Ah, puberty. It’s a completely natural, ordinary process that happens to billions of people at the same time. But it’s a big deal at the same time! You may be already through puberty or waiting impatiently for it to begin. But anyway, you probably want to think a little bit about what’s to come.
We don’t blame you! A lot happens physically and emotionally during puberty.
Today we are going to talk about what to expect during puberty. (Today we’ll focus on puberty in people with a uterus, which happens a little earlier than in people with testicles and penis.)
What is puberty?
Puberty is a four year process during which your body changes from its youthful (child) form to a sexually mature (adult) form. This is the very scientific way that caterpillars turn into butterflies. The thing about humans, however, is that reaching sexual maturity is not necessarily mature enough to have sex.
It just means being biologically able to have sex that leads to procreation. This transition from child to adult is not immediate. Even starting your period doesn’t necessarily mean your body is in the best shape to have babies.
The process takes a few years, as we mentioned earlier, and unfair as it may seem, it’s different for everyone. Most people start puberty at 11 a.m., but some start it younger and some later. And these changes can feel quite uncomfortable and annoying at times.
While you may be so jealous that your beast is already wearing a bra, you may hate that you’re trying to figure out how to stealthily sneak their historical products into the bathroom in grade school.
By age 16, you will likely end your big changes in puberty, and many of those fears will be half forgotten by the time you graduate from high school.
But only because it doesn’t matter when you graduate! could sound comforting, it doesn’t help you right now! So we’re going to let you know the order in which you are likely to notice the changes in puberty.
The first signs of puberty
The first change at puberty that you will notice is your chest. Most puberty guides discuss “breast buds,” which can be a bit confusing.
This means there will be a slight swelling under your nipple and you may feel itchy or painful as the skin stretches. This is when many people start wearing a workout or sports bra as it can help alleviate some of this discomfort. It can also provide more support when you exercise or exercise, and save you from obvious nipple embarrassment when wearing tight or light colored shirts.
however– –Whether or not to wear a bra is a personal choice. Do what is convenient for you!
From then on, the next changes will take place in rough this order, but it’s different for everyone!
They will keep growing and getting fuller. Their size and shape (yes, they come in different shapes!) Depends on genetics. Your nipple can change in size and color, and it is also normal for one breast to develop a little faster than the other.
You will start to notice hair under your arms and beyond your pubic mound. You will also start to grow thicker and / or darker hair on your legs and sometimes your upper lip. This is all normal and, in turn, very well shaped by your genetics. Consult with your family members to get an idea of what you’re in for!
Body size & shape
You will see a serious growth spurt for about a year! They could grow 2-3 inches a year for a year or two. After that, it slows back down to an inch or two a year. This rapid growth is a major nuisance when shopping for clothes, and you can feel a little uncomfortable if you suddenly tower over everyone.
You may notice “increasing pain” in the morning or in the evening, which is a kind of sore muscles. Massage and stretching can help!
You may also notice that your hips, thighs, and buttocks get bigger. It can all feel a little uncomfortable when your body starts to transform itself into a new shape. (We’d be lying if we said we didn’t hit our hips in a couple of tables and doors during puberty.) But everything will settle down soon!
Unfortunately, you will notice pimples on your face and neck, and sometimes your shoulders and back as well. You will also find yourself sweating more. Now is a good time to change some of your hygiene habits as your body produces MUCH more oil and sweat.
Look for dermatological advice for teens as your skin’s needs are slightly different than people’s in other parts of their life. Unfortunately, you may want to hide your face behind your hair and oversized hoodies, but that doesn’t help.
Worse, ignoring your acne can cause permanent scars. But proper cleansing and moisturizing routine can help, as can certain medications.
Uterus & genitals
Although you can’t see it, your uterus is growing! You will start to notice about two years after puberty starts Vaginal discharge in your underwear. Also, Your first period will be on the way. We have a blog section that goes over everything you need to know begin to menstruateTake your time, read a lot, and ask your parents lots of questions!
Last stage of puberty
Most people start their puberty around the age of 15. However, this can vary! If you haven’t noticed any Of the changes we mentioned by the age of 15, you might want to talk to your parents about them. They are probably tracking your size and development.
It is possible that both of your parents were late bloomers themselves! But it can also be worth a visit to the doctor to check that everything is okay.
If you’ve ticked the boxes for puberty so far, the final stage of puberty looks like this:
Your breasts have more or less reached their adult size and shape – although they can develop and change by the age of 18. You will also change a little over the course of your adult life as you gain weight or lose weight as you continue hormonal contraceptionor if you become pregnant.
You may have thought you were done with it, but no! During late puberty, your pubic hair can reach your inner thighs. But this can also vary from person to person!
Body size & shape
You will have reached full adult height about a year or two after your first period. So relax You finally know your jeans length. (Until the style changes again, of course.)
Your hips, thighs, and butt will keep filling up in shape, so we may have talked about the jeans thing too soon!
Unfortunately, your acne problems may only be over in your early 20s. As mentioned earlier, certain medications (including hormonal birth control) can help your skin problems. Speak to your doctor for a referral and do your best not to choose!
Uterus & genitals
Your reproductive organs and genitals are fully developed, and your period becomes regular between six months and two years after your first one. You may not yet be mentally or emotionally ready for sexual activity, but it is important that you know about sexual protection.
That means protection against pregnancy and Sexually transmitted infectionsyou can get from things like blowjobs and fingerings, as well as “full” sex. Even if you turn it off, there is a risk of herpes being transmitted. Don’t worry, just be informed – resources like Scarleteen are a great place to do research!
Mental and Emotional Changes That You Can Expect During Puberty
It can feel like your body is going through a revolution during puberty. No wonder your mind and moods can feel anywhere! It’s really a mixture of your response to these big body changes (and social changes in your life) plus the flood of new hormones in your body.
Your brain is a part of the body (one that only develops in your early twenties), so don’t overlook the changes it’s going through. People talk lightly about “hormonal teenagers,” but there’s a lot more to it than that. Some of the emotional changes that you may notice worse during puberty include:
- Feeling very sensitive, like the whole world is against you, or little things can make you cry.
- Feel insanely happy one minute and angry the next – for a reason that doesn’t feel good!
- You feel insecure who you are or who you want to be. You might want to try new things to see what you can do. This includes taking greater risks than before or being more afraid to take risks.
- Feel aware of your body when it changes.
- Romantic and / or sexual interest in other people. This may mean you have a crush on someone you have known since kindergarten, or you may find yourself unaware of sexual situations in books, on TV, or in movies.
Some degree of emotional change is normal during puberty. And it’s always changing! It feels like every year you look back at things that used to be so great and wonder what you were thinking. However, during puberty, many people also experience more serious depression or anxiety.
It can be really embarrassing or silly to talk to your family or friends about it sometimes. But the practice of talking about minor things makes it a lot easier to talk about when something serious is wrong!
Is puberty the end of the big changes in your body?
By the time you finish high school you will feel like the big changes in your body are behind you. But your body will still have some tricks up its sleeve waiting for you! Fortunately, you will feel a little less unprepared for changes. And a little less alone after seeing everyone you know!