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.


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.


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.


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
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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.


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.

Did you learn something new?

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.

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.

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!

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?

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. 



Fri, 01/12/2018 - 04:48 pm
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.
Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:25 pm
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.
Pedro de Carvalho
Sun, 03/04/2018 - 02:03 pm
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.
Sun, 03/04/2018 - 10:36 pm
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.

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.

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;-

Hey Salvo, your are still growing. You are likely to experience these body changes for a couple of years. Check out the article above and the one on this link;-

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 12:29 am
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?

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. 

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. 

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?

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. 

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 10:27 am
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
Alan krus
Tue, 06/25/2019 - 06:34 am
Sir I'm 17 years old.. I started masturbate from age of anus bends wide... And new deasease comes that is premature ejaculation.... Can my anus heights grow?????

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;-

Hey Tonnie, penises come in different sizes and shapes including curved. It is normal to have a curved penis, however, if it is curved to the point that it makes sex difficult or painful, it is important that you seek medical advice. Have a look at the following article for more information;-

Hey Bony, In most boys and young men, the penis will have reached its full size by the time they’re 15 years old. At 20 years it is likely no change is bound to happen. Check out the following articles;-

Tammy Richie
Sat, 12/14/2019 - 05:27 am
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

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;-

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:51 am
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

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.

Love Matters
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 03:06 pm

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.

Love Matters
Thu, 06/11/2020 - 11:48 pm

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.

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