What is Normal Puberty?

Normal puberty is when a child’s body starts to grow and develop into a young adult body. There are 2 stages of puberty:

  • Adrenal puberty is when the adrenal glands (small glands on top of the kidneys) cause the first signs of puberty.
  • Gonadal puberty is when the pituitary gland (pea-sized gland in the brain that controls other glands in the body) makes hormones that tell the gonads (testes in boys, ovaries in girls) to make sex hormones (testosterone in boys, estrogen and progesterone in girls). There are 2 types of gonadal puberty: gonadotropin dependent puberty and gonadotropin independent puberty.

What is Early Puberty?

Early puberty is when a child goes through earlier than expected for their age. Boys go usually through puberty between ages 9-14. Girls usually go through puberty between ages 8-13. In some cases, early puberty is normal. In other cases, a child should see a doctor.

Learn More

Rev. 3/2018
MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.