Puberty causes many physical and emotional changes for every girl’s body.
Puberty can be an exciting and terrifying time for any girl! Your body is developing, you’re starting your period, and your mood is probably swinging all over the place. You may not be sure if you’ve really started puberty, especially because it usually begins long before you actually notice it.
You can tell if you’re starting puberty when you’re a girl by looking for signs on your body and noticing your changing behaviors and emotions. Changing emotions can help you tell if you are going through puberty. Some emotions you might notice are: Feeling uncomfortable with your body’s changes, Being sensitive to things people say or do, Having intense emotions such as being very jealous of someone when you didn’t care about them before, Having less confidence, Feeling anxious or even depressed, Being more irritable or angry for no reason.
Check out these signs that you’re going through puberty:
1. You’re Just Growing In General
The growth of your own body can be hard to monitor. You look at yourself in the mirror every day, which means that it’s pretty difficult to tell exactly what the differences are day-to-day. But if your relatives keep commenting on how tall you’ve gotten since the last time they saw you (like, even more than they usually do), clothes that fit you a month ago don’t fit so great now, and you suddenly aren’t the shortest kid in your class anymore, you’re probably experiencing a growth spurt, which is a good sign that puberty has started.
2. You’ve Got Hair In Weird Places
One sure sign of puberty is that you’re getting hairy in places where you definitely were not hairy before. Usually, this starts around your pubic area, which might extend to your upper and inner thighs, too. Then, about two months after this growth, your armpits and legs will start growing hair too.
3. Your Skin Is Breaking Out
With puberty comes hormones, and hormones can do some crazy things. That includes making your skin breakout. If your once-clear complexion has been taken over by zits or blackheads, it’s likely a sign of puberty. I know that pimples are super annoying and you probably feel awkward about having them, but remember that so many people have them, including those who aren’t even going through puberty.
4. You Start Sweating More
With puberty usually comes sweat. Or is it vice versa? Either way, you’ll start to find that you’re producing a lot more sweat–and, more importantly, body odor. This isn’t a big deal, though–just make sure that you’re showering regularly and using deodorant.
5. Especially Your Boobs
Part of growing in puberty involves developing ~curves~ of some sort. Your pelvis will grow, making your hips wider and waist smaller (you might also gain some weight). At the same time, your boobs will start to grow, but not all at once. Instead, you’ll start to develop “breast buds,” which are little swellings under your nipples. Over the next two years or so, these buds will develop into breasts–which, by the way, isn’t always a totally smooth transition. Your chest might feel a little sore and one breast might grow faster than the other. This is totally normal!
6. Your Vagina Looks Different
A big part of puberty is the development of your sexual organs. In addition to the hair growth down there, your clitoris–a little bundle of nerves that’s right on the entrance to the vagina–will start to grow and become more visible. You’ll also notice that your labia (the fleshy bits on the outside of your vagina) will start to become more pronounced.
7. You’re Breaking Out
In addition to sweat, you might notice an overall sort of greasiness on and around your face and hair. This is because your pores generate more oil during puberty, which might mean that you start to get pimples. To prevent this, you can wash your face with a gentle cleanser with benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid if your acne is particularly hard to deal with.
8. You’re Experiencing Vaginal Discharge
If you’re noticing that, as Amy Schumer says, that when you take your underwear off at the end of the day, it looks like you “blew your nose on it,” don’t worry. It’s just vaginal discharge. This is just natural moisture from your vagina that comes out (either clear or a cloudy off-white) when your vagina cleans itself. It’s nothing that you should be worrying or thinking too much about, but if you’ve started getting discharge but don’t have your period yet, this is a sign that you might get your period soon.
Get your first period.
Expect your period to start within six months of noticing vaginal discharge. Check for any signs of blood in your underwear or in your vaginal discharge. This can mean that you’re going through puberty and about to have your first period. For many girls, this is often the most exciting and scary part of puberty.
9. Your Body Is Changing Shape
Don’t just think about body changes in terms of height. You should also think about other areas. Do your hands and feet seem bigger? Are you constantly growing out of shoes? Or, do you feel like your hips, bum, and thighs look different? It’s not necessarily weight gain, it’s that the proportions of your body are changing thanks to puberty.