Puberty happens to every person sometime after the age of 8. It is the transition into adulthood, when the sex organs grow and develop and the body becomes capable of reproduction. These changes can make you feel proud and happy, but sometimes they may make you feel confused or embarrassed.
- The brain’s hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to release hormones called gonadotropins into the bloodstream. These hormones are produced about one year before bodily changes begin. That’s why physical complaints – such as headaches and stomachaches – sometimes precede a girl’s first menstruation.
- These hormones stimulate estrogen production by the ovaries in females (six times greater than previous levels) and androgen production in the testes in males (20 times greater than previous levels).
Both genders have both hormones, but during puberty, males get 20 to 60 percent more androgen and females get 20 to 30 percent more estrogen.