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Puberty is a period, mainly in the teenage years where boys and girls begin developing adult characteristics and go through changes which bring them to sexual maturity. Puberty is a time of rapid growth and physical development.

In girls, it is shown by:

  • Breast development, also called thelarche
  • Widening of the hips (to deliver babies)
  • Beginning of menstruation
  • Appearance of body hair
  • Development of the genitals

The changes in girls' bodies during puberty usually take place during ages 8–15 years. After puberty, they have breasts and pubic hair, menstruate every month, and can get pregnant. They usually have reached full adult height. They develop breasts(a process named thelarche) from about age 9 years to age 15 years.

In boys, it is shown by:

  • Appearance of facial hair (beard) and body hair
  • Widening of the shoulders
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Development of the genitals[1]

Time Frame

Puberty usually starts in girls at ages 10–11 and in boys at ages 11–12.[2][3] Women usually finish puberty at ages 15–17, men at ages 16–17. The process takes different lengths of time for different people based on genetic factors and societal factors such as food supply and nutrition. The average age of the beginning of puberty has decreased measurably over time, particularly in females.[4]

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See also