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Puberty – Signs of puberty in girls and boys




Puberty is the transformation from a child’s physical state to an adult’s physical state. It is accompanied by physiological and psychological changes. What characterizes puberty in girls and boys? What internal mechanisms cause these changes?

Puberty in girls

In girls, it begins on average around 9/10 years old. The first sign of puberty is breast development. It is done in three stages:

The onset of menstruation marks the end of puberty. “They most often occur two years after the onset of breast development,” says our expert. The morphology then changes: the pelvis widens and the adipose tissue is distributed around the hips and thighs.

“There is also the increase in the size of the ovaries and the uterus but this is not visible, of course. It is checked by ultrasound when we suspect a delay in puberty or precocious puberty”. Indeed, at puberty, the uterine body develops gradually to reach its adult form 4 to 5 years after the first period. Biological examinations make it possible to assess what is happening in the body:

Read also: Mental Health For Teens | Mental health in adolescence follows us throughout life

Puberty in boys

In boys, it arrives a little later, around 11 years old. “It starts later and ends later than in girls, to last on average between two and three years. It takes a little longer in boys.”

The first sign of puberty is an increase in the size of the testicles. Then comes the development of secondary sexual characteristics: pubic and axillary hair then growth of the penis at the same time as the moult (change of voice). Hair on the face, mustache and beard, appears last.

In girls and boys, the puberty period leads to a peak in growth. It was evaluated at 20 cm in girls and 27 cm in boys.

Along with the physical changes, puberty comes with psychological, intellectual and emotional maturation. “This aspect is important to take into account by parents in the educational follow-up of their children. For example, what is prohibited at 6 years old can be a source of conflict in a puberty period even if the little girl is only 10 years old. . Psychological changes are seen from the onset of puberty, “reports our endocrinologist.

What causes these physical changes?

Puberty seems to be due to the maturation of the central nervous system which removes the frenulum inhibiting the anterior hypothalamus. The onset of puberty occurs in the hypothalamus, which stimulates the pituitary gland. This gland located in the brain produces FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), two hormones that trigger the development of the sex glands of the ovaries and testes.

The ovaries in turn will produce estrogen in girls and the testes will secrete testosterone in boys, the hormones responsible for physical changes.

Sources: Medline Plus, NHS

Photo source: Pixabay

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