3.a Tuning into the changes: physical

 Isn’t it cool is it that your body is growing so that one day you can make a baby if you want? Isn’t it amazing what the human body can do? Growing up comes with many wonderful things and experiences you’ll get to have, and it’s something to look forward to rather than stress about. All bodies grow and change at different rates and that it’s all normal and nothing to fear. Sometimes things will be slow and sometimes things will happen quicker (but never overnight) – and both are normal.

The changes that often develop first is a growth spurt. People with female bodies might also notice some breast development. For male bodies, you might notice your penis and testicles have gotten bigger.

Physical changes that can happen to people of all bodies include:

  • grow taller
  • voice deepens
  • body odour and smelly feet
    • This is because your hormones are changing are stimulating glands and increasing perspiration, especially in the underarm and groin areas. That increase in perspiration combines with the bacteria that live on the skin creaties a body odour. 
  • pimples
    • These can be unavoidable due to hormonal changes during puberty. As the body develops, these hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, and the glands can become overactive. Too much sebum can clog the pores with oil and lead to acne. 
  • pubic hair
  • underarm hair

These changes generally happen to people with female bodies:

  • breasts develop
  • hips wider
  • vaginal discharge
    • This is something that comes out that is clear or whitish, thin and small in amount. A person might find it on their underwear. 
  • periods (we have a whole section on periods coming up)

Meanwhile these are the changes generally happen to people with male bodies:

  • penis & 
testicles grow 
  • more erections
    • sometimes this will be when a person is thinking about something sexual, but not always. 
  • voice breaks
  • facial hair
  • shoulders 
  • wet dreams
    • Wet dreams, or nocturnal emissions, are when someone with a male body ejaculate sor secrete vaginal fluids during sleep – and they are completely normal. They might have been dreaming about something sexually pleasurable, or they might not remember their dreams at all.