Puberty is a challenging time for adolescents and their family.

Puberty is starting younger and younger, which can make the situation more complicated. It is not considered abnormal for puberty to begin at age 8 for a girl and age 9 for a boy.

Initially, there is a growth spurt in both sexes. In a girl, this is followed by the development of breast buds. In a boy, the testes start to enlarge followed by the penis. Pubic hair then follows in both sexes.

The first period in a girl usually occurs about 2 years later. The first ejaculation (often a ‘wet dream’) occurs at a similar time in a boy.

It can be abnormal if a girl does not have her first period by her 16th birthday.

Young people can become very self conscious around this time. It is vital they have a good level of knowledge of what to expect mentally and physically.

Puberty happening very early or too late can cause difficulties for the young person. Worries about their changing body shape can upset them greatly.

Cairns Doctors are knowledgeable about the normal stages of puberty and can help reassure a young person, or arrange appropriate tests if they feel there is a potential problem.