Puberty is a part of growing up. With the onset of puberty, hormones in your body become active, the so-called sex hormones. Hormones are messenger substances that are produced in your body and set certain processes in motion. In the life phase of puberty, they give your body the signal to change and thus help you on your way to adulthood. The time when your body starts sending out these hormones and thus enters puberty varies from girl to girl.
Throughout your childhood, your body has already grown and changed, but when you hit puberty, your body develops in a different way. You will notice that you gain height again and your body shape changes. Your hips will become a little curvier and your breasts will begin to develop. These are examples of changes to your appearance during puberty. But hormones also cause some changes inside your body.
One of the big changes inside your body during this phase is that you get your period, or menstruation. This means that every month for a few days blood comes out of the uterus and leaves the body through the vagina. This bleeding is a normal change and has to do with the effect of hormones on a very important cycle in your body: the female cycle. The female cycle describes the maturation of an egg in a woman's or girl's body during puberty, the ovulation that occurs when the egg has fully matured, and the preparation of the female body for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, a new cycle begins with renewed bleeding. This cycle from one period to the next is called the female cycle or menstrual cycle. It is quite normal that it can differ from girl to girl and from woman to woman in the length and strength of the bleeding.
When you were born, your body already had within it all the eggs that can mature during your lifetime. These eggs are tiny, so small that you cannot see them with the naked eye, even if they are outside your body.
They are located in your ovaries and as long as the sex hormones are not yet active - that is, before the onset of puberty - they are there in a dormant phase. Only at the onset of puberty does your female cycle begin with the maturation of eggs.
During ovulation, the egg leaves the ovary and travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. When the egg meets and combines with a sperm in the fallopian tube, it can grow into a baby in the uterus. Even though most eggs do not grow into a baby, the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy each cycle. The lining of the uterus becomes thick and soft, like a nest, so that a baby could grow there after implantation of the fertilized egg. If implantation does not occur and therefore pregnancy does not occur, hormones again signal to the uterus that the built-up mucous membrane is not needed and it can be broken down again. The period occurs and a new cycle can begin. Period bleeding is also called menstruation. Menstrual blood is thicker and darker than the blood you see when you cut your finger. Period bleeding usually lasts a few days and then stops. As soon as the bleeding starts, a new cycle begins and another egg matures.
Hormones are very active during this time, and hormones can strongly influence your moods and feelings. You may lose your temper more easily and sometimes have arguments with your family or friends for no reason. This is all normal, but it can feel hard during this time. And you may feel like you're the only one going through this. But really, it's all part of growing up, and many others feel that way too. If you're feeling down, it's good to talk to someone: your friends, your siblings, your parents, or other trusted adults.
The changes happen gradually, over several years. So you will have time to get used to everything and learn everything you need to know about yourself in the process. There will be challenges, but also fun, as you go through puberty. There are many people you can learn from, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Hygiene & care for the skin
During puberty, your body sweats more, especially if you play sports. Daily showers or thorough washing, especially after playing or running around, will help you stay fresh. You will feel better. You can use deodorant under your arms after washing - but wash first! And don't forget to change your socks and underwear every day.
Your skin is constantly producing oil to keep it soft. During puberty, it tends to produce a little more oil than it needs. The oil clogs your pores, and you can get spots on your face and body. Wash thoroughly with a mild soap and don't squeeze pimples - that will only make them worse. As you get older, your skin will generally calm down and the pimples will disappear.
Cycle observation with the body diary
During your cycle, you may notice other physical reactions besides changes in temperature and cervical mucus. You may experience skin changes such as acne, itching, tarnishing of the gold ring, but also greasy hair, the feeling of being bloated, weight gain due to water retention, mittelschmerz, nausea, increased urge to defecate or urinate, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea.
If you want to know what changes occur in which cycle phase, you can record your observations in a body diary. You can download a template as a PDF and print it out.