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Puberty for Boys

Puberty for boys will begin anytime between 10 and 14, everyone is different. You’ll notice when you suddenly start to grow taller. After this your genitals will start to change and you’ll start to grow some fine pubic hair. You might get a bit of swelling in your breasts which is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean that you’re growing man boobs! Some boys have “wet dreams” - where you ejaculate semen when you’re asleep. This is embarrassing but it will stop, try wearing underpants to bed to stop soiling your bedsheets.  Your pubic hair will become thicker and you will start to grow it under your arms too. As your larynx grows your voice will “break” – become permanently deeper. You will start to grow facial hair, fine at first but it will thicken and spread and will become bristly when you start to shave. By this time your whole body will have changed shape, you will be taller, stronger, your muscles will have developed, your face shape will have changed and become more angular and adult like. Around the age of 17 everything should start to slow down and you will continue to grow at a slower rate until you reach full maturity, roughly around 18 or 19.

You have so many hormones rushing around your body during puberty that they cause chaos – which is why you get spots and why, for no reason at all you might experience mood swings, feel angry, upset, depressed. Don’t panic, this is normal and happens to everyone but if these feelings don’t go or carry on for a few months come in and see us, as it might be worth having a chat with a Doctor, or go to see your GP. You can also read our section about coping with emotions in Fix Up and Feel Sharp.

A little bit about some things you might worry about but didn’t want to ask…..

Help! I’ve got man boobs!

It’s natural for boys to get small growths in their breasts during puberty but everything will calm down in a year or so. It is highly unusual for young men to get breast cancer so don’t worry about this unless you have a hard defined lump in which case you should see a doctor. If you are over weight you might also get man boobs, the best thing to do then is to eat sensibly, lose weight and tone up at the gym. You can read more here.

My balls are different sizes, one is lower than the other.

Ok, everything’s fine, don’t forget you’re growing rapidly and things will grow at different rates. It’s usual for one to hang lower than the other and it’s likely your testicles are perfectly normal,. If you think one of your testicles hasn’t descended into your scrotum completely go and see your doctor to check everything’s ok. It is very important to check your testicles for lumps once a month, this article explains how. Most testicle lumps in young men are benign and they are unlikely to be cancerous, but if you do find a lump go and see your doctor straight away.You can read more about different kinds of testicle lumps here.

My penis curves to one side, is it normal?

Yes it is, all penises are different and will tend to curve a little left or right, up or down, it is completly normal.

Check out Dr Anne’s Virtual Surgery there’s a great section all about boys and puberty: http://www.teenagehealthfreak.org/boys-bits

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