Young man with growing facial hair
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Puberty in boys: what to expect

Most boys notice that their bodies start to change anywhere between the ages of 9 and 15. Some boys start and end puberty earlier than others.

Your body will begin to change on the outside. At the start, you may experience a growth spurt, which means you grow taller in a short period of time. Some boys put on weight just before the growth spurt starts.

Hormones

During puberty, your voice gets deeper; you become more muscular, and your shoulders get broader. Hair begins to grow on your face, under your arms, and between your legs. You begin to sweat more and have body odour. You may also get spots or acne.

All these changes are normal and are caused by hormones. They can also be affected by your diet and hereditary factors including your ethnic background.

In general, puberty ends by the age of 18 or 19. By then, your body has matured into an adult body.

Changes on the outside

Skin and spots

For many boys, adolescence is a time when your skin begins to get oilier and produces more sweat. Sometimes this oil can block your skin pores and hair follicles. This causes spots, or acne.

If you get spots, use a skin cleanser to make your skin less greasy. Don’t use ordinary soap. It dries your skin out, so the skin reacts by producing more oil – leading to even more spots.

Hair

During puberty, hair starts growing in different places.

You may grow a moustache or a beard. Hair also starts growing under your armpits, around your penis and anus, and on your testicles. Some boys may grow chest and back hair while others may never grow any at all.

It all depends on your genes. Some people are hairier than others. And don’t worry if you can’t see any new hair growing yet. For some boys, it starts when they’re 11, but others don’t start growing hair until they’re 15 or 16.

Around the age of 14, many boys have a growth spurt. This means you get taller, and your chest an shoulders also get broader.

Girls start growing earlier than boys, usually when they’re about 12. Before you have a growth spurt, it’s common to put on some extra weight on your belly.

Enlarged breasts

Many boys find they have swelling under their nipples, so they get enlarged or swollen breasts. This is normal. Some boys may experience tender or painful breasts. Also, one breast may be larger than the other.

Even though it’s common, many boys find it very embarrassing. Luckily it usually goes away within a year or two, once the changes of puberty have finished.

Penis and testicles grow

Your penis and testicles grow during puberty. First, your testicles get bigger, then your penis. Your penis gets thicker and then grows longer. In most boys, the penis has reached its full size by the time they’re 15.

Sweating

During puberty, you sweat more, especially under your arms. This means you’re likely to smell of sweat more. It’s perfectly normal.

Just wash every day and wear clean clothes. If you like you can also use deodorant.

male development puberty
© Love Matters

Changes on the inside

First ejaculation

Sometime between the ages of 11 and 16, you’ll probably have your first ejaculation. When this happens, a clear or white sticky fluid called semen comes out of your penis.

Your first ejaculation can happen when you’re asleep during a wet dream – when you have a spontaneous ejaculation in your sleep. When you wake up, you find a wet patch in the bed. You haven’t peed in the bed – you’ve had your first ejaculation!

You might also have your first ejaculation when you’re masturbating

Laughing or crying

During puberty, you can feel really happy one moment and gloomy the next. You start thinking more about everything – about yourself and about the world.

Insecure

The changes in your body can make you feel insecure. You may worry about whether you look attractive or whether other people like you. It can take time to get used to your new body. Don’t worry – it’s all part of becoming an adult!

Your voice breaks

Around 14, your voice ‘breaks’. This means your voice gets deeper. It happens because your voice box (or larynx) and your vocal cords get bigger.

During this time, your voice may suddenly come out high and squeaky, and other times low and deep. Luckily this is only temporary. Soon your voice becomes stable again.

In love

During puberty, you often start fantasising more about a person you really like. This might be a girl or a boy. You also really want this person to like you. You may also feel excited or nervous inside when you see the person. And you might fall in love with them.

Thinking about sex

During puberty, you become curious about everything to do with sex. You think about sex more often. You may feel more excited or aroused in your body. Many boys like reading about sex, looking at pictures and talking about it with friends.

How do I know when I’ve started puberty?
It depends. The most common first signs of puberty are weight gain around the belly followed by a growth spurt and your testicles starting to grow.

Compared to other kids, why am I so much taller or shorter?
Not all boys grow at the same rate or at the same time. So, some boys may start their growth spurt early and others start their growth spurt late. Genes, diet, and even stress can influence your growth spurt.

One of my testicles is lower than the other, is this normal?
Yes. This is completely normal. Usually, one testicle hangs lower than the other, and one may be slightly larger than the other. Healthy testicles feel like a smooth, firm egg. If you touch them gently, there should be no pain or discomfort. If you do feel pain, contact your doctor.

Sometimes I get an erection for no reason, is this normal?
Yes. It’s normal to have erections for no particular reason. These types of erections are also called spontaneous erections. You can get an erection while you’re eating dinner, riding a bike, watching TV, sleeping – in fact just about anywhere. It’s particularly likely to happen when you wake up in the morning. You can’t consciously control these kinds of erections.

During puberty, hormone levels in a boy’s body can go up and down. This can cause spontaneous erections. For some boys, it tends to happen less often when they become adults.

Tell us what you think

Recent Comments (76)

  1. My Voice is becoming deeper,…
    My Voice is becoming deeper, I started having hair around my face, chest, legs and other parts of the body for about 6 months ago, but I haven’t grown an inch for about 2 years now, and I don’t know why. My feet have gotten bigger but not much. I am also starting to sweat and smelling more ,and I am 17. I am still growing in terms of height? because my father, Grandfather, uncle and all the other men in my family are pretty tall, they are all 6’2+ and I am 5’10.5-5’11.

    1. Bro you are of 17 and you…
      Bro you are of 17 and you are 5’11” i am also 17 but i am 5’6″ this height is normal

      1. That is perfectly normal and…

        That is perfectly normal and alright, there is no standard height for all people.

    2. Hello Kelly, thank you for…

      Hello Kelly, thank you for reaching out to us. You are definitey growing into the man you are meant to be. Just because all the men in your family are a certain height, doesn’t mean it will be the same for you. Also, sometimes a person may experience a growth spurt which could happen to you too.

    3. ah! i liked puberty. it is…
      ah! i liked puberty. it is good. i still continually experienced this signs

      1. Hi John, hahaha thank you…

        Hi John, hahaha thank you for sharing your contribution with us and we agree, puberty is the cocoon in which all of us human beings go through and transform from children into full grown adults, its one of the strangest but most interesting life experiences that we can go through and agree upon as a species. Have a wonderful weekend ahead and stay safe buddy!

    4. Hey im 18 yo male im late…
      Hey im 18 yo male im late bloomer im 6ft tall I had my first ejaculation at the age of 16 my voice got deeper at the beginning of 18 but i still have a lot of voice cracks,I also have moustache and few chin hairs so my main question is if my father is 6.4ft tall will i grow to atleast 6.3?

      1. Hi Delo, 

        First, I am glad…

        Hi Delo, 

        First, I am glad that you have already acknowledged that you are a late bloomer. This is totally okay and normal! 

        Second, it is hard to tell whether you will grow to be 6.3ft. You may or you may not, either way, it is okay. The fact that your father is 6.4ft does not automatically mean that you will be his height or a bit shorter seeing that you are already 6ft tall. While you can, indeed, inherit some physical traits from your father, this doesn’t automatically mean that all of these traits will present physically or be exact. Remember that your mum’s genes can also influence your height. Bottom line is that you do not have to worry about what you cannot control, you are your own person and your difference is something to be celebrated. 

         

         

  2. Hi Kelly, Your current age…
    Hi Kelly, Your current age is around the time you stop growing any taller and this explains why you haven’t grown any taller for about 2 years. Remember you also carry genes from your mothers side.

  3. I had most of those changes…
    I had most of those changes but my my voice didn’t change.I still have a voice like for a lady.what might be the problem?

  4. Hi Bornny, You didn’t say…
    Hi Bornny, You didn’t say your age however during this time, your voice may suddenly come out high and squeaky, and other times low and deep. This is temporary. Soon your voice becomes stable again. Remember this is more of process which happens over time and not an even with everything happening at the same time.

  5. Hi, I’m 14 and I haven’t…
    Hi, I’m 14 and I haven’t noticed a big change in my voice (it rarely cracks and I really don’t see a big difference) even though people say it’s different. Is it gonna change? Is it gonna take longer? I’ve been in this situation for about a year now.

  6. Hi Pedro, these changes…
    Hi Pedro, these changes happen over a period of time. Puberty typically ends around the age of eighteen years. Perhaps there is a change that you hoped for…from what others are telling you, the changes are happening be patient.

  7. my testicles are small in…
    my testicles are small in size,and my friend’s are bigger in size y

    1. Hello Bonnie, 

      There is…

      Hello Bonnie, 

      There is nothing to worry about. Every man’s scrotum looks different. It can be large, small, wrinkled or quite smooth, hairy, or bald. One testicle usually hangs a bit lower than the other, and sometimes they’re slightly different sizes.

  8. My friends have armpit hair…
    My friends have armpit hair and I don’t, does this mean their penis is bigger than mine, I am 13

    1. Hey Dylan, no it doesn’t…
      Hey Dylan, no it doesn’t mean that. It just means his armpit hair came earlier than yours. There is nor relationship between armpit hair and penis size. Also, most boys notice that their bodies start to change anywhere between the ages of 9 and 15. Some boys start and end puberty earlier than others. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/our-bodies/male-body/penis-shapes-and-sizes

    2. Dude im 12 and have hair on…
      Dude im 12 and have hair on my anus i dont think that really matters.

  9. i am 14 and i have 3.75 inch…
    i am 14 and i have 3.75 inch when erect,will it grow or will remain being like that?

  10. Hi I’m 13 and I’m 5 foot 1…
    Hi I’m 13 and I’m 5 foot 1 and it makes me mad that I am not growing my brother he is 10 and he is 5 foot 5 and he is going into grade 6 not fair to me and my voice everyone makes fun of me can you help me?

    1. Hey Johnny, first of all…

      Hey Johnny, first of all these changes will continue to happen over the next few years and so you have nothing to worry about. Also, you shouldn’t compare yourself with you brother since you are both different. How tall you grow has to do with genes and there is little you can do to grow taller or to grow taller faster. More importantly is that these changes will continue to happen, so be patient with yourself and sure enough you will see the changes take place. 

  11. I am almost 15 and my balls…
    I am almost 15 and my balls have not dropped yet and I have almost no pubic hair.
    When is this going to start?

    1. Hey Steven, at your age what…

      Hey Steven, at your age what you should be experiencing is growth of your testicles and not really descending or dropping. If you do not feel your testicles it is important to visit a medical centre for an examination. If however, they are present, then this is that time that they will begin to grow bigger. Also, with regard to pubic hair, some boys, it starts when they’re 11, but others don’t start growing hair until they’re 15 or 16. This means it is still early for you to be worried that these changes are not happening. 

  12. I am 13 years old and my…
    I am 13 years old and my penis is small, will it grow and become big?

    1. Hey, Your penis grows during…

      Hey, Your penis grows during puberty. First, your testicles get bigger, then your penis. Your penis gets thicker and then grows longer. The penis will have reached its full size by the time one gets to 15 years.

  13. I’m 16 and i barely have any…
    I’m 16 and i barely have any pubes, and my dick is only an inch and half-2 inches when flaccid and 4 inches when erect. Also my arms and legs dont have black/thicker hair yet. I’m worried, ehat should I do?

    1. Hey Jason, you are still…

      Hey Jason, you are still within the age where these changes happen and continues to take place. I suggest you allow yourself to continue to grow especially because this is a genetic process and there little you can do to quicken the process. Try not to compare yourself to others because everyone is different and experiences these changes differently. 

  14. It’s hard to find…
    It’s hard to find experienced people in read this article particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    1. Thank you Charline for the…

      Thank you Charline for the feedback, we appreciate.

  15. Sir I’m 17 years old.. I…
    Sir I’m 17 years old.. I started masturbate from age of 15th…my anus bends wide… And new deasease comes that is premature ejaculation…. Can my anus heights grow?????

    1. Hi Alan, are you talking…

      Hi Alan, are you talking about your penis bending? The anus can’t bend. At the age 17 years, it is expected that your penis has fully grown in terms of length and thickness no more growth is expected. Masturbation doesn’t cause premature ejaculation and this is not a disease. Have a look at the following articles for additional information;-

      https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/penis-shapes-and-sizes

      https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/premature-ejaculation-top-five-facts

  16. I have all changes but my…
    I have all changes but my dick is still smaller what can I do

    1. Hey Harun, how old are you?…

      Hey Harun, how old are you? In most boys, the penis has reached its full size by the time they’re 15. In some these changes will continue to about 18 years at which point it won’t grow longer or thicker. 

  17. my penis is curved facing…
    my penis is curved facing upwards should I be worries?

  18. My penis has not yet grown…
    My penis has not yet grown big and am now 20 , now,do I expect any change or not?

  19. Does the size of your penis…
    Does the size of your penis matter when it comes to reproduction?

  20. What makes some people to…
    What makes some people to have small penis but grows big when erect?

  21. Hi my name is Richie i’m 18…
    Hi my name is Richie i’m 18 years old i don’t understand what is wrong with me i always feel urge for sex of wish i don’t like the most painful part i always see my self doing all sort of rubbish thinking wild about sex and masturbating please can you help and tell me what is happening my puberty session suppose to stop at 18 i’m 18 now no changes please help and en-light me more what wrong

    1. Hi Tammy, it is normal to…

      Hi Tammy, it is normal to have these feelings as you grow. However, if you find that you are spending alot of time thinking about sex and masturbating to the extend that you are missing out on important tasks like school it is important that you take sometime to reflect on what could be leading to this. Often it could be that you have a lot of idle time and for this reason you could begin by feeling your free time with other more productive activities. Get a new hobby or even spend time with friends. Have a look at the following article for more tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/ways-to-make-love/masturbation-top-five-facts-part-2

  22. Hey Im jayson and i turned…
    Hey Im jayson and i turned 16 3 months ago, im only 5’6 or 7 and i dont think ive hit my growth spurt yet, my mom is 5’6 and my dad is 5’10 will I grow any taller

    1. Hi Jayson, thank you for…

      Hi Jayson, thank you for getting in touch and asking a wonderful question. You still have until your 18 before you stop seeing any changes but studies have shown that if your growth plates remain open past age 18 to 20, which is uncommon, your height could continue to increase. Do not worry though, your body is still going through quite a lot of physical changes as I am sure you have already noticed and your muscles too will continue to grow until you are 18. Hang in there young Adonis, have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe.

  23. I am 15 and my penis is only…
    I am 15 and my penis is only 7cm in length will it grow

  24. Hi Tom, thank you for…

    Hi Tom, thank you for reaching out to us. Your penis growth will probably stop when your puberty stops which should be when you are 18.

  25. Hello Steve, thank you for…

    Hello Steve, thank you for reaching out to us. When you say that your testicles are smaller in size, do you mean that they reduced in size or that they did not grow in proportion to the rest of your body? Either way, you need not worry about the size of your testicles as they are not an indicator of fertility or sexual performance. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.

  26. Does small penis size mean…
    Does small penis size mean ifirtility and will having sex more increase penis size??

  27. Hello Sam, thank you for…

    Hello Sam, thank you for getting in touch with us and asking a great question. For starters, having a small penis does not contribute to infertility. Secondly, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that having more sex will increase the size of one’s penis. For more information on this, click here to find out? https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/penis-size-myths-busted . We hope this article brings some more clarity, have a wonderful weekend ahead, and stay safe.

  28. I am 5’10 and 14 but i haven…
    I am 5’10 and 14 but i haven’t expierienced any height growth in a couple of months and i am starting to get worried. I have started to get a bit of a belly and my feet have grown from a 10 to a 10.5 or 11 in 4 days. Will i grow anymore, and is this normal?

  29. Hello Nathen, thank you for…

    Hello Nathen, thank you for reaching out and asking a great question. You still have 4 years of growing to go so there is a good chance that you will still grow taller. Also, it is completely natural for you to grow a bit of a belly. This is because you are still a growing boy and growing requires a lot of energy and that means eating a lot so that your body can grow. I’m sure your appetite has also grown right? This again is very normal so do not worry.  As you grow older, you will shed the excess belly fat as you continue to develop muscles. Ensure that you maintain a healthy diet, stay well hydrated and exercise regularly and you will be fine. As for you feet, they too will stop growing at one point and is completely normal.

  30. My parents put me in private…
    My parents put me in private school. I was in the fifth grade I was nine and a half years old. They would drop me off Sunday night and pick me up Friday night. they didn’t tell me that I’d be taking showers with other boys I never seen another boys penis before. I felt that something was wrong with me because all the kids had pubic hair and some were shaving. I didn’t have any here at all. I guess I was late bloomer because my hair didn’t come in till I was a software in high school. I was molested by few of the boys I didn’t understand why until later. I had above average size penis and not have any hair yet made my penis look even bigger. Because the boys you should tell me how they like to play with my big dick. I never told my parents but in some ways it affected me.

    1. Hello Derek, thank you so…

      Hello Derek, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We are so sorry to hear that you had such a rough time growing up. Unfortunately, molestation in boarding schools is rather common. Abuse of any kind can have long-lasting effects kindly consier seeing a counselor to help walk you through your feelings and experience to help you get closure (whatever that means for you).

  31. Hi I’m a 14 old boy and I…
    Hi I’m a 14 old boy and I don’t see no changes I’m hairy for my age and I’m only 5’11 and I don’t see no growth in my penis size .. my dad said he start growing when he was in the 10th grade so I want to know will I grow around the same time as him and he also said he almost had a beard in the 9th grade which I have facial hair and I’m in the 9th grade .. will I grow like him ?

    1. Hi Nas, thank you so much…

      Hi Nas, thank you so much for reaching out to us. Puberty and growth within puberty sometimes do not happen the way we expect them to. You still have a lot of time and everything will happen when it is supposed to. Try not to worry about it focus on it.

  32. So I recently started…
    So I recently started puberty and I have hair everywhere and even my ass so what stage of puberty is that and what is like next I have arm pit hair so plzz answer I gotta know.

    1. Hi nick, thank you for…

      Hi nick, thank you for getting in touch. Everything you are going through is completely normal buddy, you need not worry. Furthermore, the article above explains at length, all the physical changes your body is and will go through so just go through it and let us know if it helps. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe!

  33. i am 16 and i don’t feel any…
    i am 16 and i don’t feel any ejaculation or sperm

  34. Hello Afeez, thank you for…

    Hello Afeez, thank you for getting in touch. Is it that you do not ejaculate or that you cannot feel it when you do ejaculate? Please let us know.

  35. Why my left testis pain
    And…

    Why my left testis pain
    And will normal in a week
    Over masturbate?

  36. Hello Rashid, thank you for…

    Hello Rashid, thank you for reaching out to us. Since this is a medical issue we strongly advise you see a medical professional for a comprehensive diagnosis.
    You can call Marie Stopes Kenya today for free on 0800 720005 or WhatsApp them on 0709819001 for help and to book an appoiintment with them.

  37. some times my penis grow…
    some times my penis grow bigger and some times it looks small. what is the cause of it

    1. Hello Oke, if the change is…

      Hello Oke, if the change is significant enough for you to notice and is accompanied by pain or discomfort then you may need to see a medical practitioner. However, it could also be varying stages of your erection. Either way, if you are concerned you may have to see a medical practitioner.

  38. You mentioned earlier that a…
    You mentioned earlier that a boy can experience enlarged breast which goes away in a year or two. My friend is 24 and they are still large but not painful as per his statement. Is there a problem or is it normal

    1. Hi Gong, 

      All men have…

      Hi Gong, 

      All men have breast tissue. While this breast tissue does not enlarge in some men, it expands in some due to hormonal changes, certain medications, or existing medical condition. It is important that your friend visits a doctor who will, in turn, determine the cause. The type of treatment options vary based on what is causing the enlargement. 

       

  39. Im 15 and 5’11 and dad is 6…
    Im 15 and 5’11 and dad is 6’0 and mom is 5’9 will i grow more i have a little mustache and a little chin hair i dont have hair on my thigh or chest but a little touching my belly button and my voice just broke like 2 to 3 months ago and i turn 16 in july but my dad has chest hair and stomach hair

    1. Hi there, 

      While you may…

      Hi there, 

      While you may find that you inherit some physical features from your dad and/or mum, you may not inherit all of them from them and that’s okay and totally normal. You are a unique individual in so many ways thus be okay with being different from your parents or friends. Remember that you may also notice that the changes taking place in your body will not happen at the same time as that of your peers. This is also okay and totally normal. 

  40. im 13 and my left ball is…
    im 13 and my left ball is smaller than my right ball

    1. Hi Jeremiah, 

      This is…

      Hi Jeremiah, 

      This is totally normal for one testicle to hang a little lower than the other. You do not need to worry about this. The only time you should be concerned is if you have redness, swelling, or pain in your testicles. If this is the case, visit a doctor. 

  41. How do you know if you are…
    How do you know if you are infertile i have been stressed about this
    And give me things that can cause infertility
    That can help me a lot
    And why am i not growing like other people i hate myself because of this please help

    1. Hi Alpha, 

      The best way to…

      Hi Alpha, 

      The best way to know is to take a fertility test. Your doctor should be able to conduct this. 

      In terms of growing at the same pace with other people, remember that we are all different and growth happens at different times for some people. Be patient with yourself. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. 

LOVE MATTERS

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships