Physical Changes In Girls

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Physical Changes In Girls
Physical Changes In Girls

Video: Physical Changes In Girls

Video: Physical Changes In Girls
Video: Wellcast - What is Puberty? Decoding Puberty in Girls 2023, September

Physical changes in girls

Puberty is characteristic of the beginning of the transition from child to adult. The body grows and changes pretty quickly in a relatively short period of time. Many different developments lead to a fully grown body - and what is known as sexual maturity.

During this time, a particularly large number of changes take place in the body - some of them are externally visible, others happen more hidden inside the body and are often not consciously perceived. In addition, adolescents, for example, detract from their parents when they are growing up, interests are shaped, and emotions can be turbulent.

The changes in growing up don't happen overnight; the process takes a few years. Puberty is different for everyone. With some it starts earlier, with others later. The first signs of puberty appear in girls between around nine and thirteen years of age.


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  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Growth & female body shapes
  • Sexual Development & Hormones
  • Development of the Breast (Thelarche)
  • Pubic and armpit hair
  • Remodeling in the brain
  • Premature puberty (Pubertas praecox) - Delayed puberty (Pubertas tarda)

Growth & female body shapes

When puberty begins, how long it lasts and how it ends, varies. Even before it is noticeable from the outside that puberty has begun, hormones give the starting signal for remodeling measures in the body. One of the first signs of physical change is rapid body growth. This changes the size, but also the proportions of the body shift. Not all body parts always grow at the same time. Due to an increased production of the growth hormone somatotropin (STH) and the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) - and under the influence of sex hormones - the body begins to grow and the skeleton (the bones) to mature. The first signs of female body shape (chest, wider hips in relation to the waist, more pronounced thighs) become visible. This is partly due to the development of bones and muscles, but also to the distribution of fat. Girls are more likely to attach fat tissue to the pelvis and thighs than boys, and boys to the abdomen and upper body.

It can be that sometimes girls do not really feel comfortable in their "new" female body. They try to get rid of the love handles with one-sided diets and starvation diets. In the long term, however, these hardly bring any success. On the contrary: they can damage the body and usually lead to more pounds than before. Those who want to be slim are better guided by a healthy, balanced diet. Incidentally, a better body feeling can also be achieved through exercise. More information about movement.

Sexual Development & Hormones

The “remodeling measures” and hormonal changes are related to the production of sex hormones. Both male (androgens) and female hormones (estrogens) are necessary for the sexual development of the body. Male hormones are much less present in girls than in boys. Primary sexual characteristics mature (ovaries, uterus, vagina). And the so-called secondary sexual characteristics such as the woman's breasts or armpit and intimate hair (pubic hair) develop. All of these changes do not happen overnight, but over the years. A particularly striking point in the girls' puberty is the first menstrual period (also called menarche). More information about menstruation.

The changes during puberty, to the chagrin of many teenagers, can also show up in oily skin and pimples - in some cases even acne.

During puberty, glands also become active, making you sweat more and smell different. Personal hygiene such as showering regularly is therefore particularly important. There is more about personal hygiene in the brochures:

  • Love, sex and such of the youth ministry
  • sex 'n' tips - body and health of the German BZgA.

Development of the Breast (Thelarche)

When breast growth begins and how long it lasts varies from person to person. This development is also controlled by hormones. The development of the breasts takes years. Some time before the first menstrual period and under the influence of hormones, the body usually begins to build up glandular, fatty and connective tissue. The breast is designed, among other things, to be able to breastfeed a baby with the help of the mammary glands.

Sometimes the breasts develop at different speeds during puberty - so that one is larger than the other. Also, once the breast growth is complete, the breasts may not be the same size and may differ a little. The shape of the breast can also be very different. This is genetically determined and varies from woman to woman. The chest can also be very tender.

Pubic and armpit hair

With puberty, the first pubic hairs (pubarche) also grow - on the so-called Venus mound, on the outer "vaginal lips" (Venus lips, vulval lips, labia). This is also completely normal and can in turn be very different. Less or more hair, lighter or darker, etc. In addition, the armpit hair develops. Many girls remove intimate (pubic) and armpit hair for aesthetic reasons. However, this does not have to be the case for medical or hygienic reasons. In any case, one should be very careful when removing the hair. The skin is very sensitive in these areas and can be easily irritated and, for example, become inflamed.

Remodeling in the brain

Many changes are also taking place in the heads of girls and boys. Cells die, connections also, new ones arise, existing connections are strengthened. Cognitive abilities are shaped (e.g. attention, memory, integration of information and self-control). Abstract thinking improves during puberty. Adolescents perceive stress and pleasant stimuli more intensely. The control of the sleep-wake rhythm (also by the brain) also changes. As a result, adolescents often go to sleep later than before puberty. In addition, other organs also grow, for example the heart muscle during puberty.

Premature puberty (Pubertas praecox) - Delayed puberty (Pubertas tarda)

Puberty is different for everyone. With some it starts earlier, with others later. The first signs of puberty appear in girls between around nine and thirteen years of age. However, secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts can show up earlier. This can have different causes and be completely normal. In any case, early onset of puberty (e.g. before the age of eight) should be medically clarified to be on the safe side. You can contact a specialist in paediatrics for this purpose.

Even if puberty does not develop, this should be clarified by a doctor, for example if the menarche (first menstrual period) does not occur. If the puberty development has already started to come to a sudden or prolonged standstill, this should also be discussed with the doctor.

Both early onset and delayed puberty should be clarified quickly, among other things, because development delays often mean great uncertainty for those affected - and the question can arise as to whether something is wrong.