Puberty - Females

For girls, hitting puberty tends to mean growth in the boob department, hairs in the vagina department and some new emotions. Don't worry though, it's all normal.

Don't expect to develop exactly the same speed as your mates

What is it?

Puberty is when your body changes from the body of a girl to that of a woman.

When will it happen to me?

The average age girls start puberty is between 10 and 14, but many start younger or a lot older than that, so don't expect to develop exactly the same speed as your mates. There's nothing wrong with being a slow or early starter - everybody develops differently.

How will my body change?

Your breasts will probably start to grow first, and soon the whole of your body will take on a more curvy, womanly shape. So expect to put on a bit of weight. It's meant to happen.

You'll get taller, much quicker than you did before. Your arms and legs will grow fastest, which might feel a bit weird until the rest of you catches up.

Hair will begin to grow on your vagina and armpits. The hairs on your legs and upper lip may become more noticeable.

Your vagina will change shape, with the inner lips (labia minora) getting larger. You'll also start getting vaginal discharge, which can be a sign that you'll soon start your periods.

Your skin and hair will probably become more oily. You might get acne. You'll sweat more, so you'll need to take extra care when it comes to personal hygiene.

Will I feel different inside?

Probably. Some girls feel emotional and have a lot of mood swings.

Lots of girls start to figure out who they are during puberty, and what they really think about things. But it's also a confusing time where you can be swayed by people around you.

You're still you and always will be, it might just take some time to adjust to the new you. You're becoming an adult - and there's a lot that comes with that.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


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