Okay, now this is a very funny word but what’s puberty anyway? Well, puberty is a phase, which both girls and boys go through in their lives. It is the time when your body starts to develop & change. To put it in simple words, you are turning from a kid to an adult. Both boys and girls undergo puberty. However, in this article, I am going to explain when do girls hit puberty, signs of puberty in girls and lots more. Read on.
When Do Girls Hit Puberty?
Know that everyone goes through hormonal changes. No matter where you reside, whether you are a girl or a boy, you are sure to experience them. Puberty is the nature’s way of changing a kid into adult. Even though both boys and girls undergo puberty, girls experience puberty & sexual maturity way earlier than boys. I am not focusing on boys here. Since the question is on when do girls start puberty, I will stick to it. Here is the answer.
In girls, puberty begins between the age 8 & 13. Now, this wide age range explains why few of your friends look like kids while others look like adults.
I hope I have answered your question what age do girls start puberty. This isn’t the end of this article. There are still few other things you need to know.
What Happens When A Girl Hits Puberty?
When your body is all set to start puberty, the pituitary gland (pea-shaped gland at the brain’s bottom) releases some special hormones. Based on your gender, these hormones work differently. These special hormones in girls target 2 ovaries, which hold eggs. The special hormones cause ovaries to begin making a hormone known as estrogen. All together, they prepare a female’s body. This is exactly the stage when a girl’s body initiates periods & be able to get pregnant someday. As a girl, you will notice that you get hairs under your arms & on pubic area. Initially, these hairs look thin and light but as time passes, these hairs become curlier, heavier, darker and thicker. Let me explain the other puberty signs in detail below.
10 Important Signs Of Puberty In Girls
Since that you have known when does puberty start for girls, it is equally important to learn the different changes a girl goes through. A time comes when one morning you look into the mirror and observe that you are rounder and taller. You feel as if your breasts are larger. You clearly remember that you weren’t like this few weeks back. In the upcoming weeks, you will see that you get hairs in places you have never had before. You will also hear few of your girlies getting periods and wonder when that will happen to you. You feel super sensitive and confident in just one-day maybe. So, what’s all this and why is it happening all of a sudden? Well, welcome to “puberty”. Here are signs, which tell you that you are experiencing it.
1. Increased Height As Well As Weight
Beginning at age 9, a girl begins to gain 17% – 18% of adult height. And if you have heard someone telling you that you’re “all hands & feet”, well, it is completely true! Most girls will grow fastest, which is about 6 months prior starting their 1st period (or menarche). So the basic sign you will see during puberty is – weight gain. There will be fat on upper arms, upper back and thighs. Also your hips grow wider and rounder. Your waist becomes narrower. But if you are putting on weight faster, you require increasing your workouts & substitute healthy foods with junks.
2. Breasts Get Bigger
Breast development is a very significant sign when a girl hits puberty. In fact, it is the earliest sign a girl goes through. In few girls, this happens before age nine. But let me also tell you that few girls develop their breasts well earlier while others late & some remain flat-chested in their entire lives. Now, this all comes down to your “genetics”. Initially, you will have firm, tender and small lumps (known as buds) under 1 or both the nipples. In the next 2 years, you will see that your breasts are getting larger & less hard in texture. Now, if you are someone, who is self-conscious, feeling uncomfortable or experiencing pain — you may start wearing “training bra” (a soft quality bra without real support). Just talk to you elder sister or your mom about getting a nice training bra because they will assist you in getting the right and comfortable ones.
3. Increased Hair Growth
A very vital sign of puberty is “hair growth” under the arms and on genitals. Though for girls, larger breasts is the primary puberty sign but few may first observe pubic hair. There will be increased hair growth on arms, legs, armpits, in & around pubic area. Obviously, you are going to feel uneasy to have so many hairs there. Shave your underarms, legs and vaginal hairs. Ask another woman or your mom about the right razor to buy.
4. Your Very First Period
Soon after a girl develops breasts, she will have her first menstrual period and this happens between the age 11 & 14. However, it can be early or late for few. During menstrual period, you will see 2 – 3 days of heavy bleeding followed by lighter flow on the 4th and 5th day. This happens to every girl. So, don’t hesitate to talk about it to your elder sister or mom. During periods, you have to wear a tampon or sanitary napkin. Since it is your first time, your mom will know which napkins are best. So, seek her advice. If you are going to school, make sure to have extra pads in your bag or school locker.
5. Mood Swings
There will be hormone surges during puberty and which is exactly why girls feel moodiness, especially before their period starts. This is often known as “PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)”, which often causes anxiety, fluid retention, difficulty while sleeping, dietary cravings and irritability. However, once the period begins, PMS symptoms disappear. To make yourself feel better, it is good to exercise.
6. Body Sweat
When a girl hits puberty, sweat glands become larger & more active. Thereby, causing her to sweat even more. This might happen before the breasts develop. And once sweat glands get more active, you will want to wear a deodorant / antiperspirant.
7. Your Genital Develops
Your private area or genitals grow & change when you hit puberty. The outer part (vulva) is enclosed by 2 sets of soft “lips”. Larger lips have hairs while the smaller and inner lips don’t. Now, during puberty these increase in size too (only a little). And inside the body, your vagina gets longer while the uterus gets bigger.
8. Discharge Occurs
I am sure you must have noticed that fluid in your undergarment some day. This discharge is either white cloudy or clear fluid. Your body produces this to cleanse and moisten the vagina. Prior the periods begin, you will probably observe white or yellow stains on your underwear. Don’t worry because this is perfectly normal and natural to happen. In fact, it is a sign that your menstruation will begin within 6 – 18 months. Occasionally, vaginal discharge might be clumpy, white, milky or thick. If this is the case, you may have yeast infection. Discuss with your parents about it.
When a girl hits puberty, her body becomes very sensitive to testosterone (a hormone present both in boys & in girls). Testosterone causes smaller glands of your skin to generate excess oil (or sebum). This is when a girl develops acne and spots (whiteheads & blackheads). Hormonal changes alter the skin’s acid levels. Thereby, encouraging bacteria to grow. When bacteria infects, deeper infection may occur – like nodule or spot (pustule). Mild to reasonable acne can be treated with the help of antibacterial creams. However, in severe cases, a GP might suggest antibiotic tablets. If you are getting acne, make sure to treat them early because if left untreated, it becomes severe.
10. Psychological And Behavioral Changes
Believe it or not, puberty is often difficult. You are forced to deal with your body changes & possible side effects like body odor as well as acne. It is a time when you feel self-conscious and the way you look. But to be honest, puberty is equally exciting because you develop fresh emotions & feelings. Nevertheless, this “emotional roller coaster” in puberty can have some emotional and psychological effects like:
- Strange mood swings
- Low self-esteem
These are very normal during puberty. However, if they are having serious impacts on your life, consider talking to someone who is close. Perhaps, a friend / relative.
Each girl develops in a different way & at her own speed. Therefore, don’t feel discouraged to see that your friends look much matured and you still like a kid in your class. It is totally OKAY! No matter in which order these above listed changes happen, know that you are on the way to become a woman — which is a very awesome thing!
5 Stages Of Puberty In Girls – Learn When & How This Amazing Transition Happens
The above-mentioned physical changes occurring in puberty is usually marked with different stages of development. And these are called “Tanner Stages”, which is named after the professor — James Tanner. Since these Tanner stages are listed for an average girl, there can be important variations among children & teenagers. So, do not worry if you reach puberty before / after your friends do.
Tanner Stage 1:
This stage is often called pre-pubertal. This period is not associated with particular ages. Hence, there are no major physical changes happening in girls at this time.
Tanner Stage 2:
This usually happens when a girl is 11 years old. This is exactly the time when breast buds form, which are often tender in the early stages (don’t be worried because this is very normal). A breast bud might also begin to develop before the other (again, this is perfectly normal too). The areola (skin part that surrounds nipples) start to swell. Also, pubic hairs develop along labia (lips at the vagina’s entrance). Womb becomes bigger and a girl grows taller by about 7 to 8 cm within a year.
Tanner Stage 3:
This usually happens when a girl is 12 years old. Tissues under the areola continue to grow & spread to give fullness to breasts. This is exactly the time when a girl wears her first bra. Down there, pubic hairs become coarser and curlier. Underarm hairs grow too. A girl might also develop acne on her back and face at this stage. Also, a girl grows taller by 8cm within a year (reported to be the highest).
Tanner Stage 4:
This usually happens when a girl is 13 years old. Here, breasts gradually develop and take an adult shape. Areola and nipples swell to produce secondary mound, which will disappear once rest of the breast is entirely grown. Public hairs appear more like an adult’s. This is exactly the phase when a girl undergoes puberty. So, if I had to answer the question when do girls hit puberty, this is the stage. In this period, a girl experiences her first menses, followed by regular ones within 6 to 12 months after the first one (about 10% girls begin their periods in stage 5). Growth rate slows down and growing taller drops to 7cm a year.
Tanner Stage 5:
This usually happens when a girl is 14 years old. Breasts take an adult-like shape and pubic hairs spread to inner thighs. This is the time when genitals or private region should have completely developed. You stop growing. By now, you reach an adult height. But not completely yet. You will still have another 5cm to 7.5cm of growth to go.
I hope this article on when do girls hit puberty has given you complete information you have been searching for. If you have anything to express or want other readers to know, feel free to drop them in the comments section.