Talking about puberty can sometimes feel awkward because you are mentioning body parts that are usually hidden, and seeing changes to your body that are new and sometimes unfamiliar. Plus, you don’t hear people talking about it in everyday conversations at the dinner table or the bus stop: “Hey - your puberty is really looking great!” However, there are three guarantees about puberty that might make things easier. First, everyone grows up, so you are not alone. Second, lots of people are also shy and uncertain about how to talk about everything to do with puberty, so you are not alone on this either. Third, a lot of people - your parents, teachers, friends, sisters, and grandparents - want the whole puberty experience to go well for you and would love to help you out.
What BODY PART does puberty start at?
The whole process of puberty starts in your brain in a small gland called the pituitary. The pituitary gland sends a message to your ovaries that signals your body to begin growing and changing. Wonder where your pituitary gland and ovaries are hanging out? Check out the picture below to see.
Your ovaries then send hormones (chemicals that travel around in your blood) to alert the rest of your body to start all of these changes. The primary hormone of puberty for girls is called estrogen, but progesterone and a small amount of testosterone also help out with all of the changes of puberty.
What will “GROWING UP” do to my future? Am I really ready to have all these changes in my life, at the age of 10?
“Growing up” is the work of becoming a grown-up. Your body and brain are changing to prepare you for doing all sorts of things in the future - like driving a car, having a baby, working at a job, buying groceries, being in love, reaching for the cookie jar … you get the idea! The word puberty describes how your body grows from a girl’s body to a woman’s body, and the word “adolescence” describes how your brain changes to make adult decisions and have adult relationships. Put together, growing up takes many years, so don’t worry - you’ve got some time before you are officially grown-up!
Will I still have puberty when I am 50?
Puberty is officially over when your body stops growing. So most girls finish puberty when they’re teenagers. However, our bodies continue to change in interesting ways our whole lives.