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Timing and stages of puberty

Adolescence and puberty can be so confusing! Here’s some info on what to expect and when:

  • Puberty in girls usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13 and ends by around 14. For boys, puberty usually starts between 10 and 14, and ends by around 15 or 16.
  • For girls, one of the first signs of puberty usually is their breasts starting to grow.
  • Getting your period (menstruation) usually happens later, around two years after breast growth starts.
  • In between, you’ll probably start to see more hair in places like under your arms and in your pubic area.
  • Puberty involves big changes to your shape, including getting taller (which stops when puberty ends).

Of course, it can be hard to have your body change at a slower or faster rate than your friends’ bodies. If how fast or slow your body is changing is upsetting you, talk to an adult you trust.

If you’re developing slower or faster than you think you should, your body may just be changing at its own natural rate. It’s a good idea to let your doctor know if you start puberty before age 8. Also let your doctor know if you don’t have any signs of puberty by the time you’re 14. Your doctor can check whether a medical problem is involved.


Content last reviewed April 15, 2014
Page last updated May 23, 2014