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  • Puberty happens between ages 8 and 13 and takes 3 to 4 years to complete.
  • After puberty, the body is capable of reproduction, but that does not mean a person is emotionally ready to have a baby.


Changes everyone experiences

Feet grow

  • Feet are the first body part to grow

Growth spurts

  • Happen when the body grows more than 3 cm in 1 year.
  • Lengthening tendons can make growth spurts painful.
  • Medication and rest can help alleviate the pain.

Pimples and oily hair

  • Oil glands, located underneath the skin, produce extra oil that cause pimples and greasy hair.
  • Daily washing will help manage the extra oil.
  • If the pimples are too difficult to manage, these can be treated with medication.

Body odour

  • A second set of sweat glands grows during puberty.
  • When these release sweat it mixes with bacteria on the body and creates an odour.
  • Daily washing and deodorant manages the smell.

Body hair

  • Hair will grow over the body, including in the armpits and around the genitals.
  • It might be a different colour or texture than the hair on the head. Some people remove body hair, but others don’t.

The Sads, Mads, and Glads

  • Emotions change dramatically during puberty. Exercise, healthy food, and rest help to manage emotions.

Female Changes


Breasts grow

  • The breasts grow larger and have the ability to produce milk if a person gives birth.
  • Breasts can be tender when these are growing.
  • Wearing a training bra eases discomfort.


Hips widen

  • The hips widen to create room in the body to carry a baby if a person chooses to.


Vulva grows

  • The outer and inner labia and clitoris grow larger.


Vaginal fluid is produced

  • The vagina and cervix start to produce a clear white substance that helps clean and moisten the vagina.
  • Vaginal fluid will be noticeable on the underwear.
  • If the vaginal fluid has an odour or is itchy, it could signal an infection and need medical treatment.


Menstruation cycle begins

  • Once a month, the ovary releases an egg (ovum), and the uterus grows a lining of blood and tissue.
  • If the egg becomes fertilized by a sperm, it can implant into the uterus lining and develop into a baby.
  • If the egg is not fertilized, it will dissolve and the uterus lining is shed through the vaginal opening. This is called menstruation or a period.



Male Changes


Shoulders and chest broaden

  • The chest and shoulders broaden. 

Penis and testicles grow bigger

  • The penis and testicles grow bigger.

Increase in the number of erections

  • Erections happen when blood rushes to the penis and becomes hard.
  • Erections happen for a lot of reasons including rubbing the genitals, pleasurable thoughts, seeing an image or person they like, or for no reason at all.
  • If someone gets an erection in public they can sit down or cover up until it goes away.

Ability to ejaculate

  • Ejaculations start when the testicles begin to produce and release sperm. 
  • Sperm leave the testicles, mixes with fluid from the reproductive system to create semen, and exit out the tip of the penis.


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