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Female puberty

Puberty is the time when you start to change from a child/tamariki to a young adult/rangatahi.

When a person goes through puberty, they will experience changes to their physical body. These changes are caused by chemicals the body produces, called hormones. These hormones tell the body to grow and change in a lot of ways.

Most people who have a vulva start to have periods during puberty. Other changes can include:

  • Becoming taller, heavier and stronger
  • Growing thick hair in new places (e.g. around the genitals and under the arms)
  • Stretch marks
  • An increase in sweating
  • Acne
  • Mood changes
  • Hips become more rounded
  • Breasts develop (sometimes unevenly – this is totally normal!)

Puberty doesn’t happen all at once. These changes to the body can take place over several years. You may experience puberty anywhere between the ages of 8 and 13 years old, but often the first changes happen around 10 or 11 years of age.

Puberty and Finding Out Who You Are