Everything You Need To Know About Puberty
An Exciting, Confusing Time For Everyone
Puberty is part of normal human development. When children reach their teenage years, that is when puberty begins. Their body composition will change dramatically as their body is primed to be ready for adulthood and to give themselves the ability to bear offspring.
This is the stage where children start growing at an alarming rate. The changes include the shape, size, composition, and the emotional and psychological aspects of the child. Boys and girls will grow rapidly at this stage of development and will continue doing so until they reach young adulthood, where development slows down considerably.
Puberty affects boys and girls differently. Girls start their puberty about 1-2 years earlier than boys which is why they often finish much faster.
Just 4 years after puberty hits, girls can then bear children and their physical body will not grow anymore (at least, not as fast). For boys, growth will continue between 6-8 years after puberty starts.
During the normal course, girls can start their puberty at the age of 9 and will go up to 14. For boys, it will usually start at the age of 10 and will stop at the age of 17.
Boys will have Testosterone as their main hormone which contributes to the change in their physical appearance, as well as the deepening of their voice.
Females will depend mostly on estradiol and estrogen. The former developers the breasts and the uterus and the latter provide the necessary blueprint for female development.
Do note that both men and women have Estradiol and Testosterone hormones, but the former is abundant in women and the latter is abundant in men.
When puberty hits for females, their breasts will start growing, as well as their height. Their hips will start to widen and some extra fat will start to develop in the stomach and buttocks.
The limbs such as the legs, arms, hands, and feet will start to grow at an exponential rate. Please note that although extra fat is gained in some areas, this is not to say that the girl is overweight as this is just a normal process.
Because the hormones can vary depending on the menstrual cycle, women may experience emotional fluctuations and may cause irritability. In some cases, cramping can occur which can bring excruciating pain. In the event that the emotional fluctuations are too unbearable, go seek a doctor.
As for boys, when they enter puberty, their scrotum becomes thinner and this will give room for the testicles to start growing. At the age of 13, the penis will start growing as well.
There are instances where boys will experience “wet dreams” or there is a liquid that comes out of the boy’s penis. This is involuntary and it is normal. It is important to tell growing boys that masturbation is normal and healthy as well. It only becomes an issue if it becomes a compulsive behavior. This could stem from an underlying mental issue or a past trauma, which could lead to premature ejaculation, and as this is a sensitive and embarrassing position for any boy to be in, it is best for them to receive help on the matter, so that it does not affect them even further.
Because the sebaceous glands also activate during puberty, both boys and girls will experience acne since their entire body will secrete more oil.
Mood swings and emotional fluctuations can happen because of hormonal changes that are happening in the body.