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Puberty 101 for Girls

What's Gonna Happen to Your Body, and What's Normal

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Puberty is a time in your life - roughly from ages 9 to 17 - when your body goes through a lot of changes very rapidly. Below are some of the main changes that happen to girls' bodies during puberty.

You'll Get Your Period

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Most girls get their first period between ages 11 and 14, though that's not a fixed rule. Periods are part of what being a woman is all about, because without your period, you can't give birth. They can be inconvenient and annoying, but what's cool is that all women get them, so it's something you'll always have in common with every woman you meet. If you've got questions, check out this list of frequently asked questions about periods.

Your Breasts Will Get Bigger

Once you get your first period, your breasts will usually respond by starting to grow. It's hard to say exactly how large your breasts will get, but they generally don't stop growing till the tail end of your teen years. Whatever size they are, it's important to get the right kind of bra so your breasts are supported and you don't strain your back.

Your Hips Will Get Wider

This is just another step on your way to having an adult female body. Wider hips make it easier for women to give birth...but since you're along way off from that, consider it an excuse to get some new jeans.

You Might Grow Taller Than Some Guys in Your Class

Girls tend to go through puberty before some guys do, which means you might go through a growth spurt before your guy friends have a chance to catch up with you.

You'll Start to Sweat More

And unlike kid sweat, your new sweat comes with a smell. Here's how to cut back on body odor. If you find yourself sweating all the time, even when you're not stressed, hot or exercising, you might have a problem with your sweat glands should talk to a doctor.

You'll Grow Body Hair

During puberty, you'll start to grow hair in your pubic area and under your arms, and the hair on your arms and legs will grow darker and coarser. Everyone has body hair, and if you want to leave it alone, that's totally fine. You also have a couple of options for removing it if you want.

Your Skin Will Get Oilier

During your teen years, your changing hormone levels will lead to oilier skin and breakouts. You can fight the zits by using the right skin products, but if those don't work, you might want to get the advice of a dermatologist.

You'll Get Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is your vagina's way of cleaning itself, and unlike your period, you can get it on any day of your cycle. As long as your discharge is whitish-yellow or clear and has little or no smell, it's no big deal. If your discharge is foul-smelling, painful or greenish-grey, talk to your gynecologist - you might have a vaginal infection.
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