If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Puberty & physical changes

Let's explore the physical changes in humans at puberty. Created by Mahesh Shenoy.

Want to join the conversation?

No posts yet.

Video transcript

in the first few years of a child's development you see the fragile body of the baby quickly growing and becoming stronger you see its height and weight start to increase rapidly this makes sense because the initial priority of the body is to become strong enough so that it can survive so all the energy is diverted to making you stronger and bigger but then once you reach an age of about 10 to 12 years that particular kind of development slows down now you don't see your height for example increasing as quickly as before why because now the priority changes now most of the resources and energies are used to mature the reproductive organs are the sexual organs and this period of time which is usually around teen age where the sexual organs are are maturing we call that period the puberty so let's explore the different changes that start happening in the body during the time of puberty so let's start but I didn't know what puberty is as mentioned puberty is an age where the reproductive organs start to mature so reproductive organs start to mature start to mature and this usually happens around the teen age for some people it could be a little bit earlier like maybe around 1112 years but for some people it can be little bit later also maybe for about around 15 to 16 years so it varies from individual to individual and if you're wondering what do we even mean by this statement well basically it's during this time your body starts to produce sex hormones hormones like testosterone or progesterone etc we have talked a lot about this in great detail in our previous videos called endocrine system alright but anyways it starts producing sex hormones which can affect your behavior that's what that's what happens for teenagers at times and these hormones also cause mature gametes to be produced less like that they cause mature gametes to be produce basically sperm cells and Excel sperms are produced in the testes and X cells are produced in the Orie's all right that starts happening during this time and as a result of this we start seeing some physical changes in our body so there are physical changes that start happening and these are visible during the same time now why do they happen well there are a couple of reasons for that one is that it signals a potential mate that the body is starting to sexually mature itself right so it's a signal that the body has started the sexual maturity and another reason for these changes that start happening in your body is basically to prepare to prepare for a baby and here's what I mean by this statement for sexual reproduction we know that the sperms have to go and unite with the egg cells we call this fertilization but in some cases fertilization can happen externally like in some fishes here the female fishes would lay the eggs first and then the male eggs would male fishes would go and fertilize that egg so fertilization happens outside of the female body right but in humans the fertilization happens internally meaning inside the female body so for this the males have to release the sperms into the female body and to do that a very intimate act is needed called the sexual intercourse right and for that sexual intercourse some physical changes need to happen in the bodies and also after fertilization once the baby starts growing we know in humans the baby stays in the mother's womb for about nine months so the mother also needs to prepare her body to be able to take care of that baby so basically a body's trying to signal for a potential mate and prepare for reproduction so now let's see what are these physical changes that happen let's talk about those physical changes physical changes now some of these physical changes are common to both the males and the females so let's start with them let's the common ones what are the common changes well one common change that you'll find is you start growing hair in different parts of the body right during this time usually around her armpits around armpits genitals you also start growing very thin hair on your hands and legs and face etc so basically you these will start growing hair they grow hair you also see that the genitals the skin near the genitals will start to darken so the skin of the genitals darken so the skin darkens over here skin darkens and another thing that happens because of the hormones that gets secreted over here is that a lot of you might get secreted and the skin end up ends up getting oily sometimes so you might have oily skin and that could result in pimples and acne that we usually see in teenagers during this time but of course that's not a necessary thing some people are lucky to not have those pimples I remember I had a lot of pimples all right now let's talk about the changes which are exclusively for males and females so let's make two columns males here females here let's start with the males what changes do we see only in the males we see their voice starts to crack their voice kind of starts becoming a little deeper so wisecracks we see facial hair growing like beard and moustache I'll just write beard over here and we also see the penis starts to become larger penis and largest and the penis will be capable now of erection again this is important for sexual intercourse now what are the changes happen only in females the breasts starts to enlarge so breast and large the skin at the center of the breast near the tip of the nipple that starts to darken so the skin darkens at the tip of the bristle right at the tip over here and another thing we see is they will start to menstruate menstruate and of course if you're wondering why this happens we'll talk about this in a little bit more detail when we talk about the female reproductive organs in the future videos so that's about it let's look they summarize what did we learn we learned in first 10 to 12 years the human babies grow to become stronger and protect themselves but then the priority changes and now their normal growth slows down and their reproductive organs start to mature this time is what we call puberty that happens usually around the teenage years and as a result of this some physical changes start to happen in the body some changes have common whereas some changes are exclusive for males and females and what did they happen well they happen one reason for that would be to signal a potential mate that the body has started is sexual maturity and another reason is to prepare for a baby and to prepare for the act of sexual intercourse