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Both puberty and adolescence are linked to one another, providing clues as to how these changes are taking place within your bodies at this stage of life. Puberty and adolescence are closely associated with one another, but they are not the same thing.

Puberty refers to changes in your outward appearance, but adolescence refers to behavioral and physiological changes occurring inside your body, regardless of whether you are a girl or a boy. When you reach puberty, you enter adolescence, characterized by various changes that differ from one person to another.

What is adolescence?

This is the period between puberty and maturity, which is known as adolescence. In most cases, it begins around the time of puberty, although it may also begin in the pre-teen years (mostly 11-12 years of age.) It also has a profound effect on one’s mental and emotional health.

What is puberty?

The physical and sexual maturity of a youngster is referred to as puberty. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a hormone produced by the brain during puberty. The pituitary gland releases LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in response to this (GnRH). To increase gonad hormone production, LH and FSH function together.

What age is adolescence?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as a person between the ages of 0 and 18 years. Through time, the UN has come to define adolescence as the period between the ages of 10 and 19 years, respectively.

How is adolescence different from childhood?

Between childhood and maturity, adolescence may be defined as a transitional stage. Adolescents are through a slew of changes in their daily lives (intellectual, physical, personality, and social developmental). During puberty, adolescence starts, which is now sooner than in the past. In adolescents, the major sex organs begin to operate and secrete sex hormones, causing the secondary sex organs to mature and the emergence of secondary sex personalities.

Sexual maturity is achieved as a consequence. For females, the typical age of onset is between the ages of 10 and 12, and for boys, between the ages of 12 and 14. Pubertal changes in males are triggered by testosterone, whereas in girls, they are triggered by estrogen.


What changes will happen during puberty?

The following bodily changes occur in both girls and boys throughout puberty.

  • Increase in height and weight: During puberty, both boys and girls experience a ‘growth spurt’—a fast rise in height and weight. There is no one-size-fits-all growth rate. However, both genders achieve their maximum height at the age of 18.
  • Changes in physical appearance: The hips and pelvic area enlarge as a result of puberty in females. Muscles grow in guys, and their shoulders get wider as a result.
  • Body hair: Hair begins to grow beneath the armpits and in the pubic area in boys and girls throughout puberty. Boys also acquire facial hair (such as a moustache and a beard) as well as hair on the chest.
  • Development of reproductive organs: In females, the ovaries grow and begin to produce mature eggs at a faster rate. In boys, the testicles and penis are fully developed, and the testicles begin to produce sperms.
  • Change in voice: During puberty, the size of the larynx (voice box) rises, resulting in a change in voice. The enlarged voice box may be seen as a conspicuous bulge in the neck area termed Adam’s apple in males more than in girls. Boys are more likely to have a deep voice, while females are more likely to have a high-pitched voice because they have bigger voice boxes.

A boy’s voice may “crack” or “break” as his larynx becomes larger at first, but the voice will return to normal after a while.

  • Sweat and oil glands become more active: Puberty causes the body’s sweat and oil glands to become too active, resulting in excessive perspiration. Acne or pimples in teens may also be caused by an increase in the activity of these glands.

Girls go through the following changes in addition to those listed above.

  • Enlargement of breasts: During puberty, the size of the breasts increases, and within them, milk-producing glands known as mammary glands begin to form.
  • Beginning of the menstrual cycle: Once a female reaches puberty, the two ovaries in her body take turns producing an egg or ovum (plural ova), with one ovum being produced every 28 days until the end of her reproductive years. Ovulation is the term used to describe the process by which an ovary releases an egg.


The initial phase of adolescence is roughly associated with the commencement of puberty, which causes major changes in hormone levels and a variety of physical changes resulting from these changes.


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Dr. Gunjan Gupta Fertility and IVF Specialist in Delhi

Dr. Gunjan Gupta

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Dr. Gunjan Gupta is a Gynaecologist with a specialization in IVF, Infertility & Laparoscopy specialist doctor and has close to 2 decades of experience in : Treating Infertility, Performing Gynae Laparoscopy (Keyhole Surgeries) Handing high-risk Pregnancies. She is a Member of Royal College of Obs and Gynae (MRCOG) of UK and has been trained in Laparoscopy at EUDGES (France).

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