Sexual and other physical
maturation that happens during puberty is due to hormonal changes. Here's a look at the
changes for boys and girls.
In boys, it's hard to know exactly
when puberty is coming. There are changes that occur, but they happen slowly and over a
period of time. It's not just a single event. Each male teen is different and may go
through these changes differently. But these are average ages when puberty changes may
Start of puberty. Between 9 ½ and 14 years old.
First puberty change
. Enlargement of the
Penis enlargement. Begins about 1 year after the testicles begin
Pubic hair appears. About 13 ½ years old.
Wet dreams (nocturnal emissions). About 14 years old.
Hair under the arms and on the face, voice change, and acne. About 15
Girls also experience puberty as a
series of events. But their puberty changes often begin before boys of the same age.
Each girl is different and may go through these changes differently. These are average
ages when puberty changes may happen:
Start of puberty. Between 8 and 13 years old.
First puberty change. Breast development.
Pubic hair appears. Shortly after breast development.
Hair under the arms. About 12 years old.
Menstrual periods. Between 10 and 16 ½ years old.
Both boys and girls go through
certain stages of development when developing secondary sex characteristics. These are
the physical characteristics of males and females that are not involved in reproduction.
These include voice changes, body shape, pubic hair distribution, and facial hair.
Here's a quick look at the changes that happen:
Boys. In boys, the first puberty change is the enlargement of the scrotum
and testes. At this point, the penis does not enlarge. Then, as the testes and
scrotum continue to enlarge, the penis gets longer. Next, the penis will continue
to grow in both size and length.
Girls. In girls, the first puberty change is the development of breast
buds. This is when the breast and nipple elevate. The dark area of skin that
surrounds the nipple of the breast (the areola) gets larger at this time. The
breasts then continue to enlarge. Over time, the nipples and the areolas will rise
again. They then form another mound on the breasts. When a girl becomes an adult,
only the nipple is raised above the rest of the breast tissue.
Both boys and girls. Pubic hair development is similar for both girls and
boys. The first growth of hair produces long, soft hair that is only in a small
area around the genitals. This hair then becomes darker and coarser as it
continues to spread. Over time the pubic hair looks like adult hair, but in a
smaller area. It may spread to the thighs. It sometimes goes up the stomach.