I’m an Adult—Why Do I Feel Like I’m Having a ‘Second Puberty’?


For many people, puberty wasn’t particularly enjoyable: The pimples, emotional curler coasters, and basic awkwardness of being 13 years outdated all just about sucked. Clearly, I’m glad that’s up to now…or I used to be, till I obtained actually nervous after I noticed people talk about having a “second puberty” on TikTok.

Should you haven’t seen these movies pop up in your feed, they largely consist of girls of their mid- to late-20s speaking about physiological adjustments, like weight fluctuation and adult acne, that remind them of going by puberty. (These posts define a distinct phenomenon than when trans folks describe going by a “second puberty” after beginning a medical transition, particularly one together with hormone substitute remedy.)

As one person wrote in a short video: “Another ~27~ yr outdated girlies really feel such as you’re going by a second puberty!? Like my hair received’t develop anymore and my pimples got here again… additionally I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been? It’s all good, simply curious wtf is up with my physique and hope to acknowledge myself once more quickly.” One other person lamented that she’d lastly discovered pants that match her physique nicely earlier than being hit by what she known as her second puberty.

These tales of huge adjustments affecting folks of their 20s made me surprise: What might be happening with folks’s our bodies throughout this time that may make them really feel 13 once more? For solutions, SELF spoke with Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a New York–primarily based gynecologist.

Proper off the bat: Dr. Dweck says there’s no such factor as a second puberty—we’re solely going to endure by that after, thank god. However your physique is going to naturally change as you become older, and quite a few issues can mess along with your hormones in your 20s and 30s, which could trigger puberty-esque signs. 

Earlier than we dive right into a sequence of circumstances that may or won’t apply to you, just a few fast reminders: There’s actually no solution to inform what’s happening along with your physique with out speaking to a health care provider, this isn’t an exhaustive record of each single factor that might trigger puberty-like signs, and self-diagnosing is at all times a nasty thought. That stated, beneath you’ll discover the most typical culprits behind second puberty. (Which is, once more, blessedly not an actual factor.)

Hormonal shifts

One factor in regards to the idea of second puberty that does ring true: Your physique can shock you thru the years. It could be nice in case your physique would simply calm down into a traditional rhythm completely, however, sadly, that’s not the best way it really works. “My guess is a few of the folks relaying their experiences [on TikTok] are going by hormonal shifts,” Dr. Dweck says, including, “Individuals undergo hormonal shifts throughout numerous life adjustments,” like throughout puberty, being pregnant, menopause, and for a number of different causes.

For instance, the pelvic space could proceed to widen up till the age of 30 (and maybe get smaller after 40) for some folks, research suggests. That is “seemingly linked” to the age at which an individual is most fertile, which is influenced by hormonal fluctuations, the researchers be aware. Changes in breast size and shape shouldn’t essentially trigger panic both, as SELF beforehand reported. Quite a lot of elements can have an effect on how your boobs feel and look, together with your health routine, weight, and age. 

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