Planned Parenthood wrote that puberty is when girls' bodies begin changing into women's bodies. Puberty usually starts between ages eight and 13 according to KidsHealth.org.
This wide range in ages explains why some girls look like kids while others look more like adults. WebMD added that girls reach puberty and sexual maturity earlier than boys.
Pubertal changes can’t be predicted. With some girls, they happen gradually. With others, many happen at the same time. Estrogen is one of the hormones triggering these changes says WebMD.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that often the first sign of puberty is breast development which can be small, tender lumps under one or both nipples.
While breast development may be the first pubertal sign in some girls, others might first notice pubic hair. The initial growth of pubic hair produces soft hair in a small area around the genitals said Children’s Hospital Boston.
This hair spreads, becoming darker and coarser. Girls may also grow hair on their legs and under their arms.
WebMD reported that girls begin gaining about 17 to 18 percent of their adult height starting around age nine. Their limbs grow first, then their torso. AAP said that not only do girls get taller, their hips get wider, and their waists get smaller.
Their bodies also begin building up fat in the belly, bottom, and legs. Children’s Hospital Boston went on to report that between the ages of 10-14, girls may gain 15 to 55 pounds and may grow anywhere from 2 to 10 inches.
Soon after breast development, most girls get their first menstrual period. WebMD reported that this usually happens between ages 12 and 13, but menstruation can start earlier or later.
Menstruation is when the body releases an egg from the ovaries said Children’s Hospital Boston. If the egg is fertilized with male’s sperm, a baby starts growing inside the uterus.
If it’s not fertilized, the unneeded uterine tissues are shed through the vagina as fluid. The fluid is bloody and typically is released monthly.
After beginning menstruation, girls are able to get pregnant. AAP wrote that a menstrual period lasts from three to seven days.