Puberty 101

Puberty can be a confusing, awkward, but also exciting stage of life. Puberty for girls can be marked by an increase in weight, height, emotional changes, and other changes both internal and external. During this time, it’s possible to grow several inches in just a few months (hence the awkwardness)! Or you could experience slow, steady growth for two or three years. Everyone is different. But rest assured, you will be going through some amazing changes as you transition into womanhood.

Sexual changes that occur during puberty

The onset of puberty for girls ranges from 8 to 14 years of agei. Generally, girls will experience puberty earlier than boys. While puberty is normally experienced as a sequence of events, each girl is different and may experience the stages differently.

Here are some changes that girls can expect as they progress through puberty:

  • Development of breast buds usually marks the start of puberty. A small mound is formed by the nipples and the breast. The different-colored skin around the nipples increases in size.
  • Enlargement of the breasts continues. With time, the areola (the dark area around the nipples) and nipples elevate again to form another projection of the breastsii.
  • Pubic hair will start growing around the genitals. As the hair continues to spread, it may become coarser and darker.
  • Hair growth will continue to spread to the legs and underarms. At this time, girls may choose to start shaving these areas of their body.
  • Your body shape will change. You will grow taller and gain weight, and your hips may get wider. Some girls may also see an increase of fat in the stomach area, legs and buttocks as your body enters womanhood.
  • Hands, legs, arms, and feet may begin grow before the body. Again, this is why puberty can sometimes be called an “awkward phase.” It might take some time to become comfortable with your body changes.
  • Hormones increase. This can cause oily skin and an increase in sweating, leading to acne. Washing your face daily with gentle cleanser can help alleviate this.
  • Menstrual periods will also start. This is a time when the body begins releasing an egg from the ovaries on a monthly cycle. The egg can grow into a baby if fertilized by a sperm from a male. If the egg is not fertilized, it will be shed through the vagina. This monthly discharge is what is referred to as your period.

Vaginal hygiene and care

The increase in hormones and the start of monthly periods means that adolescent girls will need to become more familiar with feminine hygiene and feminine care products. Understanding the difference between panty liners and sanitary pads , as well as the different times you would use panty liners vs tampons. You can visit our blog to read more Carefree® articles on these topics.

Using a period calendar to begin tracking your menstrual cycle is also helpful for adolescent girls. This can help them be better prepared for this new, exciting stage of their life and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Lastly, adolescent girls may start having questions about other feminine care topics, many of which Carefree® can help provide answers for, like:

  • Understanding vaginal discharge
  • Dealing with feminine odor concerns
  • Learning ways to manage PMS symptoms
  • How to ease period cramps
  • Dealing with spotting between periods

Puberty changes in girls can occur gradually or quickly, but undoubtedly these changes can be confusing. It is important to seek guidance from a health practitioner to understand the changes that may be occurring in your body.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.