Puberty is the time in our lives when our sexual reproductive organs mature. This means our bodies become capable of having babies.
Long before any outward changes happen, special hormones begin to be produced inside the bodies of both girls and boys. Hormones are substances in our bodies that affect many different things, including our sexual development and our growth.
Puberty often begins at about 10 years of age, but you can't see any outward signs yet. Physical changes become more obvious at about 13 - 16 for most boys, and about 11 - 14 for most girls. Along with the physical changes come emotional changes. We also start to think differently at this time in our lives. All in all, there are quite a few major changes to deal with during puberty.
There is a lot of information in the Puberty topics on the Teen Health section of our website.
When young people experience puberty they often have concerns about issues that are written about in topics In the Related Topics list on the left hand side of this page, such as Relationships with parents Male breasts - gynaecomastia and Periods - what to do
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.