The first signs of puberty and when it will start
Puberty can begin extremely early at the age of 8, or very late at the age of 14. When it begins though, you can expect certain changes like growing breasts and hips. You’ll also have spotted some pretty big developments in your V-zone. This is the area of skin running from just below your belly button to between your thighs, that’s roughly in the shape of a V.
For one thing, there may be pubic hair there now – hair that is thicker and coarser than the rest of the hair on your body. And you may have noticed a small amount of vaginal discharge – a clear or creamy liquid with a very slight smell. Don’t worry, this is all totally normal and something every girl experiences. And while these changes may seem strange, they’re happening for positive reasons. Pubic hair reduces friction, so that your intimate skin doesn’t become irritated, while discharge is your body’s way of keeping your cervix clean and your vagina moist, which helps prevent infection.
Another thing to look out for, of course, is your period. First periods are often light, perhaps just a small amount of blood, known as ‘spotting’, or it might be very dark, almost brown. This can happen in a very random way to start with, so you won’t get a clear or predictable pattern to your menstrual cycle right away. Again, this is nothing to worry about, and your periods will eventually settle into a regular routine.