Puberty in girls

When do periods start?

Generally during Stage 3.  At this time, you should encourage her to have pads or tampons on hand for when her period starts. Sometimes periods start at school, so having a few supplies in her backpack is a good idea. Usually the school nurse has supplies as well.

What’s better, pads or tampons?

Most young girls prefer pads, but they aren’t the only option. Pads come in many sizes from very thin to very thick. Allowing your daughter to try several different sizes will help her determine which is most comfortable. Tampons come in a variety of sizes as well. Your daughter will need instruction on how to apply a tampon the first time. Make sure you emphasize the need to change the tampon at least every 4-6 hours. Pads should be changed at least every 4 hours as well, which helps prevent spilling of blood into the underwear or pants, but also helps to prevent odor as well. Your daughter should take a bath or shower every day when she’s on her period; emphasis on good hygiene is essential to make her feel as comfortable as possible during menstruation.

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What other changes can happen during puberty?

Normal, but sometimes bothersome or embarrassing, changes include:

  • Pimples (acne) – To help prevent pimples, your child can wash his or her face twice a day with a gentle non-soap facial skin cleanser. You can also ask your child’s doctor or nurse for advice on how to treat pimples.

  • Sweating under the armpits and body odor – Puberty is the time that most children start using an antiperspirant or deodorant.

  • Eyesight changes – Children who wear glasses usually start needing them during puberty.

  • Mood changes or mood swings

 What about becoming sexually active?

During puberty, many teens start having sexual feelings and might start having sex. But even though their bodies look grown up, their decision-making is not. Because of this, many teens don’t use protection. This can lead to pregnancy or getting an infection from sex.

 Talk to your teen about sex and sexual feelings.If you’re having trouble with the conversation, let us know.

What changes happen in girls, and when?

 There are 5 stages of normal puberty in girls: