What are the characteristics of puberty?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Young boys and girls experience the development of secondary sex characteristics differently.

Most girls experience breast development followed by pubic and arm hair growth. Growth spurts, increase in hip size, and vaginal secretions are also common. The first menstrual period takes place approximately two years into puberty.

Young boys first experience enlargement of the testicles followed by growth spurts, penis growth, increased hair growth, voice changes, and wet dreams.

In addition to physical changes, adolescents also experience cognitive, social, and emotional development.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.