Hey dear girls! We understand that you are in a stage of in-betweens. This phase can be challenging and quite overwhelming because a lot of physical, mental, and emotional changes are happening. These changes signify the beginning of adolescence or puberty towards a grown up version of “YOU”. Simply put, nagdadalaga ka na!
So, to help you ease through this stage, here’s a list of 7 G’s or growing up changes that you can expect to happen. These changes typically start to develop between the ages 8 and 13. Remember though that they may not come in order and some may even happen simultaneously.
- Growth Spurt! You get taller, broader, and heavier. Girls grow 2-3 inches taller
annually over the next year or two upon the onset of puberty, until they reach
their adult height. They also acquire more body fat as compared with boys. This
is related to when girls start having their periods, which signals their ability to
conceive. Extra energy from the stored fats is needed to support pregnancy and
breastfeeding in the later years.
- Growing Pains. Your breasts start to develop. They may start to feel tender,
tingly, or itchy but it won’t last for long. ‘Wag rin maconscious, because they do
come in different shapes and sizes. The combination of the cup and band sizes
determine the bra size. Cup sizes range from small to extra large (or cups A to
D). Band size on the other hand, is the measurement around your torso (32 to 40 or
even more). It means that if your bra size is 32B, you have a medium cup and your
bra is 32 inches around your torso.
- Getting Hairy. Hair everywhere! Under your arms, and down there on your pubic
area. They may be soft and sparse at first but late in puberty, they will eventually
thicken and become curlier. At this point, it is very important to pay more
attention to grooming and proper hygiene to make sure that everything looks
clean and tidy. A variety of options are available -- from shaving to plucking or
even waxing. Feel free to try any of these to see what works best for you.
- Getting Sweaty. You start to sweat more. Sweating up is the body’s natural
response to rising temperatures in order to regulate body heat. This is more
apparent in puberty because the sweat glands are growing and becoming more
active. To stay fresh, take a bath at least once a day and start swiping a
deodorant if needed.
- Getting Greasy. Your skin and hair may get oilier. Thanks (or no thanks) to
unstable hormone levels during puberty, the oil glands are as active as ever and
produces more sebum. Excess oil together with lack of skin care habits cause
pimples. Prevent your skin from breaking out by keeping your face clean. Be
gentle, just wash your face with clean water.
- Genital Changes. Your sex organs develop. The outer part (vulva) increases in
size a little bit while the inner part (vagina and uterus) get longer and bigger. You
may also notice some white or yellow patch on your underwear, that’s called a
discharge or “white mens”. It’s a sign that you are about to have your period soon.
- Getting RED-y. Your periods start. It’s the ultimate indication that the female
body is fit to bear a child. The average menstrual cycle for most women is 28
days but it can range from 21 to 35 days. Your cycle begins on the first day of
your period -- that is Day 1. Normally, periods last from 3 to 5 days but it can last
up to 8 days for some girls. Keep in mind that it is quite normal to have irregular
cycle during the early stage, but it should even out in about a year. If it becomes
a recurring concern, it's always best to consult a doctor.
All girls must remember that every single body is unique. What one feels and/or experiences may be completely different from the other. Others may see changes early on while it may take a while for some. But keep in mind that these changes happen gradually so there is plenty of time to get used to them. Just take care of your body, don’t forget proper hygiene, and seek advice from your elderly female figures, i.e. your mom or your sister. ‘Ika nga nila “been there, done that.”