These are a natural part of growing up and are nothing to worry about. Puberty usually starts between 9 and 16 — exactly when varies from person to person, but girls often start younger than boys. During puberty you may start thinking about sex. This is perfectly normal but make sure both you and your partner are ready , and that you understand how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
From starting your periods to growing body hair, find out what to expect when you go through puberty. Puberty is when your body starts to develop and change, showing that you are starting to become an adult. These changes are very normal and are kick-started by the body producing specific hormones in girls and boys. As well as physical changes during puberty you may also start to have sexual feelings and notice your moods and emotions changing, too.
When does puberty start? For girls, puberty often happens between 9 and Boys usually hit puberty between 11 and Remember that changes will happen over time. Puberty in girls — what are the stages and changes to the body? Sex organs One of the main physical changes of puberty is the growth and development of the sex organs — used to have sex and make babies. During puberty your vagina changes and starts to produce a clear or milky liquid called discharge.
Breasts Your nipples and breasts will start to fill out during puberty. All my friends wear bras every day but I don't know if I am ready to wear a bra yet. My mum says 'Your breasts are developing', but they are really small! I only have two bras so far, and when I wear them I feel like my breasts are fake because they are padded ones. Usually breasts become more even as they reach full development, but most breasts will always be slightly uneven in shape and size.
Periods One of the biggest changes for girls is periods starting. Again, this happens at different times for different people. Periods show that your body can now have a baby.
Periods generally last between 3 and 5 days. Girls usually use cloth, towels or tampons to absorb the blood and protect clothing. Other changes for girls Hair grows under your arms and between your legs. Your leg hair may get thicker and darker and you may grow hair on your upper lip. Your hips will start to broaden. This is preparing your body to be able to have babies. Many girls start to get spots.
Rapid growth spurts may happen from time to time. Puberty in boys — what are the stages and changes to the body? Sex organs As a boy goes through puberty his penis grows thicker and longer, and his testicles move lower down his scrotum ball sack.
Sometimes one testicle grows faster than the other, and it is natural for one to hang lower than the other. Erections are normal and happen when sponge-like tissue inside your penis fills up with blood — as a result of messages sparked from your brain from a smell, touch, sight, or sound. You might also have 'wet dreams' - when you ejaculate in your sleep.
Ejaculations are the way your body pushes out semen sperm and other fluids through your penis. Other changes for boys: Pubic hair starts to grow at the base of your penis and lower abdomen, on your scrotum, and under your armpits.
You start growing facial hair — how much and how soon varies a lot. For some boys this happens quickly and for others it takes time. Many boys start to get spots. There is support out there and you aren't alone. Or you may feel you don't fit into the confines of being exclusively male or female non-binary.
This is called masturbation. It may seem strange when you start doing this, but masturbation is a very natural way to make yourself feel good and is nothing to be ashamed of.
Some people find that they start becoming attracted to people of the same sex, the opposite sex, or both during puberty. Others may not be attracted to anyone. This is perfectly normal, and you shouldn't feel worried about it. Some people discover their sexuality when they are very young, during puberty or when they are much older — this is fine too.
Taking control of your sexual health When you think you are ready to start exploring sex, make sure you understand how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections STIs.
With the right knowledge you can stay healthy and make the right choices for you. Getting support if you need it It can be exciting to start developing new emotions and feelings, but it may sometimes bring sad thoughts and feelings too.
If you feel you need more support it may also help to contact a healthcare professional or a helpline. They do not imply any health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.