Girls and puberty Q&A
Puberty is when a girl grows up into a young woman. Every girl goes through it, but it can be a tough time. Here are the changes to expect.
When will I start puberty?
Puberty usually starts between the ages of 8 and 14, but every girl is different. We all grow and change at different rates, and there's nothing you can do to make it happen sooner or later. Your body will change when it's ready.
Your breasts may grow quickly or slowly. You might have your first period, then not have another one for months. There's no such thing as "normal", so don't panic if your experience is different from other girls.
If you feel confused, you're not the only person. Try talking to someone you trust, such as your mum, dad, sister, friends, or a teacher.
What will happen to my body at puberty?
During puberty, it's normal to experience the following changes:
You'll get taller, and this might happen quite quickly.
Breasts and hips get bigger
Your breasts and hips get bigger. You might feel itchy or uncomfortable when this happens. This is normal.
Hair grows on your body
Hair grows under your arms and around your vagina. Some girls develop hair on other parts of their body, such as their top lip. This is normal.
Vaginal discharge begins
You may notice your vagina produces vaginal discharge (fluid). This is normal. It's your vagina's way of keeping clean and healthy. The discharge should be colourless or white, and shouldn't smell. If it looks green or yellow and smells, see a doctor as you might have an infection.
Spots and sweat appear
Hormones can make you sweaty or spotty, but as long as you have good personal hygiene, you can still look and feel healthy. Find out about acne.
Feelings go up and down
You might have mood swings and feel emotional, but your feelings will settle down eventually.
Find out more about girls' bodies, including breast size, dealing with periods, pregnancy and sex.
Page last reviewed: 2 August 2018
Next review due: 2 August 2021