learn about yourself. Here are some ways to keep from freaking out:
►Take care of yourself:
Be careful with food cravings (like wanting only ice cream for dinner). Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Exercise. This is good for your body and mind. Taking out your anger on a tennis ball or treadmill can make you feel great again, too.
►Talk to someone: Amazingly, parents and teachers can be really helpful, and you can count on other adults, too, if you're more comfortable with that. Your friends might really appreciate knowing that you're going through the same thing they are, but don't depend on them for real information. Go to someone who's been through it.
►Concentrate on school and hobbies: Your brain is growing, and this is a great opportunity to use it. The hobbies that you liked in the past will be even more fun now, and you'll develop new interests. Do something creative to express all your new emotions.