What happens when you go through puberty?
Puberty is the transition from childhood to the final stage of maturation that allows for reproduction. Puberty begins with a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which comes from a part of your brain known as the hypothalamus and kicks off a hormonal chain reaction.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulates your pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones. The follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones tell your ovaries to produce sex hormones from your ovaries (mainly estradiol). In men, these hormones stimulate the testes to produce testosterone.
All of these hormones are responsible for the various bodily and emotional changes that you go through during this time of your adolescence. As a girl, puberty lasts on average from about the age of 9 to 15. At this point, you can get pregnant and give birth to a baby.
Puberty in boys lasts a bit longer, usually from age 10 to 17.
You will start to notice some changes in your body as you approach a double-digit age. These puberty symptoms are quite similar in all adolescents. However, not all of them follow the same pattern. For example, your best friend might have fully developed breasts (known as thelarche) by the age of 13, whereas yours might not fill out until you are 16.
Below, we’ll go through some of the signs of puberty that you’ll probably experience.
1. Pubic and axillary hair
The growth of pubic hair — also known as pubarche — is one of the things female puberty usually begins with. At first, you’ll notice light, straight, soft hairs growing in your pubic area. As you progress further into puberty, the hair gets longer, thicker, and coarser.
Taking on a triangular shape, this patch of hair will also spread to your inner thighs. You might also notice that hair has begun to grow under your armpits as well (axillary hair).