Your period will arrive when your body is ready for it and you are usually aged between 10 and 16. WUKA experts discuss all things puberty for girls.
Puberty refers to the time where a child’s body begins to change and develop into an adult body. It usually takes pace between the ages of 8-13 for girls, and 9-15 for boys- but we’re all different, and some will start earlier than others. No two experiences will be alike either, but it does help to have an idea of the general symptoms that occur around this time.
What happens during puberty?
When the body is ready to start puberty, a gland in the brain called the pituitary gland begins to release hormones. These hormones trigger changes, and they work differently depending on if you’re a boy or a girl.
For boys, the hormones prompt the production of testosterone, and for girls the hormones target the ovaries- which in turn begin to product oestrogen as the body then begins to prepare for menstruation.
You might be wondering how you can spot the signs of puberty. Again, all girls are different, but there are some main puberty symptoms to look out for.
One of the first sign of puberty is usually breast development, accompanied by an enlargement of the areola- the area around the nipple. Some girls experience tenderness or soreness at this stage, but its usually nothing to be concerned about.
Generally speaking, it takes around 4-5 years for a girl’s breasts to develop fully. And of course, just like with anything else, the size, shape of then, plus the length of time it takes for them to grow can vary from person to person.
Around the same time that breasts begin to develop, many girls will also begin to notice some body hair growing around the pubic area. It’s not likely to be much at first, but it will eventually grow under the arms too.
Any time from around six months to one year before the start of menstruation, many girls experience vaginal discharge. This is completely normal, and all down to changing hormone levels as the body prepares for the first period.
A normal discharge can range from thin and slightly sticky, to thick and almost gooey in texture. There can be a variety of colours too- from clear to white or off-white for most. There can also be a variation in how much discharge is produced; most girls will have more discharge around the time of ovulation.
A normal discharge should also only have a very slight odour, and there shouldn’t be any itching or burning sensation. If you notice any of these symptoms, along with a change in colour from white or clear to brown, grey or green, it could be a sign of infection. Speak to a GP, who can advise what treatment is recommended.
Its a good idea to establish good vaginal hygiene habits early on to avoid irritation or infection. Never use soap- plain water is just fine- and avoid tight, synthetic underwear too. Cotton is best as it allows the vagina to breathe and will help to keep infections at bay.
Increase In Height
Lots of girls also experience an increase in height during puberty, often over-taking boys in their class for a while. This growth often comes in spurts, and can be as much as 3 inches per year. Most girls reach the peak of puberty around the age of 16, and usually the growth spurts end at this time too.
For girls, it can seem as though the body is constantly changing throughout puberty. Along with the growth spurts and breast development, lots of girls experience a widening of the hips too. This is because the pelvis bone broadens out in preparation for pregnancy later in life.
Shop Period Pants
According to the NHS, the average age for girls to start their period is around 12, although some will start earlier and some will start later than this.
You’re likely to have your period for around 40 years in total, so it makes sense to do a little research into the different period products that are out there for you.
Pads and tampons tend to be disposable and less kind to the environment. In contrast, period pants are eco-friendly and easy to use, so a great option for pre-teens and teens. Check out our First Period Starter Kit here.
The WUKA Flex Bikini also have detachable straps for easy changing on the go at school or in cramped places, so you don’t need to undress fully when you need to change them.
We also have a full range of Period Pants School Sets for girls and teens- featuring our best selling Hipster period pants and our Midi Brief too. Each set comes with a wet bag for storing pants while you’re away from home.
What are the 5 stages of puberty?
There are 5 stages of puberty:
- 1- age 8-11: outward signs are invisible, but the body is beginning to produce hormones that will enlarge the ovaries and prepare for periods
- 2- age 8-14: breasts begin to develop and some pubic hair begins to grow
- 3- age 9-15: breasts continue to develop, height increases and more hair grows. Some girls experience vaginal discharge too
- 4- age 10-15: ovulation begins and periods start
- 5- age 12-19: full height is reached and most girls are ovulating and menstruating regularly Breasts are fully developed and hips have widened
In what age is puberty?
The average age that a girl will begin puberty is around 8, although noticeable signs are usually around the age of 10-12. This does vary though as we’re all different and we all experience puberty at different times.
What age is puberty finished?
Most girls will finish puberty around the age of 16- 19, but again this can vary from person to person.
What does puberty do to a girl?
There are several physical and emotional changes that girls experience during puberty. As hormones are released into the body, physical changes take place as breasts develop and the hips widen. Pubic hair grows at this time too, and there are increases in height.
As menstruation starts, hormones are again responsible for emotional changes for girls too, as PMS symptoms begin to develop. Some girls may feel irritable, anxious or low.