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What are the physical changes that take place in boys?

May 13, 2010

A boy’s voice gets deeper, his muscles develop and his chest gets broader. Hair starts to grow on his face, legs, chest, and under his arms. In due course he will need to start shaving.

During this time his penis and testicles will also grow bigger and longer. Sometimes one testicle grows faster than the other, and it is natural for one to hang lower than the other. Hair, called pubic hair, will also start to grow at the base of his penis. As a boy gets older, this hair will grow thicker and courser.

As a boy progresses through the stages of puberty, he will also start to have erections and he may have wet dreams.

What is an erection?

An erection is when a boy’s penis hardens and lengthens. This usually happens when a boy has romantic or sexual thoughts, or as a result of physical stimulation. However, during puberty a boy will start to get erections more often, sometimes without any stimulation at all.

Most erections are not straight, and tend to either curve upwards or to either side. Many boys worry that their penis is smaller than other boys’, but most penises are around the same size when erect.

What is a wet dream?

Erections can happen at any time, including when a boy is asleep. A wet dream happens when a boy becomes sexually aroused while he is asleep and ejaculates (semen – the sticky liquid that sperm is part of – is released from his body through his penis). Sometimes boys can remember having had a sexual dream. But often they just notice a wet patch on their nightclothes or on the sheets when they wake up.

If a boy has a wet dream, he should always wash when he wakes up. This is because he may develop an infection around his penis and testicles if the area is not kept clean. It is a good idea for a boy to wash his testicles and penis, particularly behind his foreskin (if he has one), every day.

Wet dreams are not something to be embarrassed about; they are natural and happen to lots of people. There is also no need to worry about not getting wet dreams as not everyone does.

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