What Is It?

Puberty is when your body begins to develop and change from being a kid to an adult. People usually start going through puberty between ages 8 and 14. Usually, females start puberty before males do.

What Happens During Puberty?

There are many changes that happen to your body during puberty. There are changes that all people go through, only males go through, and changes only females go through. Here’s what to expect:

Both Male and Female Changes:

  • Acne (pimples) on face or body
  • Body odor
  • Sweating more
  • Hair grows under your armpits and around genital area (pubic hair)
  • Growing taller
  • Body starts producing sex hormones

Male Changes:

  • Voice gets deeper
  • Hair may grow on face, chest, and back
  • Your chest and shoulders get broader
  • Penis and testicles get bigger
  • Some boys (nearly half) will experience swelling in the breast area—this is a result of hormonal changes and is often a short-term temporary condition
  • Male bodies begin to making sperm
  • Wet dreams (nocturnal emissions) may happen during sleep—this is a normal part of puberty

Female Changes:

  • Breasts begin to develop and get bigger
  • Hips get wider and body may become more curvy
  • Periods or menstrual cycles begin
  • Vaginal discharge—discharge helps keep the vagina healthy and is usually clear, white or off-white 


The Nemours Foundation
Planned Parenthood
The John Hopkins University

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