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To Sam

Scared about starting puberty

Hi Sam,
My name is BR and everyone in my class has big breast and I have small ones. I'm 12 and I think I might start my period any time soon, are there any signs. If I do start my period, I'm scared to start my period because of blood and the aches. Also if I need to go toilet when I'm on my period at school and my teacher doesn't let me (and my teachers a man) what should I do. Also I feel embarassed talking about this to my parents and friends, so I don't know who to talk to about this.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message.

Lots of girls worry about going through puberty. You might suddenly feel very aware of what everyone else’s body looks like and try to compare it to your own body. It's important to remember that everyone’s body is different and people go through puberty at different times.

Having your breasts grow is one of the more noticeable changes girls go through. This means if it’s not happening as fast as others around you then you might start to feel like there’s something wrong – but there’s not. It can take up to 5 or 6 years for breasts to grow. So you may be nearly an adult before your breasts reach their final size. When they do finish growing, don’t worry if they’re not like a supermodel’s breasts. The kind of breasts you see on models and celebrities aren’t like the breasts most women have, so try not to compare yourself to them.

Periods are usually the most worrying thing for a girl going through puberty. Periods might sound scary but they are completely natural and a normal part of life for women. It’s difficult to say how or when your period will start because everyone is different. The best thing to do is be prepared. If you have started puberty then you could get into the habit of carrying around a spare tampon or sanitary towel, so that if you need it you have one ready to go. If you find yourself stuck without one then you could ask a female teacher or school nurse – they should be able to help you out.

You sound most worried about what it will be like for you to actually have a period – whether it will hurt or how much blood there will be. This is something that you can’t really know until it happens – but what you could do is talk to people about how they manage their periods. You said that you feel embarrassed about talking to friends or family. How about giving our message boards a try? Nobody will know who you are and we have a forum specifically about puberty for girls.

If you want some more information, our page about puberty is going to be useful as well as the Brook website. The ChildLine counsellors would be happy to talk to you about this too, so get in touch if you want to chat more about it.

Take care,

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