Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.
Side image

As I grow

Puberty is the time when your body changes from a child's to an adult's. Puberty happens to girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 16 years and it's a normal part of growing up. Not everybody starts puberty at the same time.

What is it?

Our brains release hormones that tell the body it is time to start changing. This happens over a few years, so you may not even notice the changes happening!


Some changes are the same for boys and girls:

  • Growing taller.
  • Hair under your arms and between your legs
  • Sweating more – this might mean you need to have a wash, shower or bath every day!
  • Greasier hair and/or skin. You might get some spots – remember to keep your skin clean by having a wash every day.
  • Mixed up feelings and mood changes‚Ķ happy, sad, grumpy, tearful, angry, fed up, confused, excited. These are all normal feelings – it is just your ‘puberty brain’ getting used to a brand new you!
  • Feeling differently towards others. You might start to find other people attractive.

Some changes only happen to girls and some only to boys.

Changes for Girls

  • The body can become curvier and hips widen
  • Breasts start to grow
  • Periods (menstruation) start

 Changes for Boys

  • Shoulders get wider
  • Muscles get bigger and stronger
  • Hair starts to grow on your face and chest
  • Your voice will start to change. It may sound squeaky some days and on other days quite deep
  • Penis gets larger
  • Testicles get larger and start to produce sperm

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Talk to your parent/carer, school nurse or teacher.

Riddle me this!

Which of the following only happens to girls during puberty?
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Everyone grows and starts puberty at different times, so do not worry if your friends have started to change and you have not.
Nurse with speech bubble

Page last reviewed: 13-10-2021

Next review due: 13-10-2024