Puberty, periods and your changing body

Puberty, periods and your changing body

Some girls find getting their periods very exciting, and others feel uncomfortable about it. It definitely can take a little getting used to. But lots of women come to see their periods as a wonderful sign that their bodies are healthy and working the way they’re supposed to. With these tips, we hope you feel supported and educated, ready to handle the upcoming changes in your body.

What is puberty?

Puberty is the time when your body changes and becomes more like an adult. 

When does puberty start?

It is normal for changes to start as early as 8 years old or as late as 13 years old. Puberty starts when your brain sends signals to certain parts of the body to start growing and changing. These signals are called hormones. Hormones are chemicals that control body functions.

What changes occur during puberty?

During puberty, hormones cause the following changes:

  • You grow taller and your body may start to change its shape
  • Your breasts grow
  • You grow hair under your arms and around the vulva/vagina area
  • Your body odour may change
  • You may get acne or pimples
  • You get your first menstrual period (also called menstruation)

How will my breasts change?

As your breasts start to change, the darker areas around the nipples may look swollen. The breasts also grow rounder and fuller. They may feel sore at times. 

What is menstruation?

Beginning in puberty, every month your body will prepare for a possible pregnancy. Hormones signal the ovaries to release an egg each month. The egg moves into one of the fallopian tubes. At the same time, the lining of the uterus begins to grow and thicken. If the egg is not fertilized by a man’s sperm, pregnancy does not occur. The lining breaks down and flows out of the body through the vagina. This is called menstruation, the menstrual period, or just your “period.” 

When does menstruation begin?

Most girls start between the ages of 12 years and 14 years, but some start earlier or later. 

How long do menstrual periods last?

Periods usually last between 2 days and 7 days. They normally come every 21–45 days. They often are not regular at first. You may miss a period. You may have two periods in 1 month. This is normal. It can take about 1-2 years after your first period for your body to get on a regular cycle. 

How can I prepare for my menstrual period?

It is best to be prepared for your period, even if you have not started yet. Have pads, tampons, period underwear or a menstrual cup (depending on your preference) ready at home and carry them with you to school. For extra piece of mind, you can pack a pair of RED by Modibodi period undies in your backpack, gym bag or store in your school locker, so you have back-up ready and waiting for you whenever you need it!


This blog post is brought to you by the genius team at Beautiful Minds. Beautiful Minds tackles the tough topics, bringing them to light so our youth feel empowered, educated and supported throughout their often-challenging journey of being a teenager. Today, the Beautiful Minds founder, Marina Passalaris, and her team of 85 expert educators, deliver workshops and education to over 2 million young people a year.

You can find out more about Beautiful Minds through their wonderful website and social channels, which you can explore here:

Instagram: @beautifulminds
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