3 things to bear in mind:
- you'll notice changes to your body and how you feel during puberty
- it can be embarrassing talking about it, but talking to an adult can help
- you can also ask others on the message boards.
Puberty is a normal part of growing up, and it can affect you in different ways. It can be scary not knowing what to expect, especially when people might say different things about what happens during puberty. Find out the top 8 facts about puberty.
3 things to bear in mind:
Fact: Puberty can start at different ages - usually between 8 and 13 if you’re a girl and 9 and 14 if you’re a boy. Everyone starts puberty at different times. It’s completely normal to start before or after your friends. It’s okay to talk to your doctor or an adult you trust if you’re worried about puberty starting earlier or later.
You'll go through lots of changes during puberty and some changes are more noticeable than others. It can take up to 4 years for all the changes to happen but sometimes it’s quicker.
Fact: It’s normal to get spots and blackheads during puberty and you might have acne. Spots and acne are caused by your hormones, not by being dirty or not washing. Your hormones might make you sweat more too.
Fact: One of the first things you might notice during puberty is that your body shape starts to change.
Girls will start to develop breasts and your hips will grow rounder. It’s normal to put on some weight and to grow a bit taller during puberty
Boys will go through a growth spurt and become taller during puberty as well as becoming more muscular.
You might have food cravings as your body adapts to all the changes. Girls often put on a little weight and feel uncomfortable and bloated few days before your period.
Fact: Mood swings are a normal part of puberty. You might feel like you can’t control your feelings, like feeling happy or positive one minute and irritable, grumpy or tearful the next.
Fact: Having a crush on someone can be a normal part of puberty and growing up. It’s when you feel strongly attracted to someone and you might think about them a lot and imagine being together or having a relationship with them.
Fact: Both girls and boys masturbate and it's completely natural.
Masturbation is when you touch your body and your genitals because it feels good or pleasurable. You can make yourself orgasm or 'come' by doing this. It's a way of discovering your body, how it makes you feel and what kind of things make you feel good during sex. It's a normal part of life. It’s ok to masturbate in private if you want to and it’s not something to be ashamed of.
Fact: Comparing yourself to your friends is normal sometimes but puberty is an individual journey and your body will develop at its own pace.
You might feel unsure, confused or insecure when so many changes happen at the same time. It can help to talk to your friends about their experiences as you go through puberty together.
Fact: Most people grow pubic and body hair and some people grow more hair than others.
You can decide whether to remove your pubic or body hair. It’s up to you what feels right for you and no one should pressure you to either remove it or to leave it.
Finding someone to talk to can help when you have a question or a worry about puberty. It can be difficult and you might feel embarrassed but finding someone who’ll listen and explain things can help you to feel more confident and supported.
Think about someone you trust who listened and gave you helpful advice in the past. It’s all about who you feel comfortable with and that might be your aunt or uncle, cousin, older sibling, parent, carer, teacher, coach, school nurse or a counsellor at Childline.
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