Puberty is when your body goes through lots of changes as you grow from being a child to an adult.
Puberty is a normal part of life, but its still common to feel anxious, excited or even confused about it. Knowing what to expect can help make it less stressful, and talking your parents and friends you trust can also help.
When should puberty start?
The average age for girls to start puberty is 11, while for boys the average age is 12.
But it is perfectly normal for puberty to begin at any point between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 9 and 14 for boys.
When to get GP advice
We're all different and so not everyone starts to go through puberty at the same time. There's usually not any need to worry if puberty does not start around the average age, but it is a good idea to speak to your GP for advice if it starts before 8 or has not started by around 14.
What changes can you expect during puberty?
You may get acne on your face and body.
You will start to sweat more, and you may have body odour. You may want to shower more and start using deodorant.
Hair will grow under your armpits and "pubic hair" will grow around your genitals.
You may grow more hair on your arms and legs, and this hair might be darker.
You might feel some "growing pains" in your arms and legs.
Puberty and your emotions
Puberty is caused by hormones, and these affect your emotions as well as your body. You may find your emotions become stronger and more intense during puberty, and it is common to go through mood swings – when your emotions change quickly and randomly.
You'll also start having more sexual thoughts and urges, and you might notice that you feel sexually excited, or "turned on". Some people masturbate to release this tension and explore their sexuality.
Managing your emotions
All these feelings can be confusing, but there are things you can do to help manage them. Try talking to friends or family who can help you through your feelings, or try activities like exercise, writing, music or art to help deal with your emotions and release any extra energy.