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Women's Health

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Puberty in Girls: Becoming a Woman

During adolescence, your body is going through many changes that are happening at a fast pace. While these changes might make you feel unsure of yourself at times, they can also be exciting. You are becoming a young woman! Learning about what is going on with your body will help you get through these changes.

What is puberty?

This time in your life when your body is changing is called puberty. For girls, puberty usually starts between the ages of 9 and 16. Sometimes, it can start as early as 6 or 7. Puberty for boys usually starts between the ages of 13 and 15, but may start as early as age 9. For both girls and boys, puberty takes several years. Major body changes have taken place for most girls – but not all – by the time they are 14. For boys, these changes happen at age 15 or 16.

How do I know if I'm in puberty?

The first sign of puberty for most girls is growing breasts. Other changes include:

  • new body hair
  • different body shape
  • getting your period

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Reviewed on July 01, 2006

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