Puberty is the process of physical changes in which a child’s body becomes an adolescent , capable of sexual reproduction . Growth accelerates in the first half of puberty, and reaches its development at the end. The bodily differences between boys and girls before puberty are almost exclusively genitalia . During puberty, larger differences in size, shape, composition, and functional development are noted in many structures and systems of the human body . The most obvious are secondary sexual characteristics.

Strictly speaking, the term “puberty” refers to bodily changes in sexual maturation rather than the psychosocial and cultural changes that this entails.
The adolescence is the period of psychological and social transition between childhood and life adult. Adolescence covers a large part of the puberty period, but its limits are less defined, and it refers more to the Psychosocial and cultural characteristics mentioned above.


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  • 1 Body changes in women
  • 2 Growth of pubic hair
  • 3 Start of menstruation and fertility
  • 4 Growth of facial and body hair
  • 5 Height increase
  • 6 Body odor, skin changes, and acne
  • 7 Initiation of sexual activity
  • 8 Growth of pubic hair
  • 9 Body hair
  • 10 Night emission of semen
  • 11 Penis growth
  • 12 Initiation of sexual activity
  • 13 deepening of the voice
  • 14 Body odor
  • 15 Growth.
  • 16 The environment is only a modulating agent
  • 17 Adolescence begins with puberty
  • 18 What is the normal age of onset of puberty?
  • 19 Why does puberty occur?
  • 20 What are the first signs of the onset of puberty?
  • 21 What happens in boys?
  • 22 See also
  • 23 Sources

Body changes in women

The dominant hormone in female development is Estradiol , an Estrogen . While estradiol promotes breast and uterine growth , it is also the main hormone that leads to puberty growth and Epiphyseal maturation and closure. Estradiol levels rise earlier or stay longer in women than men.
The physical changes in girls are:

Pubic hair growth

The pubic hair is usually the fourth onset of puberty. It is also referred to as Pubarche , and the hairs can first be seen around the Lips . In about 15% of girls, pubic hair appears even before the breasts start to develop.

  • Changes in the Vagina, Uterus, and Ovaries.
    The mucous membrane of the vagina also changes in response to rising estrogen levels, gaining weight and becoming pinkish in color. The characteristic whitish secretions are also a normal effect of estrogens.

Beginning of menstruation and fertility

The first menstrual bleeding , also known as Menarche, appears around 10 to 16 years (on average). The menstrual periods at the beginning are almost never regular and monthly during the first years. Ovulation is necessary for fertility and may or may not occur in the first cycles.
Change in pelvic shape, redistribution of fat and body composition.
During this period, also in response to rising estrogen levels, the lower half of the Pelvis widens (providing a wider birth canal ).

The adipose tissues increases to a higher percentage of body composition than in males, particularly in the typical distribution in women of the breasts, hips and thighs. This produces the typical body shape of the woman .

Growth of facial and body hair

In the years and months after pubic hair appears, other areas of the skin develop denser hair in approximately the following sequence: axillary hair, perianal hair, hair above the lips, and periareolar hair.

Height increase

Growth is estrogen-induced and begins at about the same time as the first breast changes, or even a few months earlier, making it one of the first manifestations of puberty in girls. The growth of the legs and feet is accelerated first. The growth rate tends to reach its maximum speed (as much as 7.5-10 Cm per year).

Body odor, skin changes, and acne

Increasing levels of Androgens can change the composition of Fatty Acids of Perspiration , resulting in a more “adult” body odor . This often occurs one or more years before the Telarquia and Pubarquia . Another androgen-induced effect is increased oil secretion ( sebum ) from the skin and varying amounts of [[acne]. This change increases susceptibility to acne , which is a characteristic trait of puberty, varying in severity.

Initiation of sexual activity

Due to all the sexual changes that the puberty has been experiencing, it can become confused, scared or just curious, as a result of this it can get to explore itself and in this case it initiates its sexual activity through Masturbation . This is totally normal and there is no reason to feel guilty or worry about doing it. It is important that if the pubescent already knows Ejaculation and decides to have sex, they should inform them about STIs and contraception, so that they can have a full and healthy sex life.
In men
Muscle development.
Adult body formation.
Testicle growth.
The growth of the testicles is one of the first characteristics by which a boy can realize that he is entering puberty since they increase in size, between the ages of 13-14 years until 16.

Pubic hair growth

Pubic hair is usually one of the first things that happens when a pubescent boy has reached puberty. It appears first around the base of the penis, sprouting in a thin way with a light color, until it becomes thicker and curlier, its color also becomes darker and they sprout more and more until they cover the genitals.

Body hair

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis is the first axis to be affected at puberty. Hormones such as androstenedione and DiHidroTestosterona (DHT) begin to be generated around the age of 7/8 in girls and 9/10 in boys. This elevated activity of the HH-Adrenal axis known as “adrenarche” gives rise to pubic hair, axillary hair, facial hair (beard and mustache), hair on the legs and arms, a line of hair that extends from the ” pubis “to the” navel “, on the chest among other things.

Night emission of semen

During puberty and adolescence, the young man may or may not experience his first nocturnal emission, also known as wet sleep or “night pollution.” It is normally an expulsion of semen through the penis, carried out when the boy sleeps and dreams often associated with sex or simply by rubbing the penis with clothing.

The total amount expelled by the child is approximately what would fit on a spoon, because the semen expelled is less in night pollution than in conscious ejaculation (masturbation, sex). From that moment, the puberty can fertilize an egg.

Penis growth

As seen before in the puberty, the first change that occurred was growth of the testicles before the “penis” so the boy should not think that he has a small “penis”, but as time goes by his penis also grows, reaching to the size that it will have in the adult stage. Although 14-15 cm is possibly an average adult size, it varies greatly in the normal population.

Initiation of sexual activity

Due to all the sexual changes that the pubescent has been experiencing, she can become confused, scared or simply curious, as a result of this she can get to explore herself and in this case she begins her sexual activity through masturbation. This is totally normal and there is no reason to feel guilty or worry about doing it.

It is important that if the puberty already knows ejaculation and decides to have sexual intercourse, it is necessary to inform him about STDs, protection methods, as well as contraception, so that he can have a full and healthy sex life.

Deepening of the voice

When a puberty is in the development stage, its vocal cords become thicker so that the person’s voice is thick and masculine. This goes by periods, it may be that at first the so-called ” Roosters ” come out when speaking, and then the voice becomes more serious.

Body odor

After puberty, the young man begins to expel characteristic smells, especially after physical exercise. The expulsion of sweat by the sweat glands increases at puberty, which becomes, although not decisively, an important factor that contributes to the human body. This smell is usually described as unpleasant and its intensity can vary from person to person and from moment to moment.


The boy who has reached puberty enters a new growth process in stature of a longer duration than the girls. This growth process usually lasts up to 23 years of age in boys, 21 in girls. However, height growth can be observed up to 26 years.

The environment is just a modulating agent

It is important to highlight the fact that the onset of puberty is determined by genetic load, and that socioeconomic, nutritional and psychological factors play a modulating role.
Puberty is the period of life in which the Transition occurs from childhood to adulthood. In this period changes occur that affect all the organs and body structures, but the most striking is the development of secondary sexual characteristics. At the end of Puberty , the body reaches its final shape and size.

Adolescence begins with puberty

The physical changes that occur during puberty are accompanied by brain maturation and psychic changes that lead to the acquisition of adult personality. The period of psychological changes is longer than the changes Physical puberty and is called Adolescence .

What is the normal age of onset of puberty?

The timing of puberty onset is highly variable. There are many factors that influence the age of pubertal onset: diet, the geographical area in which one lives, the standard of living, the family pattern of pubertal onset, etc. In addition, as with height, there is a ” secular acceleration ” of the beginning of puberty, so that in western countries puberty has been advanced 3-4 years compared to the beginning of the century. In our country, the onset of puberty is considered normal between the ages of eight and 14 in girls and between the ages of nine and 15 in boys.

Why does puberty occur?

Puberty is triggered by changes in the function of a group of brain cells. These produce hormones that in turn stimulate the functioning of the ovaries or the Testicles , according to each sex. As a consequence of the stimulus, the ovaries and testicles increase in size and manufacture increasingly higher amounts of the hormones responsible for the development of sexual characteristics: Estrogens in the case of women and Testosterone in that of men.
Therefore during puberty a series of hormonal changes take place with activation and increased production of the so-called sex hormones

What are the first signs of the onset of puberty?

The first months of puberty go unnoticed. Changes in the body are few until the production of estrogens or testosterone reaches a relevant level.
In women, the first sign that puberty is starting is usually breast development. The onset of breast development is perceived as a tightening below the areola, which can be slightly bothersome, “the breast button.”

They usually notice a lump in one or both breasts, which is sometimes painful. In the following months this button increases in size, at the same time that changes occur in the Nipple and in the Areola . The appearance of the first period usually happens later and it can take years, on average about three years from the start of breast development, until it appears

What happens in males?

In boys, the first sign of puberty onset is enlargement [[testicular]. This data is difficult to appreciate and value by parents who will more easily notice the appearance of hair in the pubis and in the armpit .
In both sexes, there is a significant increase in height since during puberty the so-called “growth spurt” takes place. This “stretch” occurs in earlier stages of development and is less intense in girls.
What other changes occur during puberty in boys?
In males, the evolution of puberty can be easily followed by measuring the enlargement of the testicles. This measurement is made by comparing the testicles with wooden molds. Before the onset of puberty the testicular size is less than 4 cc, while the final size is between 20 and 25 cc


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