Why does my body change?

Girls usually mature a couple of years before boys – something that’s all too obvious at times! Puberty usually starts between 10 and 16 years of age, but there’s nothing wrong if you happen to be a bit younger or a bit older. Puberty means that your body is in the process of changing from a child’s body to an adult one. The whole process takes a few years, or so.

Some girls develop breasts, grow pubic hair, start their periods, develop wider hips, and grow taller almost at once. Someone in the class is bound to start her period before everyone else, but it’s quite possible that she’ll experience no more changes for a few years. Or you can start having vaginal discharges and your breasts might grow, but your periods take their time starting. Puberty is different for everyone, and you can’t hurry it up, no matter how much you might like to.

It’s absolutely OK to find puberty weird and a pain. It can be a confusing time dealing with the changes that happen, as it’s not just the outer you that changes, the inner does as well. You start thinking and feeling differently, growing into a different person from the child you were. Some people find it more exciting and fun, and don’t see it particularly as a problem. Hopefully, you’re one of them! Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing in advance how you, personally, are going to react to puberty. The only thing you can be absolutely certain of is that everyone goes through puberty, sooner or later. And that everyone gets through it!

You won’t wake up one morning and look completely different. The process is gradual, though occasionally things may take you by surprise, so it helps to have an idea about what’s likely to happen so you don’t end up worried unnecessarily.

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