Registered nurse Hannah Grace gives her professional verdict on some common questions about your body
Going through puberty is a rollercoaster experience, in which your body experiences all kinds of weird and wonderful changes. It’s completely normal to have questions about what you’re going through – so here are some quickfire answers to some common queries.
I Stink. Am I Sweating Too Much?
The hormonal changes your body is going through during puberty can increase the amount that you sweat. But don’t worry or get embarrassed, it’s normal for both boys and girls to be sweaty! Keep a simple hygiene routine and avoid using harsh soaps or deodorants as these can actually make things worse – here’s looking at you, Lynx.
Is Vaginal Discharge Normal?
Lots of girls ask if vaginal discharge is normal, and most of the time this is a perfectly ordinary part of becoming a woman. It helps keep your vagina moist and protects against infection. The amount can vary and the colour can range from clear to creamy depending where you are in your menstrual cycle. However, if the discharge becomes coloured or smelly, go see your GP.
I Keep Getting Erections. Am I Weird?
Fun fact – you can’t always choose or control when you get an erection, and they can happen at the most awkward and embarrassing moments. This is especially true in your teens, when your hormones are raging and it’s normal for erections to appear without any warning, even when you’re not thinking about anything sexy whatsoever!
If you get an erection at a very awkward or inappropriate moment, you could put a jumper on your lap to cover it. You may find it helpful to think of something really dull and boring and unsexy, and if you concentrate hard enough, this should make your erection disappear.
My Periods Are Irregular. Is Something Wrong?
Girls often worry about getting caught out at school starting their period as it may take a few months or even years for your period cycle to start becoming regular. Your body is just getting into the swing of things when you’re going through puberty, so expect the unexpected! Be prepared and carry a little purse in your bag with pads/tampons just in case you are early or late.
Should I Check For Cancer? How Can I Check?
Self-health checks, everyone – it’s important to get to know how your body usually looks and feels. If you have breasts, you can check them by gently feeling around the breast area and under your armpit- a good time to do this is in the shower by making it part of your daily routine! Get to know how your breasts feel at different parts of your cycle.
If you have a penis and testicles, it’s important to check each testicle separately by gently rolling each between your fingers checking for any lumps. They should feel smooth (without lumps, however you may feel a soft tube at the back of each testicle called the epididymis). This too can become part of a shower or bath routine. Remember, it is normal for one testicle to be slightly bigger than the other or hang slightly lower.