Puberty! What's happening to my body?

From about 10 years old, your body starts to go through a lot of changes because you are changing from a boy into a man! This change in your body is called puberty or adolescence. People sometimes say it is when you are becoming a teenager.

In boys, your scrotum (balls) and testes grow larger and your voice changes. Your penis may get longer and pubic hair begins to grow, followed by a growth spurt and finally growth of hair on your face and under the arms.

No-one knows for sure when these changes will start. Developing earlier or later than other boys does not mean that there is something wrong. Everybody is different! Bodies develop at their own special time.

Other changes you may notice:
  • You hair may become oilier and need washing more often.
  • You may start to get pimples on your skin.
  • You sweat more which changes the smell of your body.
  • Your feet may become smelly.
  • Your voice changes, sometimes it 'cracks' and it becomes deeper, like man's voice.
  • Your muscles get thicker.
  • Your shoulders get wider.
  • Your nipples may get bigger and darker. They may also be tender or sore.
  • Hair grows on your face, legs and arms.
  • Hair grows on your chest, under your arms and between your legs.

Girls will also be changing at this age. They may start earlier than boys - sometimes as early as 8 and a half years old! Girls will start to get breasts, followed by pubic hair. They will also grow taller, get their first period and grow hair under their arms. You may also notice a change in their body shape too.

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Anonymous 8 March 2018 16:37

A list of common phrases for sex

B-Wise Expert Expert 16 March 2018 13:10

Hi Anonymous, thank you for the interesting question. The answer depends on what you’re using it for, because there are so many words and phrases people use for sex! Some are more formal, for example have sex, make love, have sexual intercourse. There are also terms that are commonly used but don’t always mean you’re having sex, for example sleep together/sleep with, hook up, get intimate. And then there are slang terms that change all the time, depending on who you are, where you live and how old you are. It might help to ask people around you, like friends or classmates, how they talk about sex (if you are comfortable to). 8 March 2018 16:33

A list of common phrases for sex

Thank you for your question. We have sent it to an expert and will get back to you within 48 hours with a response.
Tailler 2 December 2017 14:18

It has been 6 months u have not getting my periods n I have tested for pregnancy and I am not pregnant so wat can I do n wat is wrong with mih

B-Wise Expert Expert 7 December 2017 13:00

Hi there, thank you for your question. When you don’t get your period, your first thought is probably that you are pregnant. There are however many other reasons why you might not be getting you period – for example, if you are on a contraceptive such as the family planning injection. If you are very fit, or if you have an eating disorder such as anorexia, this usually affects your menstrual cycle (check out our article on What is anorexia? to find out more on anorexia). Sickness or gynaecological problems are another reason for irregular periods. It would be best for you to visit your local clinic to get checked by a doctor or a nurse so they can tell you exactly what the problem may be. You can use the Clinic Finder to find a clinic near you. Don’t forget to rate the clinic you have chosen.  

Sr. Spoh 28 October 2017 18:14

I noticed Katleho's questions went unanswered, these are the basic questions that young people need to know. Let me attempt to give an answer. The cycle that leads to menstruation takes about 28 days , inwhich mant changes take place inside the uterus or womb. These changes are generated by a number of hormones inside the woma's body. Starting from the days of menstruation which is called menstrual phase that may last 5 to 7 days, this means an unfertilized ovum and the uterine cycle breaks down and comes out as menstrual flow. Immediately when menstruation is over for the next 5 days the uterine lining thickens again, this phase is called follicular phase. After this phase come Ovulation Phase which usually lasts for 8 days, this is a phase when a woman or girl is most fertile with more chances of getting pregnant if had unprotected sex, she could feel breasts tender, mood swings or lower abdominal pains (PMS). This phase last for about 8 days usually at day 14. The next phase is luteal phase which usually lasts for 10 days when the uteral lining continues to thicken. At the end of this phase she goes back to the first phase which is menstrual phase. This cycle goes on and on throughout the chilbearing years until menopause. I HOPE YOU WERE ANSWERED KATLEHO.

Thank you for your question. We have sent it to an expert and will get back to you within 48 hours with a response.
Anonymous 15 October 2017 17:52

How does circumcision stop a person from being infected with HIV and other sti's ?

B-Wise Expert Expert 18 October 2017 15:15

Hi Anonymous. There is evidence showing that circumcision reduces HIV transmission to men by 60%. This means that the risk becomes less when a man is circumcised. There are a few ways this happens. By removing the foreskin during circumcision, you remove some of the cells that can be targeted by HIV to enter the body. If someone is circumcised, there is also less friction during sex, which means there is less chance of skin or wounds opening and HIV being transmitted. Lastly, the foreskin can also catch liquids, so if your partner is HIV positive, their body fluid can stay trapped in the foreskin and have more of a chance of infecting you. But this does NOT mean that circumcision will always stop HIV infection, so a person still needs to use a condom during sex, even if they are circumcised. Circumcision also only reduces HIV transmission from women to men during sex, and does not reduce the transmission from men to women. For more information read “I am circumcised – why do I still need to use a condom?” 

BeautyD 20 July 2017 12:25

Is it normal to get into periods twice a month?...#confused

B-Wise Expert Expert 24 July 2017 13:57

Hi BeautyD. No, It is not normal to have your period more than once a month. The normal period comes every 28 days. There are a number of things that can make your period to happen twice a month, such as contraceptives, or a medical condition. Go to your clinic and speak to the nurse or doctor about this. 

katleho 26 June 2017 20:21

Actually i want to knw what couse a girl to be in periods or menstruation?

Anonymous 29 May 2017 18:37

What causes chest hair and beard in girls and what is the treatment

B-Wise Expert Expert 31 May 2017 08:24

Hi, This is most likely due to a hormonal imbalance. Polycystic ovaries might be one cause, but there are many other causes, so it is best to see a doctor so that they can do tests to find out the cause and treat the problem – the treatment depends on what is causing it.

Sianne 4 March 2017 08:48

At what age do girls normally get their periods

B-Wise Expert Expert 6 March 2017 11:34

Hi, Sianne, Girls usually start their periods between the age of 10 and 15.  It is different for every girl, some girls start as early as 8 or 9 years.  There are a few changes in your body during puberty, like getting armpit hair and your breasts changing and growing. Your first period usually happens in the first 2 years after those changes start. If you are over 16 and still haven’t got your period, it’s a good idea to go to your doctor and check what the reason might be. For more information about your period read the Girls Body Guide section. 

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:41

HIV is found in male spam ceels?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:08

Hi Anonymous, Yes, HIV can be found in semen. But, if you take ARVs, they fight against the HIV and lower the levels of HIV in the blood, semen and other body fluids.

Phila 18 March 2016 14:39

what makes girls to have pimples on the face,why are they most victims of skin problem

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:08

Hi Phila, Unfortunately, pimples are part of most young people's lives. Up to 90% of adolescents get pimples.They are caused by blockages of skin pores as oil glands start making more oils. Some people seem to have worse pimples than others but it is not known exactly what the causes are. Hormones are likely to be part of the cause, and some medications may also cause pimples. Sometimes pimples can also get worse a few days before the start of menstruation.

damara 18 March 2016 14:39

If the penis does not get longer is there anything wrong?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:09

Hi Damara, Different people develop at different ages, so if you haven't yet started to see any changes yet, it doesn't mean they aren't going to happen. The changes also happen slowly over time, so you may not notice immediately.

snezdapoet 18 March 2016 14:38

This a good topic

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:37

What is the perfect age for a boy to be circumsized

B-Wise Expert Expert 30 March 2016 11:55

Hi Anonymous, great question! Circumcision is recommended for babies and children under the age of five, as babies and children heal better with reduced infection rates. However, it is also important for young men and men to consider getting circumcised since medical male circumcision (MMC) helps reduce your chances of getting HIV (by 60%). It also helps reduce your chances of getting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) like herpes and syphilis. It can also help you keep your penis clean and can help reduce your risk of getting prostate and penile cancer.

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:34

At what age does your body stops growing?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:03

Hi Anonymous, Most of the body's growth in adolescence happens between 10 and 15 years. This growth slows down after that, and by about 19 years most people have reached their adult height. Girls usually reach this earlier than boys.

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:33

At what specific age does a girl starts menstruating?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:11

Hi Anonymous, It is difficult to say at what age a girl will start menstruating, as everyone is different. Usually it happens after a girl has started to develop breasts and pubic hair. It can happen as early as 8 or 9 years, but for some girls may only happen around 15 or 16 years.

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:32

When the boy get in this stage his voice start change and grow hear in private parts

chantel 18 March 2016 14:32

Its very important for young people to be educated more about changes that they are going to face regarding their bodies so that they will be able to cope in a proper way so that they won't get nasty suprises

Anonymous 18 March 2016 14:29

What happened when a girl reached 19 years and she did not menstruate yet?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 March 2016 02:12

Hi Anonymous, If a girl has not had a menstruation after she is 16 years old, we would suggest that they see their clinic nurse or doctor, just to check that everything is okay. There are many things that can delay menstruation, such as other chronic diseases, hormonal problems or problems with the womb and these need to be checked by the nurse or doctor.

Anonymous 20 October 2015 13:18

I am 22 years old,I have something like a breast on da right side of my chest