Teen Puberty FAQ

Puberty is the period of time when children begin to mature biologically, psychologically, socially and cognitively. It is a process that can take a year or even six years when a child’s body takes characteristics that define it sexually. Everyone matures at his or her own pace, but eventually all will catch up.

Puberty leads to adolescence, which is the traditional period between childhood and adulthood. Adolescence can be a very difficult time because this is the time when an individual is trying to cope or adapt with all the changes that he or she experiences.

During puberty, the body goes through a lot of physical and mental changes. The experience of puberty depends on the gender of the individual and is unique for every person. Some of these changes may make one feel embarrassed and confused but everyone must learn that the process is natural and common.

What happens to boys during Puberty?

Puberty for boys usually starts at about 10 to 16 years of age

Ejaculation is the initial sign that boys are going through puberty. This is the release of semen through the penis. Ejaculation may occur because of masturbation, or the self-stimulation or arousal through self-touching. Ejaculation can also happen involuntarily through wet dreams.

Body changes include growth spurt, broadening of the shoulders, weight gain and development of muscles.

The penis and testes will get larger and erections are more frequently experienced due to an increase in sex hormones. Erections occur when the penis gets stiff and hard – sometimes for no reason.

The voice will get deeper, usually starts with voice cracking. The cracking will then eventually stop until the voice stays at the lower range.

Hair will appear under the arms, on legs and face and above the penis. Chest and facial hairs may also appear although not all men have chest hair and facial hair.

What happens to girls during Puberty?

Puberty for girls usually starts earlier than it does for a boy – usually between 9 and 13 years of age.

Menstruation (or period) is a monthly discharge of blood and tissue from the uterus through the vagina. Most girls get their periods between 9 and 16 years of age. During puberty, the ovaries begin to release eggs.

If an egg is fertilized by sperm from a man’s penis, it will grow inside the uterus and develop into a baby. If the egg does not meet with a sperm, these tissues and cells are not needed by the body and will turn into a blood-like fluid and flow out of the vagina. One menstrual period may last between two and seven days.

Breasts start to develop. Small, tender lumps under one or both nipples will get bigger over the next few years.

Body changes include the rounding and widening of the hips and narrowing of the waists. Fat starts to build up in the stomach, buttocks, and legs. This is normal and gives your body the curvier shape of a woman.

Hair will start to grow in the pubic area, which will eventually become thick and very curly. Hair will also grow under the arms and legs.

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