As a young woman, your teen years are a very influential period in your life. This is the time when you are changing both emotionally and physically, experiencing new situations, and trying to figure out what kind of person you aspire to be.
VIDEO What is Puberty?
As you mature, changes begin to happen to your body. This time in your life is called puberty and usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13. Some of the changes you may experience include:
Your breasts begin to develop
You will develop new body hair
Your menstrual period will start
Your body shape will change and get curvier
Commonly Asked Questions
When should I visit a gynecologist?
Your first visit to a gynecologist, a doctor who is specially trained in women's reproductive health, should happen before you have intimate social contact. Talk to an adult you trust to decide when to schedule your first visit.
How much sleep do I need?
Get between 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep in a darkened room with the TV off and go to bed and get up at the same time each day (weekends, too).
How do I keep my skin looking healthy and blemish free?
Wash your face regularly with mild soap made just for faces. Use an over-the-counter product that contains benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur. If acne persists, see a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in caring for your skin. Avoid tanning beds and wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
How can I keep from getting sick?
Washing your hands frequently is one of the best ways to keep germs from spreading and to keep you from getting sick. Lather up with soap and water for about 10-12 seconds.
What do I need to keep my body fit?
Physical fitness is an important way to help you look, feel, and do your best. You should do something for an hour each day to exercise your heart, lungs and muscles. Try an interactive video game, take a brisk walk while you chat with your friends, and try to incorporate exercise into the fun things you like to do.
How do I make healthy food choices?
Your body needs about 2,000 calories each day. The key to eating healthyfully is to get the majority of your calories from grains, fruits, and veggies each day. Choose a few low fat and lean options. Does this mean you have to give up pizza? No! Try whole grain instead of white crust, substitute your favorite vegetable for pepperoni and go easy on the cheese.
Can smoking, drugs, and alcohol really harm me?
Yes! Cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol change the way your body and brain work. You have heard of the immediate dangers caused by these substances such as car accidents, or overdoses that often result in death. Some of the short-term effects may wear off but the long term effects can cause life-long damage. It is much harder to stop these substances once you have started. Choose a healthy future by saying "no" now.
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