Signs of Puberty in Girls
Puberty, for boys and girls alike, can be a confusing but exciting time! We are here to help you through it. During puberty, your body is changing and becoming more adult-like; it can be a whirlwind of physical and emotional changes. While it is tempting to compare yourself to other girls, remember that everyone develops at a different pace - and puberty is not a race.
- Puberty doesn't happen all at once; it happens in stages.
- For girls, puberty usually begins around age 9 and can continue until she is 20 years old.
- Many changes occur during puberty: Your breasts will change size and shape. Your hips will widen, hair will begin to grow in new places, you may begin to sweat more and smell differently. You may develop pimples, and you will start menstruating!
Breasts come in endless shapes, sizes, and colors. There is no way to predict how big or small your breasts will be. On average, it takes about 4-5 years for your breasts to fully develop into their adult size. Some girls’ breasts grow early on in puberty, while other girls’ breasts develop later.
A woman’s breast size is in her DNA - that means she is born with a predetermined size, and it cannot be changed with injections, medicines, vitamins, or special foods.
During puberty, you may begin to see discharge from your vagina, which can be a sticky liquid in your underpants. The discharge is completely normal. Healthy discharge is clear, or white, and has very little smell. Your vagina makes this discharge to keep itself clean! To keep the area around your vagina clean, you can use a mild and gentle soap around (but not inside!) your vagina. Visit our page on Personal Hygiene Tips to learn more.
Warning: If your discharge has a different color or a strong smell or if your vagina feels itchy or swollen, this could be the sign of an infection or a sexually transmitted disease. If so, contact a healthcare provider.
Women come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and weights. Some girls are tall and curvy, while others are short and skinny. Some girls worry if their weight is normal, but remember: everyone has a different body type, so it is not useful to compare yourself to others. Everything concerning your growth is already built into your DNA. Let it be.
It is important to treat your body right throughout your whole life - and especially during puberty when your body is going through so many changes. Try to develop healthy eating habits - drink lots of water, eating fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary snacks like soft drinks and candy.
You might develop pimples (also known as acne) during puberty. Pimples and acne can appear on your face, back, anywhere! During puberty, your skin produces more oil - and combined with bacteria and dirt, your pores get clogged and the result is pimples. Some people have a family history of acne - whether you have pimples is sometimes based on your genetics. To learn how to prevent pimples and care for your skin, visit our Personal Hygiene Tips.
Body odour comes from the combination of sweat and bacteria on our skin. During puberty, the human body begins producing more hormones in order to support and control the body’s growth! One consequence is that you may find yourself sweating more than normal, and the sweat is likely accompanied by new, stronger odours. Learn more about how to keep your body clean and healthy in our Personal Hygiene Tips.
As you go through puberty, you will begin to notice that hair begins to grow in the triangle above your vagina. This is called pubic hair! You may also experience hair growth in your armpits, and the hair on your legs may become darker or thicker.
Some girls choose to shave the hair on their legs, underarms, or pubic area. Whatever you chose is up to you - and it’s healthy either way. As long as you’re washing your genitals or private parts regularly with soap and water, you’re good to go! Learn more about care for your hair in our Personal Hygiene Tips.
For many of us, masturbation is a sensitive topic. Let’s get the facts straight: Masturbation, defined as touching your own genitals for sexual pleasure, is a natural, safe, and common activity for all people! Masturbation cannot make you blind, crazy, or stupid. It cannot damage your body or stunt your growth, or make you not be a virgin anymore.
Masturbation can actually be good for you! Masturbation cannot lead to pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease, it can relieve stress, and masturbating with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a great way to have safer sex while showing the other person what feels nice.