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Puberty can seem scary if you don’t know what to expect, learn the signs, symptoms, and stages of female puberty.

Puberty can be confusing for both kids and parents. Puberty is the physical transition from childhood to adulthood. Hormones play a major role in causing many physical and emotional changes in this transition. Puberty can seem overwhelming and stressful if you don’t know what to expect. Let’s dive into what to expect in female puberty.

When Does Puberty Start and End?

In most cases, females will start puberty between the age of eight to thirteen years old. Puberty will end around two to five years after it starts.

Signs and Symptoms of Puberty

In females, the signs and symptoms of puberty include:

  • Growing body hair
  • Growing pubic hair
  • Growth spurts
  • Breast development
  • Menstruation
  • Acne1

The Stages of Puberty

There are five stages of puberty. Read on to learn what to expect from each phase of puberty.

Stage 1

  • Prepubescent stage when no changes have yet occurred

Stage 2

  • Breasts begin to grow
  • Areolas enlarge
  • Genital hair begins to grow
  • Growth spurt of 2 to 3 inches per year

Stage 3

  • Breasts continue to grow
  • Genital hair and body hair growth, hair becomes darker and coarser
  • Acne or oilier skin
  • Growth spurt of at least 3 inches a year

Stage 4

  • Breasts continue growing
  • Nipples begin to protrude
  • Body hair reaches adult levels
  • May continue to grow 2 or more inches a year
  • Acne continues
  • Menstruation may start

Stage 5

  • Development ends
  • Peak height has been obtained2

It is important to know that puberty is a normal and healthy part of life. If you have questions or concerns, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). What are the symptoms of puberty, precocious puberty, & delayed puberty? Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Retrieved November 25, 2022
  2. Team, C. H. (2022, June 17). Puberty for girls: What to expect. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved November 25, 2022