Puberty: Just for girls

This is a very confusing and awkward time for all teenagers. Expect to feel weird. It's normal! There are many changes that occur. Here's what you might expect:

  • Girls typically experience growth spurt around age 11. They will grow larger breasts; get wider hips (in preparation for future childbirth) and a smaller waist.
  • Most girls start menstruation (period) around age 13 (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) or at 106 pounds (specifically), and might notice an irregular and inconsistent vaginal discharge (later becoming regular and consistent).

Menstruation (aka your period)

For girls, their first menstruation, or period, is a sign that they have reached puberty. This is a normal sign that occurs in ALL healthy girls. Menstruation lets you know you have a normal, functioning reproductive system.

Menstruation (or period) is a monthly discharge of blood and tissue from the uterus through the vagina. Usually the first few cycles are irregular, but become regular over time, occurring every 28 days or so. A menstrual period can last from two to seven days and it's typical for one-half to one cup of blood/tissue to be discharged from start to finish.

Some girls get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) right before their menstrual period. Symptoms of PMS include cramps and irritability and are also driven by your hormones.

For hygiene reasons, girls should ALWAYS use tampons or sanitary pads to absorb the blood flow. Tampons (worn internally) should be changed every four hours in order to avoid the risk of a very rare bacterial infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Your period is something you eventually appreciate as a symbol of your womanhood. Again, your period is normal-all women have gone through the same thing!

Puberty means major changes, but again, these many physical and emotional changes are NORMAL! If you want to learn more, you can more about your body and how it works, and also learn how to talk to your parents or a healthcare provider.

Have questions about . . .

something you've heard about sex or STIs?

Can you get an STI from oral sex? Do girls masturbate? Are "blue balls" for real? Can you tell if someone is gay just by looking at them? Separate the myths from the facts.

healthy relationships Relationships

Truly good relationships take time and energy to develop, and should be based on respect and honesty. Learn more about healthy relationships (and taking care of yourself when you're in one).