Puberty is just part of growing up

Puberty can make you feel weird and confused, but there’s loads of information out there to help. It’s one thing we all have in common. Just like the weather – your body changes and the changes can be very unpredictable.

Puberty usually happens between the ages of 8-16. Not everyone goes through it at the same time though as we’re all different, so don’t worry if your friends have started to change and you haven’t, or if you have begun changing but your friends haven’t; we all get there in the end.

During puberty, your body will grow faster than any other time in your life. Your brain releases hormones that tell your body it’s time to change. This happens gradually over a few years, not overnight so you might not even notice the changes happening straight away.

Changes boys will experience during pregnancy:
  1. Shoulders get wider: Your body is filling out and changing shape during puberty, so you’ll notice your shoulders become wider
  2. Muscles get bigger and stronger: Your muscle mass is also building during puberty, so you’ll notice your muscles grow and strength improve, particularly your upper body strength
  3. Your voice will ‘break’ as you go through puberty and will become permanently deeper.During this process, you might find that your voice is very deep one minute and then goes very high the next. This is completely normal
  4. Penis and testicles will get larger. Your penis and testicles will grow in size during puberty, and your scrotum will gradually become darker in colour
  5. You may get erections. This is when your penis gets hard and stiff
  6. Testicles start to produce sperm. Semen, which is made up of sperm and other bodily fluids, might be released when you have an erection. This is called ejaculation. Once sperm is made and ejaculation happens, if you had sex without protection you could get someone pregnant
  7. You might get wet dreams. This is when you ejaculate and release semen in your sleep. This is a completely normal part of puberty.

Changes  Girls will experience during puberty: 
  1. Hips widen: as your body grows, your hips widen in preparation for you to carry a baby in the future.
  2. Breasts start to grow: the oestrogen your body is producing causes your breasts to grow. You might feel itchy or uncomfortable when this happens, but it’s completely normal
  3. Changes in your vagina: your vagina and vulva will grow bigger, and you’ll start to produce a clear or white liquid (vaginal discharge) – this is normal and is how your vagina keeps clean and healthy.
  4. Periods (menstruation): more information on periods can be found here at Health for Teens. 

Periods and what you need to know. Getting your period for the first time is a normal part of puberty, but can be a scary thought for many girls, especially if you don’t know what to expect. 

NHS Choices tells you everything you need to know to take the worry away if  your period is painful. Make sure you’re well prepared when it happens to you. You may want to start carrying period products which you just in case you need it.  

Changes everyone will experience during puberty:

1.     Start to grow taller

2.     Start to grow hair in different places like arm pits and around the genital areas

3.     Start to sweat more: you might find you need to wash more often than before, and should be having a shower or bath every day.

4.     Have greasier skin

5.     Get greasier hair: you might find you need to start to wash your hair more often if it is becoming greasier.

6.     Have an interest in exploring relationships and sexuality

7.     Experience the puberty brain: it’s normal to go through a rollercoaster of emotions- happy, sad, grumpy, tearful, angry, fed up, confused and excited- all within a short space of time!

Help and support

Click on the Icons below to get more advice and guidance. 

  • Childline
  • Health for Teens 
  • NHS Choices

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