Puberty is a normal part of development where your body starts to change from a kid to an adult. The purpose of puberty is to prepare the body for reproduction. The body changes that occur during puberty don’t happen overnight. Instead, they take years and occur in stages. People call these stages the Tanner Stages or the Sexual Maturity Rating and they are divided into five (5) stages. The stages of puberty typically start around age 8-10 and can last for 5-7 years, however, everyone develops differently and at their own pace. Some may enter puberty earlier than others and some may go through the stages faster.
During the first stage of puberty, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus starts to send signals to the rest of the body that it is time to start developing into an adult body. These signals are actually hormones that travel through your bloodstream and include gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the luteinizing hormone (LH), and the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Yes, these hormones have some interesting names. What is most important, though, is that they work with one another to help us grow into the adult-size body we are meant to be!
Some of the various parts of the body that are stimulated to grow and change are your external reproductive organs, breast tissue, skin, muscles, bones, hair, and brain. This process of our brain releasing hormones takes time and we can’t visibly see these hormones being released. Yet, in the next stage, our bodies start releasing hormones to prepare for the next stages.
Now that your body has started its first stage of puberty, it will continue to move into the next stage at its own pace. So get ready, as these are some exciting changes to come! To learn more about what to expect during all 5 of the Puberty Stages and answer frequently asked questions, Click Here!