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Title: Physical Development in Girls: What to Expect During Puberty

Title: Physical Development in Girls: What to Expect During Puberty

Girls often begin puberty between the ages of 8 and 13. It’s the time when the female body matures, thanks to hormones that trigger developmental changes. You can expect physical and emotional changes that can be overwhelming at times. 

Board-certified gynecologist Dr. Sharon Breit and our team at the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, provide pediatric gynecologic consultations to children, preteens, and teens. We also offer consultations to adolescents who have a chronic health condition that may complicate gynecologic care

Puberty is a time when an adolescent may have many questions and concerns about her body. We can help make sense of the changes and help you feel more at ease through this natural development period. 

What changes can I expect?

A growth spurt is one of the first changes you may notice. Most girls reach their maximum height two years after beginning puberty. During the development spurt, you may also notice that your hips develop and your waistline becomes more curved. 

Breast development

Developing breasts can make you feel awkward initially, especially if you compare yourself to your peers or to celebrities, or if others notice and make comments. It’s typical for breasts to develop at varying speeds, and this continues until around age 17.

The size and form of breasts tend to run in families, so your mother's breasts can be a fair sign of how yours might seem. Additionally, your weight might affect the shape and size of your breasts.

Body hair

As you enter puberty, it’s normal to notice hair growing in new places or thickening in certain areas. You can expect to develop hair in your armpits, legs, and pubic area. Initially, this hair is thin and straight, but as you age, it gets thicker.

Your period

Getting your period is a natural part of puberty. Each month, the lining of your uterus thickens. If an egg released by the ovary has not been fertilized by sperm, it is expelled along with fluid from the uterus. This menstrual fluid exits your body through your vagina.

Despite the appearance, only a few tablespoons of blood are shed during each period. The first two days of your period are often the heaviest. It’s normal for periods to last up to seven days. 

When to visit a gynecologist

We recommend scheduling the first gynecological appointment between the ages of 13 and 15, but you’re more than welcome to schedule a visit sooner. 

This is especially true if something seems off during puberty. For example, in the first three years, irregular periods are common, but if your periods are more than three months apart, it’s best to see a gynecologist.

Other reasons to see a member of our team include if you haven't developed breasts by the age of 12 or if you haven't had your first period by the age of 15.  

Contact us if you have questions about puberty or something you’re going through related to puberty. For instance, painful periods that interfere with school or your daily life in any way are not normal, and you should schedule a visit if you’re dealing with this.

We strive to build a strong doctor-patient relationship and want you to feel comfortable asking us any questions you may have. We’re here to help. 

What to expect at your first visit

The first gynecology appointment usually involves an introduction to your provider, general health counseling, and a discussion of any concerns. We provide an excellent beginning point for young girls who are new to gynecologic care. 

We have training and experience talking to patients at various stages of adolescence. We understand that preteens and teenagers often feel uncomfortable discussing subjects such as menstruation, sex, and birth control with their parents or other adults in their lives. 

We want to make sure that you have accurate information and that you understand what’s happening to your body during puberty. 

Teens and preteens can feel more at ease asking intimate questions if they have an established, trustworthy relationship with a gynecologist. Providing a setting in which they can obtain accurate answers and counsel benefits them now and in the future.

Expert gynecologic care

Puberty isn’t so confusing or scary when you have a trusted health expert to rely on. At the Center for Women’s Health, we’re your trusted resource for all things related to puberty. Call us at 316-202-1690 to schedule a gynecologic consultation, or book online

We also have telehealth appointments available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.

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