Puberty

  • Puberty starts at the beginning of adolescence.
  • Adolescence includes puberty, physical changes, a change in thinking ability, and corresponding changes in social interactions and patterns.

Physical changes boys experience during puberty:

  • Boys usually start to show the physical changes of puberty between the ages of 11 and 14, which is slightly older than when girls start puberty.
  • The male sex hormone called testosterone and other hormones cause the physical changes.
  • A boy’s brain is maturing while his body is changing.
  • A boy's reproductive organs mature and become ready for reproduction.
  • Height and weight increase.
  • Body hair grows in the pubic area, under the arms, and on the face, and becomes thicker on the legs.
  • His muscles become stronger
  • Vocal cords get thicker and longer and his voice deepens.
  • His body develops an increased number of red blood cells.
  • Sweat and oil glands become more active and his body odor changes.
  • Acne can develop.
  • Some boys develop small and temporary breast tissue.
  • Reproductive system begins to work.
  • He is then able to get a girl pregnant.

Physical changes girls experience during puberty:

  • Girls usually start to show the physical changes of puberty between the ages of 9 and 13, which is slightly sooner than boys.
  • The female sex hormone called estrogen and other hormones cause the physical changes.
  • Many girls are fully developed by the age of 16. Some girls will continue to develop through age 18.
  • Her height and weight increase rapidly.
  • Hair growth begins close to the pubic area and underarms.
  • Breast buds appear; nipples become raised and this area may be tender.
  • Sweat and oil glands become more active and her body odor changes.
  • Acne can develop.
  • Ovaries become larger and hormone production begins.  
  • Ovulation and menstruation (periods) begin.
  • She is then able to get pregnant.

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Last updated: August 04, 2014