Life Skills Development/Pubertal Changes

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Pubertal Change In most females, puberty starts with breast growth. You will first notice small, tender lumps under one or both nipples that will get bigger over the next few years. The second changes that you will notice is growth of soft hair which will eventually become thick and very curly between the legs-(pubic area). Hair may also start to grow under your arms and legs. You will also notice that your hips gets wider and waist smaller. You will begin to build up fat in the stomach, buttocks, and legs. This is normal and gives your body the curvier shape of a woman. Your arms, legs, hands, and feet may grow faster than the rest of your body. The glands in your skin are also growing so this will make your skin more oily and you may notice you sweat more.

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During puberty your sex organs will develop in different ways. The vagina will increase in length, the walls will secrete thick mucus, becomes more elastic and deepens in color. The uterus will double in size and the ovaries will increase in size and weight. At around 9-16 years as puberty occurs, menstruation will take place. Menstruation referred to as a period is the monthly bleeding of a woman through the vagina. This is the first sign that a girl's body is getting ready to have babies. At first menstruation can be very irregular and it can take sometime before the bleeding becomes irregular. Most periods last from 3 to 7 days. After your period you may have a day or two of light bleeding, called spotting. This is normal. Some girls bleed heavier than others during their periods. But don't worry, you won't bleed too much. You may also feel some discomfort before, during, or after your period.

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In males puberty is marked with a growth spurt at about 10 to 16 years of age characterize by growing out of their clothes or shoes a lot faster than they used to i.e arms, legs, hands, and feet may grow faster than the rest of the body. Until the rest of your body catches up, one may feel a little clumsy. Their body gets taller, muscles also get bigger and the shoulders broader. The body gains a lot of weight. During this time, many boys experience swelling under their nipples. Their voice gets deeper characterize by voice cracking but as one grows, the cracking will stop and the voice will stay at the lower range. Hair will appear under the arms, on the legs and face, and above the penis. Chest hair may appear during puberty or years after, although not all men have chest hair. The skin may get more oily and one may notice more sweat . This is because the glands are growing too. Your sex organs (penis and testis) will start to get larger which may lead to erections more often due to an increase in sex hormones. Erections occur when the penis gets stiff and hard - sometimes for no reason. This is normal. You will also begin to produce sperm and begin to experience ejaculation. This occurs when semen (made up of sperm and other fluids) is released through the penis. This could happen while you are sleeping. You might wake up to find your sheets or pajamas are wet. This is called a nocturnal emission or wet dream which is normal.