What is puberty?

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Publié le 23/07/18Modifié le 21/03/19

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Puberty is when children’s bodies slowly turn into grown-ups bodies. They get bigger, but they change too. This period is called adolescence. For girls, it starts around 10, whereas for boys, it’s a bit later, around 12. It’s a slow transformation caused by hormones, a molecule produced in the body. Generally, puberty lasts 3 to 5 years.

What happens during puberty?

First, in girls, their nipples become more sensitive, turn darker in colour and their breasts grow. Hairs grow under their arms, on their pubic areas and their legs. Their hips get wider. Their bodies are getting ready to have babies later. Their genitals become fully developed. They start having periods. That means that every month, girls lose some blood. It’s a sign that their bodies are working normally. In boys, their vocal chords get thicker, the voice becomes difficult to control and becomes much deeper. We say their voice is breaking! They get “peach fuzz” on their top lip, then on their cheeks and chin. It’s a beard. They too get hairs under their arms, pubic areas, their legs and chest. Their genitals become fully developed: the skin gets darker and the testicles then the penis grow bigger. Puberty is a period of great change in the body… But also in the head! Mood changes, sadness and intense happiness. All these changes are disturbing, but with time, everything settles down. Talk about it to people around you.

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