Puberty is a time of intense change for adolescents. By learning how hormones work, parents and children can solve some of the confusion out of these developments. Parents will be able to understand further what their child is going through. From the beginning, a parent’s knowledge can give their child peace of mind as they go through this experience.

Learning How Hormones Work During Development

At Carithers Pediatric Group, we know puberty can be a confusing time for parents and children. We are here to guide you through this time, answering any questions along the way. Here, we provide information about how hormones work during this time. Your children may have questions as well, and it is important to make sure they feel that their voice is being heard as well.

Puberty and the reproductive system are run by the hormones in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axis. Science Direct discusses this axis as the key regulator of sex development and reproduction. Here, the different hormones are released and related to each other. It is the essential first understanding of how hormones work during puberty.

Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH)

First, the Gonadotropin-Releasing hormone is released. This hormone then stimulates the release of the Follicle-Stimulating hormone and the Luteinizing hormone. Both of these become essential parts of the puberty process as a whole. According to Teach Me Physiology, the GnRH is slow cycling in the hypothalamus at the beginning of puberty. After a year of puberty, it starts to occur quicker than before.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

The Luteinizing hormone and Follicle-Stimulating hormone act on the gonads. The different parts of the body affected depends on which part of the process a child is in. For girls, this is the ovaries, and in boys, the testicles. Here, they work to stimulate the synthesis and release of sex steroid hormones. For girls, this is estrogen/progesterone and for boys it is testosterone. They both also help to support gametogenesis.

These two hormones have a large effect on the reproductive system. They have to in order to ensure the levels are in the correct range. These levels are considered low at the beginning of puberty. This is due to the previously discussed speed of the Gonadotropin-Releasing hormone, and its changes as a child progresses through puberty.

Once the levels increase, the FSH leads to an increase in estrogen synthesis in girls and the beginning of sperm production in boys. While this is seen in all children, the timing and speed at which it occurs vary.

Recognizing The Importance of Unique Experiences

No child’s puberty process looks the same. Whether you are the parent or the adolescent, this is an important realization to make. The way the hormones act in a body is the same, but the body does not always reflect these changes at the same rate or look. A child may feel like they are not experiencing things in the correct way if it looks differently than other children, but this is not the case. This is one important subject to discuss with your doctor if you start to feel like your child is struggling with comparing themselves to others during puberty.

Puberty brings drastic bodily and emotional changes for adolescents. The hormones have a significant role in that. As you learn about the hormones, the entire process makes more sense. Many questions will arise for both parents and adolescents during this time. Do you want to know about how hormones work during puberty? The physicians at Carithers Pediatric Group are here to get all of your questions answered. Find more information on our website!