Let’s face it: It’s normal to feel a bit weird about puberty. It’s all too easy to compare yourself to your peers and feel like your body is changing too much, too quickly, or too slowly. Knowing what to expect (and when) may make you feel more comfortable and confident as your body develops.
While puberty can look different for everyone, it generally starts between the ages of 8 and 13, with 10 being the average age to start puberty. It lasts, on average, around 5 years, although this can be different for everyone. During this time, you might pick up on physical changes as well as developments in your mood and emotions. To help you navigate this and answer all of your burning questions, two Flo experts give you the lowdown on puberty.
What is puberty?
You’ll likely have heard the term puberty used in your health class. This is the name given to the natural process of your body changing from a child to an adult. When you hear the word puberty, you might think of your period starting or your body changing, but these processes actually all start in the brain in a region called the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is the area of the brain that starts to release hormones that instruct other parts of your body to start growing and changing. These hormones are called follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones. They act as a green light for your ovaries, triggering the production of estrogen and progesterone. Among other things, these hormones regulate your cycle (establishing when you release an egg, which is known as ovulation, and when you’ll have your first period). You can learn all about your cycle using an app like Flo.