Monday, November 3, 2014

Awkward & Sweaty - Puberty

Puberty! 



Aww yeah! Nothing quite like raging hormones to kick you into adulthood. From mood swings and bloating to wet dreams and sweating, most people can agree that it sucks. You're always feeling weird, you sometimes develop pimples and weight gain. It's not the best. But here's the basics, just in case you need some assistance.

For intersex individuals (those whose sex attributes aren't identifiable as male or female), their characteristics are usually more noticeable during puberty.

For trans* identified young people, delaying puberty before it occurs allows them to mature to the gender they are transitioning to via hormone blockers.

Puberty generally begins around 8-14 for girls and 10-14 for boys.

Girls

7-13   Breast growth 
8-14   Pubic hair growth & curling 
8-15   Vagina growth
9-16   Periods begin 
9-14   Body growth 
11-16   Underarm hair growth 
11-16   Pimples & blemishes 

During puberty, your hips get wider and waist gets smaller. This is because your body is preparing for potential childbirth. This doesn't mean you have to have kids, it's just how your body works.

Vaginal discharge: Sounds gross, doesn't it? I used to get scared when I saw this. I thought that I was pregnant because I masturbated. But this isn't anything like that and it doesn't mean you're pregnant. It's a fluid that cleans and moistens your vagina. It can look yellow, white, or both. Usually, you'll find it on your underwear or pants, if you don't wear underwear. This is natural and normal, so don't freak out! But if it's painful, itchy, or smelly, you should call your doctor or talk to your guardians. You may even visit a health center near you for an anonymous check-in. Until then, you can avoid awkward situations with the family by wearing pantiliners or pads.

Express yourself – Sometimes during puberty, you become more confident and are able to express yourself better. Though you will become emotional and cry often. Don't worry, you're going to be okay. Crying is a part of getting your period. Remember to take time for yourself, take care of your body, and try therapeutic methods before snapping (count to 10, take a few deep breaths).


Boys

10-13   Testicular growth 
10-13   Pubic hair growth & curl
10-16   Bodily growth 
11-15   Penis grows 
11-15   Voice gets deeper 
11-17   Potency (you're able to
make babies)
12-17   Underarm hair growth 
12-17   Pimples & blemishes 

Voice cracking is part of your voice getting deeper. You'll sound funny for a little while, but it will clear up in time.
Ejaculation and wet dreams will be an experience for you guys. Sometimes you'll wake up with an erection, sometimes referred to as “morning wood”. This is normal, you're not a weirdo. You'll also experience sexual dreams and wake up with an erection or having ejaculated. Again, totally normal. Masturbation is one option to deal with these problems, but if you're opposed to it or you can't do it due to personal or spiritual matters, try taking a cold shower. You're not sinful or wrong for having this, you're human.

Eat plenty of fruits & veggies! I know, it sounds like something you'd hear from your parents or doctors. But it really helps! Because girls go through PMS, they lose blood and may be iron-deficient or anemic. Eating beans, spinach, or eggs will help keep their iron up. Also be sure to get enough calcium and fatty acids. And unlike sodas or energy drinks, you can drink water all the time and that will solve a lot of problems (like dehydration). Also get some Protein to build muscle and Zinc to regrow DNA.

Aside from physical care, be sure to take good emotional care of yourself. Have someone there for you when you need to talk like a therapist, parent/guardian, loved one, friend, counselor, and even me! :) These health tips come from Www.mom.me

Masturbation – Jigglin' your Joystick!
Along with those wonderfully confusing hormones come sexual feelings. But let's clear up some of those cobwebs full of myths about masturbation.
  • You won't go blind from masturbating.

  • You won't become sterile from masturbating.
  • It doesn't make you oversexed, promiscuous, or a sexual deviant.
  • It isn't sinful, wrong, or sick.

Perhaps these are liberal views of masturbation, but I don't think it makes anyone feel awesome thinking that they're perverts for experimenting with self-pleasure.  
There are different rules for different family groups. Some say that masturbation is against their religion; some are more open and accepting of it. If it were up to me, I'd allow teens to just explore themselves. Sex shouldn't be shameful, especially if it's with yourself.

Excessive masturbation may be a sign of something other than puberty. If a teen is masturbating frequently, it could be a tip-off of:
  • being over-stressed
  • pre-occupation of sexual fantasies
  • not enough attention at home
  • sexual abuse
Understand that parents might worry that teaching their kids about sex will make them more sexually active, but that isn't always true. Teaching your kids about sex will decrease their curiosity and urge to find out what it's like themselves. Parents might also believe that all their children want is sex when they're a teen. However, most teens say that the one thing they want is companionship. They're looking for a partner rather than a sexual relationship. But I digress. 

As always, please remember that masturbating is private. You can explore to your heart's content, as long as you do so within your bedroom or bathroom.

Thanks to www.healthychildren.org for help with puberty information!







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