While growing up, you may have already used certain milestones to track your physical, emotional, or mental growth. Your family may have also discussed the ways in which you have changed through the years. The first time you started walking, when you got potty-trained, a sudden increase in height, the first day of school, acquiring new skills, etc. are often significant events that help measure a child’s development. Puberty is also one such milestone in your life and understanding puberty is very important for experiencing a healthy and smooth transition with the onset of its many changes.
Puberty is the period during which a child’s body develops into an adult’s body. Generally, it takes place between 9 to 15 years of age in boys and 8 to 13 in girls. During this time, you will experience physical, hormonal, and emotional changes. Puberty also marks sexual maturity - which means that your body can now reproduce. To understand this process better, we must explore the various types of changes we are likely to experience, in sound detail.
Physical Changes During Puberty
Puberty begins when the Pituitary gland, which is located at the base of your brain, releases certain chemicals called hormones. These hormones cause different parts of your body to grow and develop. Your height will increase, and you will gain weight. Your shoulders will widen and your muscles will get bigger during Puberty. You will also grow hair under your arms and in your genital areas i.e., above your thighs and below your waist. Other changes like getting pimples and oily skin are common.
Boys undergo a few specific changes during Puberty. Hair starts growing on their faces. Their voices will deepen with time. The size of the penis and testicles, which are the parts between the legs will increase gradually. Boys might start experiencing erections. When the penis gets stiff and swollen, pointing upwards due to excitement or stimulation, it is called an erection.
While girls begin having their period and may sometimes observe a whiteish liquid released from their vaginas.
Emotional Changes During Puberty
During adolescence, you may feel strong or unfamiliar emotions. You may become upset or angry very easily. Feeling confused is also quite normal. On the road to adulthood, you might feel overwhelmed by the uncertainties that lie ahead of you. You and your peers might start to evaluate careers, interests, responsibilities, and more, and you may ponder the idea of romantic love. You could also experience drastic changes in your mood and may develop sexual feelings towards others.
What Does Puberty Feel Like?
Undergoing puberty might stir certain emotions within you. You may be nervous about how your body or your face looks, and the pace at which you are changing might well be a little disconcerting. You may feel like certain parts of your body are disproportionate to others during this growth period. You may also feel as if you are changing differently as compared to your peers. These stages might feel awkward, but eventually, you will blossom into your own person and personality. Puberty is a period of transition, so allow yourself to adjust to its many shifting changes. It is also a time for figuring yourself out, and this can be a very exciting and enlightening process!
All in all, understanding your own pace and being gentle with yourself are healthy and recommended approaches to puberty.