How To Tell Your Mom You Started Your Period!!!
How to Tell if You Have Started Puberty (for Girls)
Puberty can be an exciting and terrifying time for any girl! Your body is developing, you’re starting your period, and your mood is probably swinging all over the place. You may not be sure if you’ve really started puberty, especially because it usually begins long before you actually notice it. You can tell if you’re starting puberty when you’re a girl by looking for signs on your body and noticing your changing behaviors and emotions.
Looking for Signs on Your Body
Check for general growth.Have you noticed that you need new clothes, shoes, or other items all of a sudden? When you hit puberty you may gain weight and grow taller. Noticing this type of general growth can cue you to look for more specific signs of puberty.
Recognize body odor.When you go through puberty, your hormones are in overdrive and your sweat glands start becoming more active. Your sweat will start to mix with bacteria, which will cause body odor. Luckily, there are many things you can do to get rid of this unpleasant odor, including:
- Take a shower or bath every day. Scrub your body from top to bottom using warm water and a mild soap.
- Use deodorant or antiperspirant on your underarms every day. Deodorant covers up the unpleasant odor and antiperspirant keeps you from sweating a lot.
- Wear 100% cotton underwear to ensure fresh breathability.
Feel your chest for breast buds.Look at the area around your nipples on your chest. Gently press on this spot with your fingers for small, firm, and tender lumps. If you feel a nickel-sized bump on each side, you’re probably starting to develop breasts
- Most girls start developing breast buds when they’re 9 or 10.
- Don’t worry about checking your breasts by hand. It’s completely normal to explore your body as you develop.
- One bud might develop more quickly than the other as your chest gets bigger.
Check in your underwear for pubic hair.Look at or feel your pubic area, which is around your vagina, with fingers for little hairs. They may be soft and straight or thick, coarse, and curly. Having pubic hair is a sign you’ve started or are about to begin puberty.
- It’s completely normal to examine your vagina or labia for pubic hair.
Stand in front of the mirror to check your shape.In addition to feeling breast buds and seeing pubic hair, you may notice your shape changing. Think about if you’ve noticed your clothes fitting differently, for example. Looking for regular changes to your shape in the mirror can also tell you if you’re starting puberty.Other parts of your body that may get rounder or slightly bigger include:
Wait a year or two for armpit and leg hair.Gently touch under your arms and look at yourself in a mirror to see if you have any hair in your armpits. Also take a close look at your legs. Your leg hair may be getting darker, thicker, and more noticeable. Check for hair in these areas about a year or two after you see pubic hair.
- Armpit and leg hair grow in a pattern similar to pubic hair: it may be sparse and soft at first and then become thicker, darker, and more coarse.
Check for vaginal discharge.Look in your underwear for signs of vaginal discharge a year or two after you get breast buds. You may even feel it in your underwear or between your legs. The discharge might be thin and watery, thick like mucus, or white or off white in color.Having discharge is completely common and normal and a good way to tell you’re going through puberty.
- Let a doctor or trusted person know if your vaginal discharge is not white or off white and smells unusual. This may be a sign of an infection.
Check for genital development.During puberty, your vaginal labia, or "lips", grow slightly largerand may also become darker in color..
- During puberty, your inner labia, or labia minora, will become more prominent.
- You can't see it, but inside your body, your vagina will grow longer and your uterus will become bigger.
Get your first period.Expect your period to start within six months to a year of noticing vaginal discharge.Check for any signs of blood in your underwear or in your vaginal discharge. This can mean that you’re going through puberty and about to have your first period. For many girls, this is often the most exciting and scary part of puberty.
- It’s common for your period to be irregular after you first menstruate.
- You may experience bloating around the time you get your period. When this happens, you’ll feel that your belly is more full or swollen than normal.
- You may have some cramps, backaches, or headaches before and during your period.
Inspect your skin for changes.See if you notice more oil, pimples, or irritation on your skin. As your body changes, so does your skin. Breakouts and oily skin on your face, neck, chest and/or back may also indicate that you’re going through puberty.
- Wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser to get rid of excess oil and keep breakouts at bay.
- Ask your doctor for advice or a prescription medication if your breakouts are severe. It’s completely common to have acne during puberty, but because it’s often an emotional time, breakouts may make problems or feelings worse.
Feeling Different and New Emotions
Keep a journal of your emotions.Write your feelings down every day or whenever you need a little consolation. Hormones gush through your body during puberty and these can change make your emotions. Read through your journal once a week to see if you notice a lot of ups and downs. Changing emotions can help you tell if you are going through puberty.Some emotions you might notice are:
- Feeling uncomfortable with your body’s changes.
- Being sensitive to things people say or do.
- Having intense emotions such as being very jealous of someone when you didn’t care about them before.
- Having less confidence.
- Feeling anxious or even depressed.
- Being more irritable or angry for no reason.
Pay attention to how you think.When you do homework or deal with different situations, notice if you think about or handle them in different ways. These new thought patterns can be a sign you’re starting puberty. Watch for these different types of changes to how you think:
- Understanding harder subjects or responsibilities, such what happens when you don’t do your chores or homework.
- Making more of your own choices, such as knowing when you should stand up for what is right and wrong.
- Knowing what you like and don’t like.
See if you are becoming more distant from your parents.You may have trouble communicating with your parents. Also, you may feel more withdrawn or embarrassed by your parents. Boys also experience similar problems with parents.
Experience curiosity about your body.Wanting to look at and touch your body is a normal part of growing up and going through puberty. You may even be more curious about sex and sexuality as you develop. Explore your body and enjoy masturbation if you want. Both are very normal, common, and nothing about which to be ashamed. They’re also a good way to tell you’re going through puberty.
- Masturbation and touching your own body are completely normal. Neither will make you hair grow on your hands, cause you to go blind or develop emotional problems. It won’t make you unable to have kids, either.
- Ask a trusted person about your interest in your body and masturbation. Don’t be embarrassed, they may have gone through or are experiencing the same feelings!
Welcome feelings of attraction to others.Romantic or sexual feelings are another normal part of being an adult. Notice if you start to have feelings for other people—boys or girls— when you notice other signs of puberty. This can help you further tell if you’re going through puberty.
- Talk to friends, family, or a medical professional if you have questions about attraction, dating, kissing, and sex.
QuestionI have gotten my period and my breasts are growing. Does that mean I'm going through puberty?
Doctor of MedicineDoctor of MedicineExpert AnswerYes, once you start your period you are definitely in puberty. Early signs include mood swings, body hair growth, and other changes, but these all lead up to getting your period.Thanks!
QuestionI feel like I've hit puberty but I can't tell for sure. I'm getting pubic hair and I've started feeling uncomfortable around men and boys. Is this usual?
Doctor of MedicineDoctor of MedicineExpert AnswerYes, you have several signs of puberty. Don't worry, all of these things are very normal to be going through and dealing with.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend is growing boobs and having dreams about blood and boys. Did she hit puberty?
Doctor of MedicineDoctor of MedicineExpert AnswerYes, it sounds like there's a good chance that your friend has started to go through puberty. These are all signs of puberty.Thanks!
QuestionDoes the time you start your period depend on your genes/DNA? Specifically, will I start my period for the first time when I'm as old as my mom was when she started?
Doctor of MedicineDoctor of MedicineExpert AnswerWhen you go through puberty and start your period is often similar to your mother or sisters. There seems to be some genetic part. However, it doesn't always match. Also, girls that are overweight often go through puberty sooner. And if you have very poor nutrition or are very underweight, you will likely be delayed. Other medical problems can affect when you go through puberty.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 11 and I have breast pain. what can I do to get rid of this pain?
Doctor of MedicineDoctor of MedicineExpert AnswerTo get rid of your breast pain, talk to your parents about trying a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. Also, a warm compress may help the pain get better. Have your parents take you to your doctor if the pain gets bad or doesn't get better, or if you notice other things like discharge, blood, or redness of the area.Thanks!
QuestionWhy am I getting something white in my underwear if I haven't started puberty?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis discharge means you will get your period soon, usually within 6–12 months.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you can't tell if it is blood or not?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou'll be able to tell, but you could wear light coloured underwear to make it easier to see.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 13 and I'm worried that I won't start puberty.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't worry, it should happen soon. Many girls don't start puberty until 14. If you show no signs of puberty by the time you turn 15, see a doctor.Thanks!
QuestionI'm in puberty but I haven't had my period yet. Are you allowed to have sex before your period?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost people are not ready for sex before they've started their period. Also be aware of the laws in your region. For example, it is illegal in the UK to have sex before you are sixteen.Thanks!
- Remember that every girl goes through puberty and that this normal process is nothing to be embarrassed about. It can happen anytime between the ages of 9 and 16 for girls, so don’t worry if you start earlier or later.
- Talk to a trusted adult or doctor if you have any questions about puberty.
- See a doctor or ask a nurse if you notice anything that makes you unsure or uncomfortable. For example, discharge that itches or smells could be a minor vaginal infection.
- It's okay to talk to someone about your pain and feelings. Don't be afraid to talk.
- Let your mom/parent know about your period right away even if you are embarrassed. It may be more stressful for you if you wait to tell. You will have their help and support with obtaining needed products.
- If you’re not sure when you want a bra, ask your mum or older sister to let you try on some of her old bras and that may help you decide.
- Don't be embarrassed if you start too early or late. Everyone grows at their own rate.
Sources and Citations
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of How to Tell if You Have Started Puberty (for Girls) was reviewed by on August 18, 2019.
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