Everyone goes through puberty, the exciting time when your daughter grows from a young girl into a young woman. But with the many body, mood, and mental changes puberty brings, puberty can be a confusing time, too.
Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, and the compassionate care team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, know how overwhelming puberty can be. And with information and misinformation coming at your daughter from friends, social media, TV, and the internet, it’s important to get the facts.
With her background in teen gynecology, Rickie and her team have a special interest in helping girls understand puberty and their gynecological health. Take a moment to learn from her expertise and find out what every teen should know about puberty.
Puberty: Change in stages
Puberty is the time when a child’s body begins to develop and change into an adult. But puberty doesn’t happen all at once. It comes in stages. Here’s a look at what happens at each stage along the way.
Stage 1: Prepubescent
You’re prepubescent when your body hasn’t started puberty yet. During this stage, nothing has changed from the childhood years.
Stage 2: Changes begin
Most girls enter stage two between ages 8-13. During this time, your body begins to change. The most noticeable changes include the areola (the area around your nipple) getting bigger, the beginning of breast development, and the growth of light genital hair. This is also a time of height gains, and many girls grow between 2-3 inches per year.
Stage 3: More change and growth
Between ages 9½ - 14, most girls enter stage 3 of puberty. This is a time when your breasts continue to develop and you notice pubic and underarm hair beginning to get thicker, darker, and cover more area. Your skin begins to change, producing more oil, and you may develop acne. You’ll also continue to gain about 3 inches each year.
Stage 4: Periods and more
This final stage of growth occurs between ages 11-15, and the biggest sign you’re in this stage is the arrival of your period (usually around age 13). Your breasts will continue to grow and you may notice that your nipples begin to protrude.
You’ll finish growing body hair and issues with your skin may continue until you reach the end of puberty (though some people continue to get acne through early adulthood). You may also continue to grow taller, gaining about 2 inches each year.
Stage 5: Physical adulthood
By the time most girls reach age 16, they’re through puberty and into stage 5 when development ends. This is also when you stop getting taller and reach physical adulthood.
Teen gynecology: Help navigating changes
With all of the changes puberty brings, questions and concerns are inevitable. At Alpenglow Gynecology, our teen gynecology program helps your daughter get to know herself and better understand her health so she can grow into a healthy, confident woman.
One of the primary goals of teen gynecology is for your daughter to get to know Rickie so she feels comfortable discussing any questions or concerns about puberty that arise. In addition to puberty, menstruation, and breast health, Rickie takes time to discuss topics important to the health of preteens and teens, including:
- Hormone “swings” and mood changes
- Sexual activity and birth control
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Drug and alcohol use and abuse
- Diet and exercise
The Alpenglow Gynecology team may also provide the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine before your daughter becomes sexually active. This vaccine helps protect your daughter against this sexually transmitted infection, which is linked to cervical cancer.
Learn more about what to expect during puberty by contacting the team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, or booking an appointment online now!