YHS Cares

York High School's dedicated website to pupil health and wellbeing.


  • Definition
    Puberty is when chemicals (hormones) in your glands cause your body to change. Your body develops over several years as you change from a child to an adult. Remember everyone develops at different rates so don’t worry if you think you are going through changes before or after everyone else. It can be a confusing time, but everyone goes through puberty.
  • Signs
    Changes to your body
    Intense emotions
    Changing moods
    Sexual thoughts and urges
    Feeling sexually or romantically attracted to other people
    Spots or acne may appear
    Skin and hair get greasier

    Signs (girls)

    You get taller
    Your breasts get bigger
    Your hips get wider
    Hair grows under your arms and around your vagina
    Hair grows on your legs and may become darker
    Hair may grow on your top lip
    You may get spots
    You may sweat more under your arms and may smell different or stronger
    Your hair may get more greasy
    Your vagina changes and may produce a colourless or white discharge (fluid) to keep it clean and healthy
    Your periods will start at some point during puberty. A period is a bleed from the womb (uterus) that is released through the vagina. Women have a period every month. Around the time of your period each month, you may have the following symptoms, aches, headaches, tiredness, feeling dizzy or faint, sickness and/or diarrhoea.

    Signs (boys)

    You will get taller, bigger and more muscular
    Your penis and testicles (balls) will grow bigger
    You will grow hair under your armpits and around your penis and testicles (balls)
    You will grow facial hair on your cheeks, chin and upper lip
    The hair on your body will get thicker
    Your voice will get deeper
    You may start to get erections. This can happen anytime (not just when you think about sex)
    You may have wet dreams which is when you ejaculate (or ‘cum) and release sperm in your sleep
    You may get spots
    You may sweat more
  • Advice
    Release energy and decrease stress by

    Getting physical: dancing, yoga and sports
    Getting creative: music, art and dance
    Sharing your feelings with someone you trust
    Spend time with your friends
    Some teens choose to masturbate to release sexual feelings, and others just wait for the feelings to pass.

    Don’t compare yourself to others because people start puberty at different times and they develop at different rates.
    Remember that although your feelings may seem out of control at times, changing moods are a normal part of growing up.
    Hormones can make you sweaty but showering or bathing more often and using deodorant can help.
    You might have mood swings and feel emotional, but your feelings will settle down eventually.


    If you notice discharge from your vagina, it should be colourless or white, and shouldn’t smell. If it looks green or yellow and/or it smells, see a doctor as you might have an infection.
    If you are worried or have any more questions, you can talk to someone you trust, a friend, an adult, a teacher, GP or counsellor.
  • Where can I get help?
    In school you can talk to the following people:
    A friend
    Your Tutor
    Head of House
    Miss Masterman – Pupil Welfare Officer
    Noreen Reid – Pastoral Mentor (Drop in sessions Tuesday & Wednesday during break and lunchtime)

    In the community
    Talk to your parents or GP

    Childline (Free) 0800 1111

    Puberty - The Signs
    Change For Life

    Boys & Puberty

    Girls & Puberty
    The Menstrual Cycle