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Myths Debunked: Puberty Edition

Puberty is a natural part of life that everyone goes through, yet it is often not talked about in the accurate, informative way it deserves. In an effort to combat this, here are some myths about puberty and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: Everyone goes through puberty the same way.

Aside from the changes people with uteruses go through versus those with testes go through, not everyone experiences puberty the same way. Because of genetics, changes affect people differently - you may not start your period at the same age your peers do, or you might experience erections more frequently than your peers. This is absolutely normal and not something to be embarrassed about. Your body will do its own thing at its own pace. Talking with your doctor about the changes you undergo can help you better understand your body and make sure that you’re healthy.

Intersex people can experience a variety of things during puberty. This can include “reproductive organs [changing] in unexpected ways, or secondary sex characteristics [not] develop[ing] as expected.” Puberty could also be the first time someone discovers that they’re intersex based on what they do and don’t go through. Talking with your doctor about the changes you undergo can help you better understand your body and make sure that you’re healthy.

Myth 2: Everyone goes through puberty at the same time.

Puberty affects people differently. This, of course, includes its effects, but also its timing! While puberty tends to occur earlier in people with uteruses, puberty can begin anywhere between the ages of 8 and 14. This depends on genetics as well as other life factors. Puberty typically finishes by your 20, but, again, varies from person to person.

Myth 3: Puberty is an easy time.

While puberty is a natural part of life, it is far from an easy one. Change is scary and this is

especially true when your body changes and you are unable to control it. Not only does your

body change but your emotions do too. You may be moodier, more self-conscious, more

empowered and independent, more stressed, or any other range of feelings. Talking to your

parents or doctor can help you cope with this stress.

Puberty can be an especially distressing time for trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex

kids because their bodies aren’t changing in the way they’re ‘supposed’ to or how they wish for them to change. Again, talking to parents or doctors can help with this.

It is important to remember that puberty will not last forever. While it can be a distressing time, it will eventually end. Finding outlets can help you cope with the changes you undergo, whether it be talking to others, channeling that energy into something creative, watching TV, reading books, or whatever else brings you joy. You can and will get through it even if it feels like you can’t.


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