How long does Puberty Last – Although two people are not the same, they all have in common puberty – the time of life in which the body develops and changes, passing from the body of a child to that of an adult? People change at their own pace during this phase. For some, most development happens quickly in two or three years. For others, the changes may be more gradual, taking four to five years. However, even if puberty lasts for two or five years, it is a fact that your body will grow faster during this period than at any other time in your life, except as a baby.
How long does Puberty Last?
For girls, puberty usually begins between eight and 13 years. Already for the boys, it begins between the 10 and 14 years. This phase begins when the pituitary gland – a pea-shaped gland located at the base of the brain – releases special hormones that signal the gonads (girls’ ovaries and testicles of boys) to develop.
One of the first signs of this phase in a girl is the development of breasts. In males, what occurs first is an increase in the size of the testicles. Both s*xes usually show growth of underarm hairs and in their genitals during the early stages of puberty. Acne usually begins to appear after 13 years of age. Physical development can occur rapidly at any time during this period, with height gains of up to 10 cm in a year. Girls usually have their menarche during the later stages of puberty, after their breasts and hips have grown. The facial hair of boys is typically one of the characteristics that appear later, after the alteration of the voice and the growth of the testicles and the penis.
The changes that occur during puberty distinguish males and adult females, preparing their bodies for s*xual reproduction. The testicles begin to produce testosterone and sperm. The ovaries start producing estrogen and progesterone in addition to the menstrual cycle. A person’s body is considered fully developed within a few years of reaching adult stature. For girls, this time comes around the age of 17, and for boys, at age 19.
The production of new hormones does not only affect the body but the mind as well. Confusion, emotional lability, and strong emotions are all common characteristics of teens during puberty. It is normal for these young people to have any doubts about the opposite s*x and s*xuality during this phase of life.
In many schools, s*x education classes begin in fifth or sixth grade, but many parents choose to talk to their children about puberty before that. Parents, teachers and other adults should remain sensitive and care as they guide children through this maze of development, which culminates with the advent of adulthood.
When puberty starts earlier than normal – before seven or eight years for girls and nine for boys – it is a condition known as “precocious puberty.” This usually results in normal development, but parents should talk to a pediatrician to see if a treatment is needed.
Late puberty can also occur, which means that the process starts later than normal. Sometimes the reason may be obvious: genetics, severe malnutrition, intense physical training and others; but often the cause is unclear. Parents should consult a pediatrician if the child has not started puberty until the age of 14.