What Happens When My Voice Starts Breaking?

Getting a deeper voice is just another one of the changes that teenagers go through as they grow older.  

When will my voice break?

Voice-breaking is part of what happens to boys during puberty. It can also happen to people of all gender identities, including some young trans women and young non-binary people too. 

Everyone is different, but puberty usually begins between the ages of about 10 and 16 and your voice will start to break after your testicles and penis have gone through a growth spurt. 

What happens to make the voice deeper?

Hormones affect the way the head and voice box grows.

The vocal cords that allow us to speak grow thicker. This means they can't vibrate as quickly to produce higher notes like they did before.

The head grows and changes shape too. The air spaces up inside the nose (sinuses) and inside the mouth and throat get more roomy.

These bigger spaces make deeper sounds coming from the voicebox sound louder.

Meanwhile, the whole voice box tilts to a different angle. This tilting makes the voicebox poke out through the skin of the neck more – creating your 'Adam's Apple'. 

Why is my voice croaky?

While these changes are happening, you might find your voice gets croaky or your voice might suddenly start flipping between low and high. 

Others can find their voice suddenly flipping between low and high.

It can be a bit embarrassing if it happens in public, but this stage usually passes quickly.

Check out our puberty FAQ's for boys and information about going to the doctor when you might feel embarrassed about it.

Who gets a deep voice? 

Most teenagers experience a change to their voice during puberty, but it tends to be more noticeable in boys and young men – and it can also be a reality for some young trans women and young non-binary people.

Everyone's experience is unique and there is no 'right' way to feel. LGBT Youth Scotland, LGBT Health and Wellbeing and Mermaids UK have lots of information, community meetups and people you can chat to about your experiences.