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Normal Puberty

Introduction

Puberty comes as you grow up! Puberty is marked by your ability to have children. Some people call it sexual maturity.  

Definition

Puberty is the time in your life when your:

  • Body changes from that of a child to an adult.
  • These changes include ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ sex characteristics.
  • It is caused by chemicals in the body called hormones.

For boys:

  • Facial hair and deepened voice
  • secondary characteristics are changes to the penis and testis for males
  • Pubic and underarm hair are easily seen as signals of puberty

For girls:

  • Primary sexual characteristics are changes to breast, vagina and ovaries for female
  • Secondary sexual characteristics are changes to breast and widened hips
  • Pubic and underarm hair are easily seen as signals of puberty

 

When will I reach puberty?

Puberty occurs between 9 – 16 years in girls and boys. Some of you will have it earlier while some later. Possible reasons for early puberty are:

  • Better nutrition
  • Chemicals in food

 

Is early puberty good or bad?

It is neither good nor bad. There is no need to worry. Those who reach sexual maturity earlier and mix with older kids may have problems. E.g.

  • Smoking
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Illegal motor racing

( See Precocious and delayed puberty)  

What is my pubertal staging?

The development of secondary sexual characteristics is typically divided into 5 stages, known as tanner staging.

Tanner staging:

  • Male – Penis and scrotum
  • Male – Pubic hair
  • Female – Breast
  • Female – Pubic hair

Male – Penis and Scrotum

Male – Pubic Hair

Female – Breasts

Female – Pubic Hair

Has my puberty gone wrong?

Abnormal Puberty It is considered abnormal if it starts too early (precocious puberty) or too late (delayed puberty) as compared to the usual for young girls and boys. (See Abnormal puberty)

Last reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Siti Aishah bt. Saidin
    Dr. Sanidah bt. Mohd. Ali
Reviewer : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu