As your body grows taller, it will change in other ways, too. You will gain weight, and as your body becomes heavier, you'll start to notice changes in its overall shape. Guys' shoulders will grow wider,and their bodies will become more muscular. Their voices will become deeper. For some guys, the breasts may grow a bit, but for most of them this growth goes away by the end of puberty.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty
More Than a Funny Word
OK, so it's a funny word . . . but what is puberty, anyway? Puberty is the name for when your body begins to develop and change. Duringpuberty, your body will grow faster than any other time in your life, except for when you were an infant. Back then, your body was growing rapidly and you were learning new things — you'll be doing these things and much more during puberty. Except this time, you won't have diapers or a rattle and you'll have to dress yourself! It's good to know about the changes that come along with puberty before theyhappen, and it's really important to remember that everybody goes through it. No matter where you live, whether you're a guy or a girl, or whether you like hip-hop or country music, you will experience the changes that occur during puberty. No two people are exactly alike. But one thing all adults have in common is they made it through puberty.
Guys will notice other changes, too, like thelengthening and widening of the penis and the enlargement of the testes. All of these changes mean that their bodies are developing as expected during puberty. Girls' bodies usually become curvier. They gain weight on their hips, and their breasts develop, starting with just a little swelling under the nipple. Sometimes one breast might develop more quickly than the other, but most of the time theysoon even out. With all this growing and developing going on, girls will notice an increase in body fat and occasional soreness under the nipples as the breasts start to enlarge — and that's normal. Gaining some weight is part of developing into a woman, and it's unhealthy for girls to go on a diet to try to stop this normal weight gain. If you ever have questions or concerns about your weight,talk it over with your doctor. Usually about 2 to 2½ years after girls' breasts start to develop, they get their first menstrual period. This is one more thing that lets a girl know puberty is progressing and the puberty hormones have been doing their job. Girls have two ovaries, and each ovary holds thousands of eggs. During the menstrual cycle, one of the eggs comes out of an ovary and begins atrip through the fallopian tube, ending up in the uterus (the uterus is also called the womb). Before the egg is released from the ovary, the uterus has been building up its lining with extra blood and tissue. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it stays in the uterus and grows into a baby, using that extra blood and tissue to keep it healthy and protected as it's developing. Most of the time,though, the egg is only passing through. When the egg doesn't get fertilized, the uterus no longer needs the extra blood and tissue, so it leaves the body through the vagina as a menstrual period. A period usually lasts from 5 to 7 days, and about 2 weeks after the start of the period a new egg is released, which marks the middle of each cycle.
Time to Change
When your body reaches a certainage, your brain releases a special hormone that starts the changes of puberty. It's called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH for short. When GnRH reaches the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped gland that sits just under the brain), this gland releases into the bloodstream two more puberty hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH for short) and folliclestimulating hormone (FSH for short). Guys and girls...