Puberty is the stage in life when a child's body develops into an adult's body. The changes take place gradually, usually between the ages of 10 and 16.
Changes occur at puberty because of the hormones:
The development of secondary sexual characteristics is shown in the table below.
|Boys only||Boys & girls||Girls only|
|Voice breaks||Pubic hair grows||Voice deepens gradually|
|Hair grows on face and body||Underarm hair grows||Hips get wider|
|Body becomes more muscular||Sexual organs grow and develop||Breasts develop|
|Testes start to produce sperm cells||Ovaries start to release egg cells - menstruation starts|
You can see that some of the changes in puberty happen to both sexes, whilst others only occur in males or females. Both boys and girls will have a growth spurt during which time their height increases more quickly than at any other time in their life. This tends to happen earlier in girls. The graph below shows this.