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Our Growing Bodies

Growing Up

Puberty Changes in Girls and Boys

  • There are different phases of growing up. From the ages of 10 to 19 years you experience the adolescent phase. The ages of 10 to 14 years are a special time of many changes. During this time, your body, mind, and feelings are changing and growing. All of these changes together are called “puberty.” This is a time of rapid physical growth. It can be challenging and confusing, but also exciting for you.
  • You may experience changes at different times. Hormones in our bodies affect us differently, so this is very normal.

The following physical or body changes happen during puberty:


You will grow taller

Your hips will widen

Your voice will change

Breasts will grow

Hair will grow on your armpits and around the private parts

You will start menstruation

You will start to sweat more

Your face becomes oilier, which can cause pimples

Puberty Image


You will grow taller.

Your chest will widen.

Your voice will deepen.

Hair will grow on your armpits, around the private parts, and, for some boys, the face and chest.

You may experience ejaculations in your dreams, called “wet dreams”.

You will start to sweat more.

Your face becomes oilier, which can cause pimples.

One may also experience emotional changes.

For example:

  • Feel happy one day, and then suddenly feel sad or confused the next day
  • Feel sensitive and comparing yourself with friends (peer pressure)
  • Desire to please others and not feel different from friends
  • Want others to understand your feelings
  • Physical attraction towards the opposite sex (crushing on someone)

You may first experience sexual attraction and desire during adolescence. You may also experience their first love, first relationship or first sexual encounter. This can be emotional for you as you have not previously experienced these feelings, which can be very intense.

When a girl or boy experiences these changes, she or he may feel pressured or confused. These feelings are normal. But you do not have to act on these feelings. You can make your own decisions. The important part is to always stay safe and healthy from possible infections such as HIV.

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