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Puberty in girls and what to expect

Updated on April 2, 2012

Teenagers...

Understanding what happens during puberty is important.
Understanding what happens during puberty is important. | Source

Puberty, we all go through it....

Puberty in girls and boys is the process our bodies go through to change us from children into adults, unfortunately there is no magic pill to take to make it happen overnight. Puberty can be a very difficult time, whether you're going through it yourself or are close to an adolescent going through puberty. As an adolescent girl you may be not sure about the changes going on in your body and wondering what to expect. Sadly not all young girls have someone that they feel comfortable talking to or that they feel they can ask questions to and even if they have, that person may be unable to answer the questions or could be uncomfortable talking about puberty and the physical and psychological changes that take place. It shouldn't be like that because puberty and adolescence is something we all go through.

A highly recommended book that will help you through puberty.

What to expect being a girl going through puberty....

There is no hard rule as to what age girls start puberty at, generally your body will start to change between the ages of ten and fourteen. It can start earlier which is very difficult on the child or it can start later which can be just as hard as girls want to be the same as their friends and may start to worry that things aren't "normal". If you do feel worried or unhappy, please visit your doctor who will happily put your mind at rest and if there is a problem - which is highly unlikely!! - they will be able to advise you.


Hair growth in girls going through puberty....

You may have noticed hair starting to appear on your body, under your arms and between your legs. The hair on your legs may become thicker, this is usually worse if you're dark haired. Fair haired girls may not notice as their hair is finer. Don't be in a rush to start to shave or remove hair. I know that this is an exciting time, but believe me when I say once you start there is no turning back!! It'll become a chore one day, so much so, that you'll start to enjoy the wintertime solely for the fact that you can get away with not shaving. You may screw your nose up now, but in twenty years time, I very much expect that you will understand where I am coming from to say that.

Breast development in girls going through puberty....

  • You may find that as your breasts develop, they feel tender and bruised - which is normal.
  • Your nipples may be more sensitive - which is also normal.
  • One breast may be bigger than the other - Also normal. Most women have one breast larger than the other, the difference can be as much as a cup size.
  • You may have fine hairs sprouting around your nipples - nothing to worry about as this too is normal!

This would also be a good time to realise that breasts do come in different shapes and sizes and that nipple colour can vary between women. So if you notice that yours are different than your friends, don't fret.Your breasts maybe droopy or not symmetrical, this is because they are natural and perfectly normal for you. Please remember not to go comparing yourself to your celebrity idol, the chances are that they've had breast surgery is quite high and breasts sat high on the chest like a couple of doughnuts is unnatural looking and can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be laying on your stomach. Be proud of the breasts you end up with. I'm flat chested and happy with it, to my daughters amusement

Skin and hair problems in girls going through puberty....

Oh No!!...Your skin has become oily and is prone to white headed spots and black heads. It may feel like the end of the world, but believe me it's not. It's a problem that most adolescents face, some worse than others and the best thing to do is to leave your skin alone!! Keep it clean, not excessively so though or it can cause more problems by making your skin produce more oil, washing your face morning and night should be sufficient and don't pick!! It's a stage your skin goes through until your hormones settle down and that will happen, then your skin will be all glowing and peachy again.

Your hair may also become more oily and dull and you may find that you have to wash it more often. There are shampoos that can help combat the oiliness.

A book for the adults!!...

Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Sex and Character
Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Sex and Character
Sometimes parents don't know the answers to all the questions. This book could prove invaluable.
 

Starting your periods....

Before and after you start your periods or you start menstruating - you may hear it referred to in both ways and both are correct...

  • You'll notice that you have started to develop a more rounded and womanly figure. Wider hips, a more defined waist, breasts. You may have noticed that you have got a lot taller recently. This is a sign that it won't be too long before you start your periods.
  • You'll also start having to pay proper attention to your personal hygiene. It's important to shower every day now as you'll be starting to sweat a lot more and will start to smell if you don't wash properly. Have you ever been sat next to that person how smells of body odour? Or had them lean across you to reach something in the supermarket, it's really not pleasant, is it? You don't want to be that person.You may even want to start using deodorant to keep you fresher throughout the day - that doesn't mean you don't have to wash!!
  • You may find that you notice a discharge from your vagina. It can be yellowy or white in colour this is perfectly normal, it's actually natures way of keeping this clean and healthy down below.
  • Your may also notice that your vaginal lips start to protrude more. Some womens protrude more than others - all normal.
  • You'll probably find yourself being more emotional and a little more sensitive than you used to be, it's nothing to worry about, it's not you, it's just those hormones playing up again. You may find you feel more emotional around the time of your period, this could continue even when puberty has finished. Again all normal.
  • Before you actually start your period you may notice a dull aching sensation in you lower abdomen or get a headache and you could feel even more emotional, it's just your body getting ready to menstruate. Your first period may be barely noticeable, just a touch of blood or it could be very noticeable. You will probably find that your periods are very irregular, so they can be a little difficult to predict, this will settle own as you get older and you get to know your body, but to avoid any embarrassing moments make sure you always carry a sanitary towel in your bag.

Sanitary options for your periods...

Like it or not us women all have periods and during our periods we all have to use something to absorb the menstrual flow. There are a few options....

  • For young girls going through puberty I would recommend the sanitary towel. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some for a heavy blood flow, some for lighter flows. Some are scented, some are not - if you opt for scented, be warned they may irritate you. Some towel have flaps "wings" to help attach them to the inside of your panties. They all come with a sticky strip to keep them in place. They should be changed regularly to prevent leakage. You won't find it difficult to find one that you are happy with.
  • You can also get very small, thin pads called Panty Liners. These are more for when you are at the beginning or end of your period and getting a light discharge.
  • Tampons come in all different sizes too, depending on your blood flow. Some tampons come with an applicator, some you insert with your finger, it's just a case of personal preference. Tampons have to be changed regularly to prevent leakage and you should wear one that is to absorbent for your flow as they can be difficult to remove when dry...You'll see what I mean...You must be aware of Toxic Shock Syndrome when using tampons, I'll stress that it is a very rare condition, but it can happen, which is another reason for changing your tampon every four to six hours. Inserting tampons correctly does take practise, I would recommend them for older girls really.
  • Menstrual cups are also an option, these are my personal favourites, although probably not suitable for young girls, but I would like all women to be aware of them. They are silicone cups that fit comfortably inside the vagina to collect menstrual blood. You buy one and it lasts about ten years. They cost a fraction of the price of what you will spend on other sanitary wear. Ecologically friendly too. I know they aren't for everyone, I myself use the Mooncup.

Never heard of the Mooncup? Then check out this hub for more information.

Books relating to any questions you may have when it comes to sex...

Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up
Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up
A book aimed at teens to help them survive and understand puberty and what they are going through.
 

Girls going through puberty and becoming more sexually aware...

You will also notice that you are more interested in the opposite sex, this is normal and healthy. Although it can also be a dangerous time too. Never rush into doing anything sexual with a boy (or girl) when you are too young and not emotionally ready, you don't have to prove yourself to any one and will probably end up feeling used and foolish if you do. It's just not worth it.It will happen one day when the time is right and do you really want to take the risk of getting pregnant? Really not cool!! Only enter into a sexual relations ship with someone you trust and that you feel comfortable with and if you feel as if you are being pressurised into having sex - DON'T DO IT!!

Emotions....

Girls going through puberty will find that it's not just the body that changes, but also the way you think. As I've already written you could find yourself feeling more sensitive and sad, but you can also find that you loose your temper more now too. Going through puberty can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster, up and down....Happy and sad or angry. These feelings are all normal. You may find yourself more tearful and feeling like you want to have a good cry sometimes. Try not to be attention seeking and cry in public all the time. Whilst going through puberty is normal and isn't easy, you shouldn't use it to get your own way or to attention seek, people will soon get bored of that and you may find yourself feeling lonely with no one to talk to. If you find yourself becoming angry take ten slow deep breaths and you'll find that will help you to feel calmer. Do try to be reasonable even if you don't feel it.

It is good to talk though about how you feel, so that you realise that it's not just you and that your friends will be having the same feelings.

You'll probably feel quite angry towards adults at times, especially your parents and feel that they don't understand you. you may find yourself being unreasonable too. They may not always see your point of view, but they love you and have been through it themselves.

Try to enjoy changing from a girl into a women....

Please remember that puberty is normal and whilst we may not all look the same, what you are seeing experiencing with your body is probably normal. If in doubt go and see a doctor to set your mind at rest

Most importantly try to enjoy this time in your life as it's not so bad most of the time.

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