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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.
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.
During puberty, it's normal to experience the following changes:
You'll get taller, and this might happen quite quickly.
Your breasts and hips get bigger. You might feel itchy or uncomfortable when this happens. This is normal.
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.
Your periods will start at some point during puberty. You might get period pains before or during your period. Find out more about periods.
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.
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.
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.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.