Sometime between the ages of 8 and 14, most people enter puberty. Girls usually come to puberty earlier than guys. Puberty is the period when the body develops from child to adult. How you experience puberty varies greatly from person to person.
For many, it is a fun and exciting time, when many new things happen. Some may think puberty is a difficult period, but not all. Many people like to grow and get a more adult body and adult appearance. Some may long for menstruation or beard growth while others may feel it is painful.
Read more about physical, mental and social development in 13-15: year olds here.
- 1 How long does puberty last?
- 2 What happens at puberty?
- 3 Early or late puberty
How long does puberty last?
Girl bodies usually come into puberty when they are between 8 and 13 years and male bodies between 11 and 14 years. But it can happen both earlier and later. It is largely hereditary what age you have when puberty starts.
The whole puberty usually takes four to six years and during that time everyone has different rates.
What happens at puberty?
Puberty is triggered by hormones. Hormones are substances that are formed in various glands in the body. Hormones affect how and when the body develops from child to adult. Exactly what causes puberty to start at a certain time is not yet known.
There are also other hormones in the body that control for example sleep, blood pressure and mood. It is common for the mood to change quickly. You can become more easily irritated and get angry quickly.
Since the age of puberty varies so much, it can differ greatly in both length and physical development of adolescents of the same age.
Some also feel that the body does not match the gender identity. That feeling can be enhanced during puberty. To feel that one’s body does not match one’s gender identity is called gender incongruence. There is help to get for those who feel that way.
If you have any questions or concerns about what happens at puberty, contact a youth clinic or health center.
The body grows and changes
During puberty, the body grows rapidly. You get a growth spurt. The body not only grows in length but also changes shape. Girl bodies tend to have wider hips and guys body wider upper body.
Most people have something they are not happy with during this period. Over time, many become more satisfied with themselves.
When you get out of puberty you have grown up in the long run.
It starts to grow hair on the body
At puberty, hair begins to grow on the body. The pubic hair begins to grow, outside the sex and towards the groin.
It also begins to grow hair under the arms and elsewhere on the body, such as the arms and legs. Guys can get hair on the chest and back.
Guys get beard growth. It usually starts on the upper lip and spreads to the cheeks and chin. In some, hair growth can continue to increase and become stronger far into adulthood.
During puberty, the hair on the head becomes fat faster than before. That’s because of the sebaceous glands
The skin becomes fatter
The skin becomes oily faster during puberty. This is because the sebaceous glands produce more fat than before, sometimes more than is actually needed. This is felt by the skin being glossy, especially around the nose and forehead, but also on the cheeks and back. The fact that the skin gets fatter can make you get pimples and blackheads.
During puberty you can also get streaks in the skin, so-called stretch marks. It may be due to hormones or stretching of the skin faster than it is able to adapt. On girl bodies, it is most common to get breasts on the breasts, hips and thighs. On guys’ bodies it is most common on the back and shoulders. The bursts usually fade over time.
It comes more sweaty
You also start to sweat more during puberty and many start to wash every day. You can use deodorant under your arms if you think it is needed.
The voice changes
Like the rest of the body, the voice develops during puberty. The larynx grows and the vocal cords grow longer which causes the voice to darken and get deeper, which is what is usually called the target violation. It happens to both girls and guys. But guys ‘voice changes more than girls’ and that can make it difficult to control the voice. It can sometimes sound a little rough or alternate between lighter and darker for a while, before it darkens and deepens.
The breasts begin to grow
That the breasts are starting to grow is the first sign that a girl’s body is in puberty. As the breasts grow, they can itch and tender. It is also common for it to hurt when the breasts bump into something. Most often, one breast begins to grow before the other. It is common for the breasts to continue to grow at different rates. The glands in the breasts develop and feel like small hard lumps behind the nipples.
The mammary glands are often enlarged on guys’ bodies as well. It can both be seen and felt like a small lump under one or both nipples. The mammary glands can also feel a little sore, which is completely harmless. After a while, the mammary gland usually becomes small again. It can take up to two or three years.
The abdomen is changing
The genital area changes during puberty, both the size and the color. The sebaceous glands begin to appear more clearly and there may be dots and bumps that are natural and harmless. Sweat and fluids that begin to form make the abdomen also smell different than before. Smegma forms under the foreskin and in the creases between the labia. It is sebum, a fat that is the body’s own lubricant and is formed by the sebaceous glands.
In the person who has a snip, both the outer and inner labia become stronger and darker. Often, the inner labia grows so that they are visible outside the outer ones. Clitoris is also growing. The uterus and ovaries that sit inside the body become larger. Ovulation begins.
With the penis, the penis grows. How much the penis grows is different from person to person. The foreskin expands and becomes larger and under the foreskin, the smegman, a whitish lubricating fluid, begins to form. The scrotum gets a darker color. The testicles, the seminal vesicles and the internal sex glands, called prostate, also grow.
As the testicles begin to grow, it is a sign that a male body is in puberty. Sperm begins to form. Sperm can come if you have ejaculation. Then you can make someone pregnant if you have intercourse. During puberty, it is common to have ejaculation at night when sleeping. For some, it happens only occasionally, while others get nightly triggers for several years.
Anyone who has a snip starts getting movements. The removals keep the mucous membranes in the vagina moist. They also keep the vagina clean and protect against infections.
Mens is getting started
Getting menstruation means that ovulation has started. This means that you are sexually mature, so you can get pregnant and have children.
The first period usually comes about two years after the breasts have started to grow. Usually it starts with just a little blood in the underwear or on the toilet paper.
It is common to have brownish floats before the first period has arrived. It’s the body’s way of saying that the menstruation is on its way.
In the beginning, it is common for menstruation to be irregular. For example, you can get menstruation once and then it may take several months before the next menses arrive. Some also suffer from pain during menstruation.
Early or late puberty
Early puberty is called if puberty signs start to appear before a girl’s body is eight years old or a boy’s body is nine years old.
Since puberty it is called if there are no puberty signs when a girl’s body is 13 years old and a male body is 14 years old.
If your child is early or late at puberty, contact bvc, a youth clinic or health center. Puberty can be started with medication if needed. It can also be stopped if it is too early.