Puberty is the process that changes a child’s body into an adult body that is capable of sexual reproduction. Puberty is triggered by the release of hormones from a small gland in at the base of the brain.

For girls puberty starts at around 10 years of age with a range of eight to 13 years being normal. For boys it is usually between 11 and 12 years, however the normal range can be from 9 to 14 years.


Changes for girls:

  • breast development
  • hips widen and body becomes curvier
  • grow taller
  • hair growth – hair will start to grow in pubic area, under arms and hair on the arms and legs will darken
  • vaginal discharge – may start having a clear or whitish discharge for the vagina
  • periods will start
  • pimples may appear

Changes for boys:

  • shoulders and chest becomes broader
  • grow taller
  • body becomes more muscular
  • voice gets deeper
  • penis and testicles become larger and darker in colour
  • hair growth - hair will start to grow in pubic area, under arms, chest and back and hair on the arms and legs will darken
  • during wet dreams or when masturbating, ejaculation may occur
  • pimples may appear