Body changes in adolescence

Puberty corresponds to the period of physiological and biological changes in the body that marks the transition from childhood to adolescence. The changes start to be evident from the age of 12, but can vary according to the child's family history and eating habits, for example.

In addition to the physical changes, which are evident in this period, the person may have large variations in mood due to increased production of hormones, testosterone in the case of boys, and estrogen in the case of girls.

If the changes are not noticed or do not occur until the age of 13, it is advisable to consult a doctor so that the cause can be investigated and the treatment can be started, which is usually done with hormone replacement.

Body changes in girls

The main bodily changes observed in girls are:

  • Breast growth;
  • Pubic hair appearance;
  • Armpit hair appearance;
  • The hips become wider;
  • The waist starts to get thinner;
  • Growth becomes more accelerated;
  • Development of Organs sexual organs;
  • The uterus increases in size.

The main sign that the girl is at puberty is the first menstruation, also known as menarche, which usually occurs between 12 and 13 years, but can vary according to the lifestyle and history of the women in the family. Find out everything about your first period.

What can accelerate puberty

Some girls may experience body changes much earlier than normal, that is, between 7 and 9 years old, for example. Some factors may favor the growth of the breasts and maturation of the female sexual organs, such as an increase in the Body Mass Index (BMI), because the more fat accumulated in the body, the greater the stimulus for estrogen production, which is the hormone responsible for female characteristics.

In addition, frequent exposure to chemical substances present in enamels and perfumes, for example, as some of its constituents can deregulate the endocrine system, favoring precocious puberty.

Although many girls think it is a good thing for breasts to appear early, early puberty can put girls at risk, as it can be associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as problems related to mental health, such as anxiety, for example.

Body changes in boys

Bodily changes in boys include:

  • Pubic hair appearance;
  • Appearance of hair in the armpits, legs and face;
  • The voice starts to thicken;
  • Note the growth and increase in the diameter of the penis;
  • Larynx growth, popularly called Adam's apple;

In the case of boys, the most characteristic sign of puberty is the first ejaculation, which usually occurs between the ages of 12 and 13.

What can delay puberty?

Common changes in adolescence may not happen when the child has a condition that directly or indirectly interferes with the growth of gonads or the production of sex hormones. Among the conditions that delay puberty are malnutrition, hypogonadism, diabetes mellitus, genetic diseases, such as Turner's syndrome, for example, and autoimmune diseases, such as Addison's disease.