Do you have those days when you just can’t keep up with your changing emotions? Have you spotted new body hair popping up in new places? Or woken up and felt like you’ve grown inches in your sleep? Or maybe that boy in class has become a little less annoying and lot more cute - well, you guessed it, these are your hormones at play!
Hormones are special chemical messengers in your body that start to spike and change during puberty.
For girls during puberty, your ovaries start releasing hormones called estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When your body starts releasing these hormones, your breast will start to develop, your body will begin to get curvier and your period will start.
For boys, their testosterone levels spike - which is why you can hear their voice deepen, they grow facial hair and their body will get bigger and wider.
It can be confusing for both girls and boys to understand the many physical and emotional changes to their body when hormones arrive. When I started puberty, I gained a bit of weight, my boobs grew much quicker than my friends, and I started to ask myself - “Is this normal?!”
I didn’t know who to talk to about it. I was too embarrassed to ask my parents, and my sister was younger than me. Luckily, our school nurse was very nice, and would help me with any questions that I had. Like “Why do I feel so sad and irritated just before my period?” or “Why do I crave so much sugar when I’m on my period?”. The nurse taught me that every body is different and approaches puberty at different paces - but these changes are all perfectly normal. She helped teach me the truth about hormones, instead of listening to the myths I had heard.
The biggest thing I learnt was that, much like our period, our hormones go through cycles - so it’s important to learn to embrace our changing emotions and needs throughout the month.