Genital changes – everything at work

Your genitals also change during puberty.

The hormones estrogen (E) and testosterone (T) can help genitals grow and help them keep healthy throughout your life. This often mean growing larger/more adult-like genitals (a.k.a. labia, the vulva (the outside area including the labia), the different entry-points to the lower body, the vagina (a canal/tunnel inside the body), the clitoris or the penis, balls (a.k.a. testicles) and ball sack (a.k.a. scrotum).

Vaginas (Vs)

The vagina is a tube-like muscle between the urethra (where urine comes out) and the anus.

Don’t confuse the vagina (the inside part of the muscle) with the vulva—the area around the vagina that you can see.

Some girls with a Y chromosome may have a vagina on the smaller side meaning it has less depth or width; some with a Y chromosome may have more depth and space. It all depends on your body. Generally, the labia and vulva region become fuller during puberty and can become darker. Vaginas are also very stretchy and over time can gain more depth and width.

Penis & Clitoris 

How the clitoris and penis change depends on how much T the body has and if the body can react to it.

If the body responds a lot to T and you have lots of T in your body, your clitoris might see some growth. Same for penises—If your body responds to T and has lots of it made from gonads or from hormones, the penis will probably become larger during puberty.

Differences in the penis, testes, and the genital area can happen for many different reasons. No two people have exactly the same genitals. Genitals can look very different and still be perfectly healthy.

Click here for a great illustration of the penis/clitoris and genital area.

Here are some other parts of the genitals to look out for:


It’s a sleeve of skin that loosely surrounds the tip (or ‘head’) of the penis. Some guys have it, some guys don’t (either because they are circumcised or have gone through surgery early on).

The “Balls & Ball Sack” (a.k.a the testicles & scrotum)

At the base of the penis, you might see or feel a scrotum or ball sack—it’s kind of like a sack to hold the testes.

Some guys have “balls” that aren’t in the “ball sack”. People may call these “undescended testes”

So, some guys have two balls, some have only one, and some don’t have any—it depends on how your body grows and what has happened with your body.

You can also click here for more info. Ask your parents and doctor more, if you’re interested.

Urethra (a.k.a. “the pee tube”)

In some guys, the urethra ends right at the tip of their penis; in others, it ends up being a little bit lower down or even at the base of the penis (these differences are often called ‘hypospadias’). Sometimes, the penis is straight, and sometimes it may have a bend.

The opening to the urethra can be in different places in girls, too. It may be between the clitoris and the vagina (meaning there are a total of three holes—the urethra, the vagina, and the anus).

Or the urethra and vagina can also be joined on the inside. This is called a urogenital sinus (UG sinus). This means there are only two visible entry-points to your lower body on the outside—the urogenital sinus and the anus. The urethra and the vagina are still there, but you cannot see them separately because they are further inside your body.

For more information on genitals and specific conditions, please take a look at the section Your Puberty.