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!