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Sex and young people - Boys and puberty

NHS Choices Feature

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Puberty is the process of growing from a boy into a young man. Here's what to expect.

When will I start puberty?

If puberty hasn't started yet, don't worry. Most boys begin when they're around 13 or 14 years old, but some start earlier and some later.

We all grow and change at different rates, and there's nothing you can do to make it happen sooner or later. Your body will change when it's ready.

It's normal to feel confused or worried sometimes. It can help to talk to someone you trust, such as your dad, mum, brother or a trusted teacher.

What will happen to my body?

There are plenty of signs that puberty has started. Every boy is different, but here are some of the most common changes to look out for:

Getting taller

Your body grows, and it may become more muscular.

Bigger penis and balls

Your testicles and penis grow, and they may feel itchy or uncomfortable.

Unexpected erections

Your body produces more hormones, so you might get erections when you least expect them.

Spots and sweat

Hormones can make you sweaty and spotty, but as long as you have good personal hygiene you can still look and feel healthy. Find out about acne.

Wet dreams

You start producing sperm, and you may have wet dreams in which you ejaculate (release fluid containing sperm out of your penis) while you're asleep. This is normal.

Hair growth

Areas of your body become more hairy, including your armpits, legs, arms, face, chest and around your penis.

Deeper voice

As your voice begins to break, you might sound croaky for a while, or you might have a high voice one minute and a low voice the next. It will settle down eventually.

Mood swings

You may have mood swings and feel emotional, but your feelings will settle down in time.

Find out more about boys' bodies, including penis size and sperm.

Medical Review: September 24, 2013

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