If you're a young man aged 12 or older who is active in sports or lives an otherwise active life, chances are you know something about getting hit in the balls.
It may not have happened to you yet. But you've probably seen, or at least heard, that taking a hit in the balls -- testicles to be exact -- does more than knock the wind out of you.
Getting hit in the testicles can double you over in pain. It can make you feel sick, even vomit.
And if you're hit hard enough, it can send you to the hospital...
Most of the time, there is NOTHING wrong with boys who start puberty late, says Erica Eugster, MD, an Indianapolis doctor who treats hormone issues in kids and teens. Here's what she wants you to know:
It might run in your family. Most of the time, if a guy is a late bloomer, his mom or dad was, too (or maybe they both were). Ask your parents if they remember when it happened. Chances are, they can relate.
Your body might not be that late. Most guys hit puberty sometime from ages 9-14 -- the average age is 12. Puberty is only late if you’re 14 years old and aren’t showing any signs.
You might be overlooking something. You know your voice will get deeper, you'll get hair in your armpits and groin, and you'll grow taller. But the first thing that changes is that your testicles start growing. Tucked away under your penis, your testicles grow so they can make testosterone, a hormone that triggers the other body changes. But it can be hard to notice that they’ve grown. So you might be in puberty but you just aren't seeing the outward signs yet.
You'll probably catch up. Your height will probably end up normal for your family whether you go through puberty early, on average, or late. In fact, when your friends and classmates have stopped growing, you’ll probably keep going. “A lot of guys are going to pass their friends by because they’ll continue to grow,” Eugster says.
Until your body finally gets going, here’s how to not feel left behind in the meantime.