Learning About Puberty in Boys

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What is puberty?

Puberty is the time in your life when you start to grow and change into an adult. During this time, your body goes through a lot of changes.

For most boys, these changes start between the ages of 9½ and 13. But every boy's body has its own timeline. For example, you may start to go through puberty before any of your friends do. This is normal. All boys and girls go through puberty at their own pace.

What can you expect when you go through puberty?

As you go through puberty, your body will start to make a lot more testosterone. This is a hormone that helps you become and look like a man.

During this time, you will see your body change in many places. For example:

  • Your penis and testicles will get bigger.
  • You will grow taller and get bigger muscles.
  • You will grow hair between your legs, under your arms, and on your face.
  • You may have wet dreams. This happens when you have an erection at night. When you have an erection, your penis fills with blood and gets hard, and sometimes fluid (called semen) will come out of your penis. You may wake up and find that your clothes are a little wet. This is normal, and it happens less often as you get older.
  • Your breasts may grow a little. But this does not mean that you are growing breasts like a girl does. Over time, your breasts will go back to their normal size.
  • Your voice will get deeper.
  • You may get pimples and start to have body odour. This is because the hormone changes that are taking place in your body make your skin more oily and cause you to sweat more.

As you go through puberty, you may be worried or confused about all of the changes in your body and how they may change the way you look, feel, and relate to others. At times, you may:

  • Feel grouchy or moody for no reason.
  • Feel a little awkward or clumsy in your growing body.
  • Become more curious about sex and begin to have sexual feelings toward another person.
  • Feel more independent. You may want to do more things on your own or spend more time with your friends than with your family.

All these feelings are normal. Most boys feel this way at one time or another as they go through puberty. But if you feel discouraged or sad or have questions about what is happening to your body, talk to your parents or another adult you trust. They can help you get through this time. And they might even share what it was like when they went through similar changes.

How can you make going through puberty easier?

Puberty is a normal part of growing up. There are some things you can do to treat your body well and make this an easier and exciting time in your life.

Build healthy habits

  • Get plenty of exercise every day. Go for a walk or jog, ride your bike, or play sports with friends.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and try to cut down on how much fast food and sweets you eat.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

Hormone changes that are taking place in your body make your skin more oily and cause you to sweat more. Sometimes these changes can cause you to have body odour and get pimples.

  • To help prevent body odour, you may need to bathe more often and use a deodorant or a deodorant with antiperspirant on your armpits to help keep your underarms dry.
  • To help prevent pimples, wash your face once or twice a day using a mild soap. Try not to scrub, squeeze, or pick at your pimples. This can make them worse and cause scars.

Find ways to reduce stress

  • Spend time with your friends. Go to a movie, listen to music, or read a book.
  • Be creative. Try something new, like painting, dancing, or doing arts and crafts.
  • Share your feelings with a good friend, your parents or another adult you trust, or an older brother or sister.
  • Go online or to the library to learn all you can about puberty.
  • Keep a journal. Write down what is happening to your body and how those changes affect the way you look, feel, and relate to others.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: July 26, 2016