Puberty

During puberty our bodies make some big changes, here you can find some answers that will help you understand your body and why it is changing.

 

What is puberty?

Puberty is when girl (around age 10-14) and boys (around age 12-16) start to mature sexually. At this time they will experience changes physically as well as mentally. Boys and girls experience puberty very differently though.

When does puberty start?

Puberty for girls starts between the ages of 10 and 14 while boys puberty starts between the ages of 12 and 16. The first sign of puberty for girls is usually breast development, hair that grows in the pubic and armpit area, or their period starts. The first sign or puberty for boys is usually their testicles and penis get bigger, hair that grows in the pubic and armpit area, facial hair starts growing, their voice deeps, and their muscles grow too.

When will I get my first period?

Most people start their period between the ages of 12 and 13, but it is different for everyone. It is totally normal to start a little earlier or a little later! If you want to be prepared you could always have a "period kit" in your bag. You might keep an extra par of underwear in it, as well as a pad/tampon (or your choice of alternative to those options), and maybe a pain reliever such as Tylenol in case you get cramps or body aches.

What do I need to know about my period?

The first time you get your period it usually only lasts a couple days, and after your body gets on schedule and used to having a period it might last anywhere between 2 to 7 days every month. There are also multiple different options to stop the bleeding. There are tampons, pads, period underwear, or menstrual cups that you can use to stop the bleeding.

Is my vaginal discharge normal?

Vaginal discharge is very important in keeping the vagina clean and free of bacteria. Discharge is a fluid made of the dead cells and bacteria inside your cervix and vagina. The amount of discharge your body makes can vary and the odor and color can vary too. It is usually a clear to milky white color. If there start to be any big changes in the color, smell, or consistency though, especially if you have any symptoms of vaginal itching or burning you should talk to an adult or a doctor because you might have an infection.

How should I clean my vagina and vulva?

The vagina is the inside part or your genitals, while the vulva is the outside part. So, when washing your vulva, you should only use unscented soaps around the vulva, and you should be gentle. Do not put soap in your vagina, because our bodies are awesome and do that part for us with discharge! Remember that you do not need to get rid of all vaginal odor because it is completely normal to have a slight odor.

Is my penis normal?

About 90% of men fall in the "average" penis length category. Only about 5% or men are larger than the average and only about 5% are smaller than average. So chances are good that your penis is as normal as all the other guys around you. All penis's are different though, like snowflakes, there are no two alike and you should never compare yourself  to others. The average length of a flaccid (not erect) penis is 3.61 inches and the average erect penis is 5.16 inches.

What’s an erection?

An erection is when the penis gets hard. Usually a penis is flaccid and is just hanging around, but when it is erected it will be hard and enlarged. This can happen when you are sexually aroused or turned on, but they can also happen for no reason at all and it is very common for men to wake up with an erection.

Is masturbating normal?

Yes, masturbating is normal and just about everybody does it! WebMD says masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable, and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life!

Can you masturbate too much?

Usually no, but if masturbating interferes with your ability to go to school or work, or be with friends or family it can be a problem. There is no physical risk of masturbating though, meaning there is no risk of things like pregnancy or infections.