Voice Changes

Written by Lori Reichel, Ph.D.

  |  Reviewed by Hina J. Talib, MD

Many young people experience voice changes during their adolescent years, although they may be more noticeable in some people than others.

Voice changes occur because, as a young person grows, the larynx or “voice box” grows larger. This growth includes the vocal cords stretching to create a different sound. During the time this growth is occurring, in which a young person’s larynx is growing into its adult-sized larynx, cracking of the voice may occur. This voice cracking can occur at any time, yet sometimes occurs unexpectedly and when under stress.

Tips for adjusting to a Changing Voice
  • Take a breath. Realizing voice changes are a natural and normal part of growing up.
  •  If your voice cracks as you are talking, pause, take a breath, then continue talking. This happens even to adults and, if you are okay with it, others will be okay with it too.
  •  If someone mistakes you for someone else or misgenders you when they hear you talking on the phone, simply correct the person by stating who you are.
  • Keep a positive attitude and sense of humor. Remember that all of us go through puberty and experience a variety of changes.