Healthy living

Things that change during puberty

Read about the changes we all go through during puberty.

For girls

Learn about things that change for girls:

  • developing breasts (range in size, nipples, bras, breast checking)
  • getting hips and thighs
  • body hair (armpits, arms, legs, around the vulva – pubic hair)
  • your genitals (vulva, clitoris, vagina, pubic hair)
  • your reproductive system (uterus, ovaries)
  • getting your period (menstruation, when, how long, pads, tampons)
  • other vaginal fluids (what to expect)
  • sexual feelings.

For boys

Find out about things that change for boys:

  • your voice (gets squeaky, then deeper)
  • body hair (armpits, chest, pubic, shaving)
  • your reproductive system (genitals, testicles, penis)
  • sexuality (erections, wet dreams)
  • breasts.

For everyone

The things that we all need to know about:

  • looking after yourself
  • eating right and exercise
  • acne and pimples
  • sweat.

Where to get help

  • If you have any sort of problem you want to talk about confidentially with a trained counsellor, call Kids Help Line (24 hours) on 1800 551 800 (free from a land line only)
  • Visit The Hormone Factory (external site), a great site with lots of answers for 10 to 12 year olds, especially about puberty
  • Other good sites for teenagers include Get the facts (external site) and I stay safe (external site)
  • For general health information call healthdirect on 1800 022 222
  • For information about general sexual health and contraception:
  • For help with sexual abuse or assault, phone the Sexual Assault Resource Centre (24 hour emergency line) on 9340 1828 or 1800 199 888 for country callers (free from land line only)

Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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