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Our Bodies

By Gladys King,2014-01-17 23:12
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Our Bodies

Our Bodies

    Puberty for Girls

    Puberty is the time when our bodies begin to change from girls' bodies to women's bodies. It can take several years, and usually happens between the ages of nine and 17. Girls often start puberty before boys do.

    Puberty happens when our brains and our sex organs send messages to the rest of our bodies. These messages are carried by chemicals called hormones. Certain hormones prepare our bodies and minds for sexual maturity and adulthood.

    What happens to a girl’s body during puberty?

    Your body begins growing faster. How long this "growth spurt"

    lasts and how tall you will be at the end of it depends on a lot of

    things but mostly it has to do with how tall your family is. Some

    girls have uncomfortable growing pains in their arms and legs as

    the bones grow faster than the muscles can stretch to keep up

    with them.

    During puberty, your breasts will start to change in size and shape.

    This change may happen fast or slow. And one breast may grow

    faster than the other. Your breasts may grow so fast they become

    sore. Your hips will start to widen. You may not even notice this

    because it's a very subtle change and goes on for a while.

    Your clitoris will grow a little, too. The inner lips of your vulva will

    become more prominent. They may stick out from the outer lips.

    They can be short or long, wrinkled or smooth. Some are equal in

    size and shape on both sides. And some are not. The inner lips

    can vary in color from pink to brownish black depending on the

    color of a woman's skin. They may change color as women

    mature. They are also sensitive and can swell when a woman is

    aroused. There is a lot of diversity in what a woman’s inner lips

    look like. They’re another wonderful example of how being

    different is normal.

    Coarse hair (pubic hair) starts to grow under your arms and

    around and above your vulva, and finer hair begins to show on your legs and arms. You’ll probably begin to sweat more under your arms, and your sweat may smell different. This is easy to deal with you can shower or bathe more often and begin using deodorant or antiperspirant if you don't like the smell.

    During puberty, both girls and boys may develop acne (also called "pimples" or "zits"). Acne is very common and fairly easy to treat. Your health care provider can help you find a treatment that's right for you.

    What happens to a girl’s reproductive organs during

    puberty?

    Hormones cause changes in our internal reproductive organs to get them ready to go through menstrual cycles and someday, perhaps, to have a child. At some point during puberty, you will begin to get your monthly period. Most girls start having periods around the same age that their moms did, so you might want to ask your mom how old she was when she started. This is a good way to start talking with your mom about puberty. There is an interesting word for the time when a girl has her first period. It’s called menarche (meh-NAR-key).

    Your first menstrual cycle starts inside where you can't see it, when an egg is released from your ovary. This is called ovulation. The ovaries usually release only one egg a month. The egg travels down the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus. It's hard to tell when this all happens, but it's usually about two weeks before you get your period.

    In the meantime, the uterus has prepared itself by growing a thick inner lining of blood. This lining will be very important if you become pregnant. If a sperm fertilizes an egg while it’s in the tube, the fertilized egg may go into the uterus and implant itself into the lining of the uterus. If it does, pregnancy begins.

    When a woman isn't pregnant, the lining of her uterus breaks apart after a few days, and it leaves the body through the vagina as menstrual flow. This bleeding usually lasts from three days to about a week and is called your "period."

    What’s a period?

    Periods are part of a monthly cycle that most healthy women's bodies go through during their reproductive years. You don't usually see or feel the rest of the cycle, so your period is an indicator that the cycle happened.

    The menstrual flow is usually heaviest during the first few days. Some women get cramps before or during their periods. This is normal and usually goes away with Tylenol or ibuprofen or the use of a heating pad. If you have a lot of cramping, you can get help from your health care provider. Some women feel irritable, bloated, or have any number of other symptoms before their period starts. These symptoms are temporary and are called "PMS," which stands for premenstrual syndrome.

    At first, most women have "irregular" periods, meaning they don't have them every month, or at the same time from month to month. Most women become more regular after a year, although some women never do. Women’s cycles can be as short as 21 days or longer than 35 days. Most cycles are between 25 and 35 days long. There are a few things that could make your period late:

    o pregnancy

    o stress

    o excessive exercise Many female athletes have irregular

    periods.

    o not enough food (anorexia)

    o big changes in your life taking a trip somewhere, moving

    o birth control Some hormonal methods of birth control

    can affect a woman's menstrual cycle.

    o illness Sometimes being sick or not feeling well can

    cause your period to be late.

What is leukorrhea?

    Leukorrhea is the medical name for the white, yellow, or greenish sticky discharge that leaks out of the vagina once in a while. It can leave a stain on underwear. Leukorrhea is perfectly normal. Girls shouldn’t worry about it unless the vulva becomes itchy or irritated. If that happens, girls should see a health care provider.

Do girls have wet dreams?

    Girls and women become sexually excited by sexual thoughts and dreams. At some time during puberty you may start having sexy

     while you're sleeping. dreams

    Your body will react just as it would if you were having sexy thoughts or sex alone or with another person. Your clitoris will get hard, your vagina will lubricate, and you may have an orgasm or a series of orgasms. In some women, a clear liquid spurts out of the vagina during sexual excitement or orgasm. This is completely normal. But most often, a girl’s sexy dreams are not as “wet“ as a boy’s.

    How does puberty affect my emotions, moods, and

    thoughts?

    During puberty, you'll start to have more sexual thoughts and urges. You'll develop an attraction to guys or girls or guys and girls, and you may discover what having a crush on someone feels like.

    You may start to feel things more intensely. One minute you may feel on top of the world, and the next minute you may feel pretty down in the dumps.

    As you get older, you begin to be able to think ahead, think about the past, and even analyze situations in a new way. Your new abilities allow you to have more complex thoughts and feelings, but one downside is that it can be harder to move on from negative emotions.

    Some teens find that they are sexually aroused a lot when they are going through puberty. While being aroused a lot can feel embarrassing or out of control, rest assured that it is normal. As you get older and get more used to arousal, it will seem less intrusive and more in control. Some teens choose to masturbate to release sexual feelings, and others just wait for the feelings to pass.

    Puberty can be very confusing. We might think a love relationship will help us feel stable. We may want it to be the one thing that

    does not change in our lives. But that might not be a realistic expectation.

    How can I deal with my changing body and moods?

    One good place to start is to talk with your parents or another trusted adult. Your parents have been through it they can let

    you know what to expect and give you tips on how to deal with changes. Older sisters or cousins can be helpful, too.

    Many teens find that writing, acting, or making music and art are good ways to manage stress and help them feel more in control of their moods. Your changing hormones may leave you hyper and restless, and finding a creative outlet or doing something

    physical, like dancing or playing sports can be a great way to

    release excess energy.

    Remember: although your feelings may seem out of control, your changing moods are a normal part of growing up.

    This is normal, and it's a good idea to share your feelings with someone you trust, especially if you feel very sad or frustrated. Everyone goes through puberty, so you should be able to find an adult who understands to help you sort out your feelings. Who can I talk with about puberty?

    Puberty is a strange time. Some people grow sooner and have to deal with being taller and having zits or breasts before the rest of their friends. Others grow later and have to wait and watch their classmates change. Either way, it's important to remember that everyone goes through it, and it does settle down eventually. If things get confusing, find someone to talk with an older sister,

    your mom, or another woman you trust. Chances are, they've felt the same way and might have some great advice.

    Puberty is something we all go through, and it can be a very uncomfortable, awkward, and lonely time. But it’s a good time to learn about our bodies and how they work. It’s also a good time to

    start talking with our parents about their experiences when they were our age.

    You can also talk with a health care provider if you have questions that you don't want to ask your parents. Staff at the nearest Planned Parenthood health center can be very helpful.

    When does puberty stop?

    It can take up to 20 years of age for all the changes that happen during puberty to take place.

Puberty doesn't happen all at once it happens in stages. So a

    girl may show some signs of puberty at an early age (like breasts beginning to grow), but may not show other signs of puberty until she is much older (like getting a period).

    Puberty for Guys

    Puberty is the time of your life when your body changes from looking like a

    child to looking like an adult. The hormones that make all the changes happen

    can take you on quite a ride: Your body, your hair, your emotions, your voice,

    your penis ... everything is affected, it seems.

    When do boys start puberty?

    Boys usually start puberty when they're around 10 or 12 years old, though some start a little sooner and others a little later. (Boys start a little later than girls do.) The changes happen because our bodies release several different hormones. Hormones are chemicals that cause changes in our bodies and influence how glands and organs work. An early change is that our testicles begin to get bigger. Sometime after that, our penises begin to get bigger too, and pubic hair starts to grow on our testicles and above our penises.

    What happens to a boy’s body during puberty?

    Your body begins growing faster. How long this "growth spurt" lasts and how tall you will be at the end of it depend on a lot of things but mostly it has to do with how tall your family is. Many boys have uncomfortable growing pains in their arms and legs as the bones grow faster than the muscles can stretch to keep up with them.

    Some boys develop swelling underneath their nipples, which can look like the start of breasts but don't panic, it's usually fatty

    tissue and usually temporary. It's simply caused by the hormones that are pulsing through your body. It happens to two out of three guys, and it can last for two or three years. It’s called

    gynecomastia. If you're very concerned about it, though, you can ask your health care provider to take a look.

    At some point, your voice will get deeper. It may crack occasionally along the way, but that problem will pass, too. Most boys grow some facial hair eventually, and the hair on your body will probably get thicker..

    You’ll probably begin to sweat more under your arms, and your sweat may smell different. This is easy to deal with you can

    shower or bathe more often and use deodorant or antiperspirant if you don't like the smell.

    Many teenagers develop pimples during puberty. If you have problems controlling your pimples, call your health care provider for help there are many medicines available that can reduce or eliminate acne.

    When do boys start producing sperm?

    Sperm are the male reproductive cells. They can fertilize a woman’s egg and cause a pregnancy. They are made in the testes. There are millions in every drop of healthy semen. They move from the testes to the seminal vesicles through tubes called the vasa deferentia. In the seminal vesicles, they mix with other fluids to form semen.

    Guys start producing sperm at the onset of puberty. Puberty starts at different times for different people. Boys usually start puberty when they're around 10 or 12 years old, though some start a little sooner and others a little later. Once guys start producing sperm, they are able to get girls pregnant if their sperm goes near their vulvas or inside their vaginas. There’s a cool word

    for when a guy first produces sperm spermarche

    (SPERM-are-key).

    What’s an ejaculation?

    Boys and men become sexually excited by sexual thoughts, wet dreams, masturbation, or sexual activity with another person. Their penises fill with blood and get hard and erect. Boys and young men get erections for no reason at all. “Spontaneous erections” can be very embarrassing.

    A sticky liquid spurts out of erect penises if men get very excited. This is called ejaculation or "coming." The liquid is semen or "cum," not urine. Ejaculation and urination cannot happen at the same time.

Semen contains sperm and is also called “ejaculate.” Boys and

    men may have orgasms without ejaculation. They may ejaculate without orgasm. A hard penis becomes soft again after orgasm. And it will become soft again even without orgasm or ejaculation.

    What’s a wet dream?

    At some time during puberty you may start having sexy dreams

    while you're sleeping. Your penis will get hard, and you’ll will

    ejaculate (spurt semen). This is completely normal. While it might be embarrassing to get the bed sheets wet with semen, most boys occasionally have a wet dream. You'll have them less and less as you get older, and as you have more ejaculations while you're awake.

    How does puberty affect my emotions, moods, and

    thoughts?

    During puberty, you'll start to have more sexual thoughts and urges. You'll develop an attraction to girls or guys, or girls and guys, and you may discover what having a crush on someone feels like.

    You may start to feel things more intensely. One minute you may feel on top of the world, and the next minute you may feel pretty down in the dumps.

    As you get older, you begin to be able to think ahead, think about the past, and even analyze situations in a new way. Your new abilities allow you to have more complex thoughts and feelings, but one downside is that it can be harder to move on from negative emotions.

    Some teens find that they are sexually aroused a lot when they’re going through puberty. While being aroused a lot can feel embarrassing or out of control, rest assured that it’s normal. As you get older and get more used to arousal, it will seem less intrusive and more in control. Some teens choose to masturbate to release sexual feelings, and others just wait for the feelings to pass.

    Puberty can be very confusing. We might think a love relationship will help us feel stable. We may want it to be the one thing that does not change in our lives. But that might not be a realistic expectation.

    How can I deal with my changing body and moods?

    One good place to start is to talk with your parents or another trusted adult. Your parents have been through it they can let

    you know what to expect and give you tips on how to deal with changes. Older brothers or cousins can be helpful, too. Many teens find that writing, acting, or making music and art are good ways to manage stress and help them feel more in control of their moods. Your changing hormones may leave you hyper and restless, and finding a creative outlet or doing something

    physical, like dancing or playing sports can be a great way to

    release excess energy.

    Remember: although your feelings may seem out of control, your changing moods are a normal part of growing up. It's a good idea to share your feelings with someone you trust, especially if you feel very sad or frustrated. Everyone goes through puberty, so you should be able to find an adult who understands to help you sort out your feelings.

    Who can I talk with about puberty?

    Puberty is a strange time. Some people grow sooner and have to deal with being taller and having zits or spontaneous erections before the rest of their friends. Others grow later and have to wait and watch their classmates change. Either way, it's important to remember that everyone goes through it, and it does settle down eventually. If things get confusing, find someone to talk to an

    older brother, your dad, or another man you trust. Chances are, they've felt the same way and might have some great advice. Puberty is something we all go through, and it can be a very uncomfortable, awkward, and lonely time. But it’s a good time to learn about our bodies and how they work. It’s also a good time to

    start talking with your parents about their experiences when they were your age.

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