Teen Puberty

Puberty

During puberty you will notice many, many changes happening throughout your body, some fast & some slow. Everyone goes through this transformation & each person experiences puberty in their own unique way. Explore below to learn all about puberty and these changes so you feel more prepared & confident as you navigate this awesome phase of life.

Stage1_crop
Ages 8-10

Brain Work (often ages 8 - 10)




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!

Stage2_crop
Ages 9-11

Noticeable Body Changes Begin (often ages 9 - 11)




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.

Stage 2 of puberty usually happens around 9-11 years old, but again, this is different for everybody.  In this stage of development, you may begin to notice:

  • Pubic hair starts to grow light on the outer lips of the vulva and/or at the base of the penis.
  • Armpit hair may start to develop in some preteens.
  • Body odor may become more apparent. This is because these hormones can increase sweating which combines with bacteria to create more smells.
  • Reproductive parts are beginning to mature and get larger. For most assigned females at birth, this includes the uterus and vagina. For most assigned males at birth, this includes the testicles and the sac holding the testicles called the scrotum.
  • For many assigned females, the development of the breasts begins under the nipples, which are called buds. These buds may appear like a bump or puffy area under or around the nipples.  As this happens, the breast areas may feel sore or itchy at times – this is normal. As more time passes, the areola, the area around the nipples, also gets larger.

Some of these changes may seem awkward, however, it is all part of the journey your body will need to go through to become the awesome person you will grow to be. To learn more about what to expect during all 5 of the Puberty Stages and answer frequently asked questions, Click Here! 

 

Stage3_crop
Ages 12-13

More Obvious Body Changes Begin (often ages 12 - 13)




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.

Stage 3 of puberty usually happens around 12-13 years old, but again, this is different for everybody. In this stage of development, you may begin to notice:

  • An increase in height.  Some preteens think they grew taller overnight, yet it actually takes some time.  Preteens may notice growth spurts of a few inches or more over the course of a year.
  • An increase in body hair in new places of the body or darker hair in other places.
  • The changing of body shapes, including more muscle development.

For many females assigned at birth:

  • The continued growth and expansion of the breast buds
  • Noticeable armpit hair growing
  • Acne may be appearing due to sebaceous glands under the skin becoming more active and may clog pores, leading to acne
  • Hips and thighs expanding and growing larger

For many males assigned at birth:

  • The broadening of the shoulders 
  • Wet dreams (nocturnal emissions- sperm ejaculation during sleep) may occur for some
  • “Cracking” of the voice due to the vocal cords growing
  • Some breast tissue may develop; this usually disappears as time passes

To learn more about what to expect during all 5 of the Puberty Stages and answer frequently asked questions, Click Here! 

Stage4_crop
Ages 13-14

A Lot More Obvious Body Changes (often ages 13 - 14)




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 this stage, many teenagers notice:

  • Thicker pubic hair – pubic hair can grow more curly and coarse.
  • For most females assigned at birth:
    • Their first period (menarche) occurs between the ages of 12 and 14, although some get it much earlier.  Clear or white vaginal discharge may appear up to 6 months prior to getting the first period.
    • Breasts getting fuller
  • For most males assigned at birth:
    • Their penis, scrotum, and testicles getting bigger and the scrotum sac becoming darker in color
    • A deeper voice becoming more apparent
    • Acne may be appearing due to sebaceous glands under the skin becoming more active and pores in the skin getting clogged, leading to acne.
    • Noticeable armpit hair growing

To learn more about what to expect during all 5 of the Puberty Stages and answer frequently asked questions, Click Here!

Stage5_crop
Age 15+

The Last Changes (often starts at age 15)




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 this final stage of puberty, many teenagers notice their bodies are more adult-like and adult-size. This includes:

  • Height growth is slowing down.
  • Pubic hair being fully grown and spreading into the inner thigh area.
  • Genitals and reproductive organs being fully developed and adult size.
  • For most females assigned at birth:
    • Breast size and body shape including hip and buttocks areas are being formed. Yet both breasts and body shape can continue to change as a person ages due to hormones and habits.
    • Periods becoming regular, and occurring on a monthly schedule.
  • For most males assigned at birth:
    • Facial hair has started growing
    • Penis, testicles and scrotum start to reach their full size.

To learn more about what to expect during all 5 of the Puberty Stages and answer frequently asked questions, Click Here! 

 

Resources

A list of BLOOM's trusted resources to find more information and support… VIEW ALL

Trusted Organizations
amaze
Amaze

AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know.

Young Men’s Health

Provides carefully researched health information to teenage boys and young men.

Center for Young Women’s Health

Helping girls, young women, their caregivers, educators, and health care providers improve their understanding of health and development.

Books, Apps & Podcasts
Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships (Expanded Third Edition)
By Ruth Bell Alexander

Gives teens a thoughtful, empathetic, and personal look at sex, relationships and the many ways puberty affects emotional and physical health.

The Every Body Book
By Rachel E. Simon and Noah Grigni

An illustrated LGBTQ+ inclusive kid's guide to sex, gender, and relationships education.

The Talk Puberty App

Includes over 150 questions on the topic of puberty and growing up.

Shop BLOOM

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