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Puberty - Things You Must Know About it!

Dr. Vijay Lakshmi Rawat 89% (322 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, New Delhi  •  22 years experience
Puberty - Things You Must Know About it!

What is puberty?
Puberty is the phase in life when the body of the child matures to become an adult. This change is mainly influenced by the developing reproductive system and it makes them capable of sexual reproduction. It a progressive change and happens over a span of few years. Girls start to develop breasts and might start menstruating whereas boys notice changes in body hair growth pattern with their voices beginning to crack.
The average age for a girl to attain puberty is found to be 11, whereas in boys, it is longer and the average age is somewhere around 12. Puberty also marks the onset of emotional maturity in kids as well.
Sometimes puberty can be seen at a very young age such as 7 or 8; this is called precocious puberty. This can make it physically and mentally taxing for a child and can be a sign of health issues.

What causes puberty?
The stimulation of the hypothalamus in the brain leads to the production of a hormone called Human Gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) which signal the Pituitary Gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This is responsible for sexual development.
Signs that may indicate the onset of puberty in girls:

The telltale signs of puberty in girls are:

  1. Development of breasts
  2. Growth of hair in areas such as armpits and genitals
  3. A growth spurt, i.e., rapid growth in height
  4. Start of menstruation or her periods
  5. Increase in body fat in certain areas of the body
  6. Development of acne
  7. “Mature” body odour

Signs that may indicate the onset of puberty in boys:
The usual signs of puberty in boys are:

  1. Enlargement of the testicles or penis
  2. Pubic, underarm, or facial hair development
  3. Rapid height growth — a growth "spurt"
  4. Deepening of voice
  5. Acne
  6. "Mature" body odor
  7. Increase in hair growth in other parts of the body such as the arms and legs

Along with these signs and symptoms, other signs can be changes in mood. Boys and girls may develop sexual urges wherein you will notice an unexplained attraction to the opposite sex. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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