Answers FAQ

Puberty In Girls FAQs

Reviewed by David Perlstein, MD, FAAP

Take the Puberty In Girls Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
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Q:Teens need how many hours of sleep per night?

A:9. Experts say most teens need a little more than nine hours of sleep each night. Sleep can help teens do better in school, stress less, and generally be more pleasant. The following are some possible effects of not getting enough sleep: - Feeling angry or depressed - Having trouble learning, remembering, and thinking clearly - Having more accidents - Getting sick more often - Feeling less motivated - Possibly gaining weight - Having lower self-esteem

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Q:Girls should have their periods by the time they are 13. True or False?

A:False. Everyone develops at their own rate. A doctor should be consulted for girls who have not gotten their periods by age 15 or within a few years of breast growth. It is important to note that some girls don't get their periods until they're 16. Often the best predictor of when a girl will get her first period is when her mother got her first period.

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Q:Puberty is the process of developing from a child to sexual maturity. True or False?

A:True. Puberty is the process of developing from a child to sexual maturity. In girls, puberty includes growth spurts, the development of breasts and hips; the growth of body hair, and the beginning of menstruation (having periods).

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Q:Chocolate causes pimples. True or False?

A:False. It's a myth that oily foods or chocolate cause pimples. Acne is caused by overactive oil glands in the skin. If certain foods seem to cause you to break out, try to avoid them. But you don't need to shun pizza or chocolate for clear skin.

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Q:What is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

A:Completely avoid sex (abstinence). Condoms can't protect you from all STDs, and birth control pills do not protect against any STDs. Abstinence (not having sex at all) is the only 100% sure way to not get an STD.

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Q:STDs can be spread through oral sex. True or False?

A:True. Many teens think that if they have oral sex -- but not sexual intercourse -- they can't catch an STD, but many STDs can be spread through oral sex.

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Q:Teens and young adults who have had sex account for what percentage of the newly diagnosed STDs each year?

A:50. By the age of 21, almost 20% (one in five people) in the U.S. will need to be treated for an STD. This accounts for half of the new cases of STDs in the U.S. every year. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 15%-20% of sexually active adolescents are infected with Chlamydia trachomatis (a common STD).

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Q:How many calories should teens eat every day?

A:2,000. You may be confused about what you should and shouldn't eat to stay healthy. In fact, making healthy food choices isn't hard at all. To help prevent heart disease and some other diseases, you should eat mainly: fruits and vegetables; grains (whole grains, such as whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice); fat-free or low-fat versions of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products; fish, skinless poultry, lean red meats, dry beans, eggs, and nuts, and unsaturated fats. Also, you should limit the amount of foods you eat that contain saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and added sugars.

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Q:Out of 100 teen girls who have sex, about how many will get pregnant?

A:About 30 girls. Out of 100 teen girls who have sex, one out of three of them (about 30 girls) will get pregnant. Remember, that although most pregnancy can be prevented through the use of appropriate contraception, abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy.

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Q:A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women's health. True or False?

A:True. More specifically, a gynecologist is a doctor who deals with the diseases and routine physical care of the reproductive system of women and girls.

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Q:You should get your period on the same day of every month. True or False?

A:False.Many women consider themselves not normal if they don't get their period on the same day of the month, every month, says Mary S. Dolan, MD, MPH, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. She tells them not to worry and not to expect it the exact same day of the month.

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Q:What is the definition of self esteem?

A:Judgment of your own worth, The ability to value yourself and our overall opinion of ourselves. Self-esteem is our ability to value ourselves and the overall opinion we have of ourselves. People can have high (positive) self-esteem or low (negative) self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be most easily recognized by the negative statements you make or believe about yourself. Having healthy or high self-esteem means that you feel good about yourself and are proud of what you can do.

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