Puberty is the transition of a girl or boy into a woman or man. As adolescents transition into adulthood, they go through several physical and mental changes, which can make this a difficult time of life. Adolescent puberty can be divided into five stages.
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Boys generally begin to go through puberty between ages 9 and 14. The first stage shows no visible signs, but the body is starting to produce male hormones.
Girls start to go through puberty earlier than boys. A typical female will start the first stage of puberty around 8 years of age. In this stage, the ovaries begin to enlarge and hormone production begins. A girl may experience a growth spurt when puberty begins.
According to the Ohio State University Medical Center, a male will experience the first visible changes between the ages of 11 and 13. These include a new layer of muscles and a rapid increase in height and weight. At this point, a boy's sexual organs will develop, and fine hair begins to grow on the legs, underarms and base of the penis. The scrotum and testicles become larger during this stage.
Girls will also begin to get taller and put on weight during this stage, which can happen anywhere between the ages of 8 and 14. Fair hair begins to grow under the arms and in the pubic area. Breast buds will begin to show and can be tender to the touch. At this stage, the breasts may be growing unevenly, which is not uncommon.
In boys, the scrotum and testicles continue to grow, and one testicle may grow faster than the other. Between the ages of 12 and 14, the penis begins to become larger. The shoulders become broader, and the muscles become larger. Pubic hair is growing darker, curlier and thicker. Sperm production is starting, which may result in nighttime ejaculation. Erections occur frequently and spontaneously.
A girl's breasts continue to grow during ages 9 to 15. The vagina begins to release a clear to white discharge. The pubic hair starts to grow in darker and thicker. Ovulation and menstruation begin during this stage
A boy's larynx develops between the ages of 13 and 16, and the vocal chords get thicker and longer. A change in the voice becomes noticeable. The penis broadens, while the testicles and scrotum continue to grow.
In a girl, pubic hair and underarm hair continues growing between 10 and 16 years of age. Most girls have their periods, although they can be irregular. The pubic hair begins to grow into a triangular shape
Boys reach their adult height and weight between 14 and 18 years of age. By this stage, the sexual organs have reached full size. Facial and chest hair are additional signs of manhood.
Girls reach their adult height between 12 and 19 years of age. Their periods occur regularly, and their breasts have completely developed.