Girls, if you’re between 8-16 it’s likely you’re already going through, or are about to go through, puberty. Uh, we know, it can be totally annoying, but everyone goes through it! Even Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift did. Puberty is the physical transition from being a kid to an adult. For some of us it can just be a hiccup, for others it’s a roller coaster. But knowing what to expect and understanding what’s going on will make things a whole lot smoother, we promise!
When will it happen?
There is no science behind when you hit puberty. The changes can start anywhere between 8 and 16, with girls typically starting before boys. Sometimes, when your mum hit puberty can be a sign of when you’ll start. But really, early or late, it doesn’t matter – we all get there eventually. And you can’t tell who walked first as a baby in your class, can you? The whole process is usually done in about 2 years, but can last 5.
What will happen?
As females, our bodies evolve to prepare for babies. That is, we get breasts, hips and periods. As kids, we don’t have any of these but the release of a hormone called oestrogen (pronounced ‘east–ro-gen’) kicks off the process.
When oestrogen gets started, you might notice:
- Your breasts begin to ‘bud’ – yes, weird, but that is the technical term!
- Your hips may get wider (don’t worry, your jeans haven’t shrunk!)
- Hair appearing under your arms and over your pubic area (pubic hair)
- Your labia (lips of your genitals) may grow and become pinker, even purplish
- You might notice some clear or whitish discharge(what’s that in my undies) on your undies
- You’re sweating more and can smell it (just use an antiperspirant) and your hair and skin may become
- You may also have a growth spurt and get taller.
On the inside, changes are also happening; your ovaries (where your ‘eggs’ are) and other internal reproductive organs are gearing up for your first period.
When will I get my first period?
If we had a dollar every time we got asked this question! Again, there is no exact way to predict the coming of Aunt Flo, but here are some clues:
- The age your mum was when she got her first period
- If it’s been more than a year since you first noticed pubic hair and had discharge it may be very close!
- If your discharge becomes reddish-brown (the colour of dried blood) your period is around the corner.
Puberty is different for every one of us, but rest assured we all go through it! If you have any more questions try talking to your parents or feel free to ‘Ask Gemmah’.
Anything else? Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.