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Puberty Explained

HELLO PUBERTY 👋🏻 Who remembers having “the talk” with your parents as you approached the most awkward years of your life? Or how many of you parents out there are desperately searching for info to give your pre-pubescent child? Well look no further! We are here to give you the strength to conquer that awkward convo!

Puberty is the period of human development where physical and sexual maturity occurs. Puberty is initiated by hormonal changes triggered by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus - stimulating the release of the reproductive hormones. Beginning as early as 8 years old in girls, and approx 2 years later in boys the hypothalamus signals the release of the sex hormones - testosterone and androgen in boys and oestrogen and progesterone in girls. These internal changes begin about a year before any of the external changes are visible. The experience of puberty is new and often tricky to navigate for both boys and girls. It is a process that occurs in stages and at different ages for different people and it is perfectly normal, for one person to have already started developing while one's best friend of the same age hasn’t.

The average age for beginning puberty is approx 8.5yrs old for girls and 10.5yrs old for boys and lasts about 9yrs for both sexes. Duration of puberty in girls from onset of breast development to cessation of growth is roughly five years. Puberty can be divided into five Sexual Maturity Rating stages. See stages below in comments below:

GIRLS 🤦🏼‍♀️

• Stage One: 8-11yrs

The ovaries enlarge and hormone production starts.

• Stage Two: 8-14yrs Breast buds begin to develop.

The nipples are tender and elevated.

The area around the nipple (the areola) increases in size.

The first stage of pubic hair may also begin now.

Height and weight increase at this time, and the hips begin to widen.

• Stage Three: 9-15yrs Breast growth continues and pubic hair gets coarser and darker.

During this stage, whitish vaginal discharge may be present.

For some girls, this is the time that the first menstrual period begins.

• Stage Four: 10-16yrs:

Some girls notice that their areolas get even darker and more raised.

If it did not happen in Stage Three, the first menstrual period should start in this stage - but may not be regular for a little while still.

• Stage Five: 12-19yrs This is the final stage of development.

Full height is reached, and young women are ovulating regularly.

Pubic hair is filled in, and the breasts are fully developed.

BOYS 🤦🏼‍♂️

• Stage One: 9-12 Male sex hormones become a lot more active, and sometimes a growth spurt begins at this time.

• Stage Two: 9-15

Height increases and the shape of the body changes.

Muscle tissue and fat develop at this time.

The areola darkens and increases in size.

The testicles and scrotum grow, whilst the penis may remain the same at this point.

A little bit of pubic hair begins to grow at the base of the penis.

• Stage Three: 11-16yrs The penis starts to grow during this stage.

It tends to grow in length rather than width.

Pubic hair is getting darker and coarser and spreading to where the legs meet the torso.

Also, boys continue to grow in height, and even their faces begin to appear more mature.

The shoulders broaden, muscle tissue increases and the voice starts to change and deepen.

Finally, facial hair begins to develop on the upper lip.

• Stage Four: 11-17yrs At this time, the penis starts to grow in width, too.

The testicles and scrotum also continue to grow.

Hair may begin to grow on the anus.

Underarm and facial hair increases as well. Skin gets oilier, and the voice continues to deepen.

• Stage Five: 14-18yrs Boys reach their full adult height.

Pubic hair and the genitals have reached final development and maturation. Some young men continue to grow past this point, even into their twenties!

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