Puberty is the stage in life when a child's body develops into an adult's body. The changes take place gradually, usually between the ages of 10 and 16, but sometimes before or after this age.
A hormone is a chemical substance, produced by a gland and carried by the blood, which alters the activity of specific target organs (and is then destroyed by the liver). Changes occur at puberty because of hormones:
Secondary sexual characteristics appear during puberty and are not present at birth.
|Boys only||Boys and girls||Girls only|
|Voice breaks||Pubic hair grows||Voice deepens gradually|
|Hair grows on face and body||Underarm hair grows||Hips get wider|
|Body becomes more muscular||Sexual organs grow and develop||Breasts develop|
|Testes start to produce sperm cells||Ovaries start to release egg cells - menstruation starts|