Describe the hormonal changes which occur at puberty in humans.

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besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Puberty is defined as physical changes that occur in the bodies of males and females that results in the person being able to reproduce.  The brain signals the ovaries or testes and many different hormones are released. These hormones cause changes both physical and mental.

Puberty can be mentally exhausting for a child. During this time in their lives they are experiencing feelings they have never felt before. It can be very confusing. It is almost as if the child is stuck between being a child and an adult.

Some of the changes that take place during puberty are irritability, skin problems such as acne, headaches, fatigue, and changes in appetite. All of these are due to hormonal fluctuations.

krishna-agrawala | Student

On average people between age of 11 to 15 go through a period of rapid growth and physical change particularly in sex related characteristics. This period of rapid growth or changes in sex related organs and characteristics is called puberty. The Range of age given above is average, but in reality there are variations from person to person. Also there are difference in average age of puberty between people of different races. Further girls achieve age of puberty earlier than boys.

Growth that takes place is controlled by hormones. When the puberty starts secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone is greatly increased. This hormone acts on the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, stimulating it to secrete the gonadotropic hormones and luteinizing hormone.  These hormones, in turn, act on the testicles in males and the ovaries in females. These sex gland grow and begin to secrete large amounts of sex hormones. The cortex of adrenal glands also secretes some sex hormones.

The sex hormones help trigger a person's rapid growth in height and weight.  Androgens promote maturity of male sex organs male sexual behaviour.  These also stimulate chancges in male characteristics as a deep voice and a beard.

Oestrogens stimulate growth of female sex organs establish female sexual behaviour.  They also stimulate the development female characteristics, such as full breasts and wide hips.