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How does my body change during puberty?

All girls go through changes in their bodies, but the changes happen differently for each girl. So do not worry if your body does not look exactly like your sister’s or friend’s.

Growing
Your first change will probably be that you grow fast. You may be taller than all of the boys your age for a while. You will usually stop growing 1 to 3 years after your monthly bleeding starts.

Body changes
Besides growing fast, your body will begin to change. There are natural chemicals in the body called hormones that tell your body to grow and that make these changes happen.
Inside your body
There are other changes that you cannot see. The womb (uterus), tubes, ovaries, and vagina grow and change position.

What you feel
As you go through these changes you become more aware of your body. You may also become more interested in boys, and in your friends. There may be times when your feelings are hard to control. In the days before monthly bleeding, it is even more common to have strong feelings of all kinds - joy, anger, and worry, for example.

Monthly bleeding (period, menstruation)
Monthly bleeding is a sign that your body can become pregnant. No girl can know exactly when she will get her first monthly bleeding. It usually happens after her breasts and the hair on her body start to grow. Several months before her first monthly bleeding, she may notice some wetness coming from the vagina. It may stain her underclothes. This is normal.

Some girls are happy when they have their first monthly bleeding, especially if they know what to expect. Girls who were never told about it often worry when the bleeding starts. It is something that happens to all women, and you can feel accepting and even proud of it. Do not let anyone make you think it is something dirty or shameful.