Puberty for Girls

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Puberty is the time when you grow from a girl to ayoung woman. Everyone goes through it. It can beexciting, but some people find it tough. Here are some of the changes to expect.

How does my body change?

Your body changes during puberty - you are goingfrom being a child to how you will be when you a mature adult.

During puberty, a lot of different things happen.

You’ll get taller, and this might happen quite quickly.Your nipples may look swollen and feel tender.This is the start of your breasts growing, andusually happens between the ages of 8 to 13.

Your hips, bottom and thighs will probably getbigger and rounder. Inside your body, your ovaries and womb will get larger. Pubic hair will start growing around your vagina and under your arms. You may also find youhave more hair on your legs. The hair will start off fine and straight, but become thicker and curlier.Your clitoris will get larger.Your first period, or mensturation, will probablyarrive between the ages of 9 and 15 years. Everygirl is different.Your vagina will start to produce a small amountof clear or cream-coloured fluid (called vaginal discharge). This fluid, which keeps the walls ofthe vagina clean, is normal and healthy.You may get oily skin and hair, and spots (acne) may develop on your face and body.You may also find you sweat more.You may feel more emotional than usual andfind you are sensitive to what others say.

These changes usually take place over about 4 years. By the time you are 16, you will have donemost of your physical developing.

What if my period hasn’t started?

It is normal for a girl to start her periods betweenthe ages of 9 and 15, although some start earlier. If you are 16 and still haven’t started your periods,see your General Practitioner or Womens Health Clinic

Your GP will talk to you. They may also want to examine you and take some blood tests to check your hormone levels. On rare occasions, you maybe asked to have more tests, like a scan.

You may feel more comfortable discussing these things with a female doctor.

The most common reasons for girls starting their periods later than usual are:

Genetic predisposition - in some families, girlsstart their periods late Doing way too much exercise

Being underweight


Some medicines

Severe long-term illness

Hormonal problems