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The Facts about Puberty (for Guys)

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Q. All of my friends in PE class have pubic hair and their voices are changing. When is that going to happen to me?

A. Soon enough! Puberty does not begin at the same time for everyone. Puberty can begin as early as 10 for some guys, and as late as 14 for others. Many factors determine when your body will start changing. They include genetics (if dad was late to reach puberty, you might be late), physical health, environmental factors, and nutrition.

Q. I woke up and my penis was hard, and there was a wet spot where I was sleeping, but I didn't wet the bed. Is this normal?

A. What you experienced is very normal. During puberty, most males go through times where they wake up with an erection. In fact, ejaculation (the release of semen through the penis) may be the first sign that you are going through puberty. The wet spot might have been because of a process called "nocturnal emission." When your body goes into REM sleep, your penis becomes erect. You may have a sexually arousing dream, called a "wet dream." Remember, puberty is all about preparing your body for reproduction. These sexual dreams are quite normal.

Q. I'm beginning to grow facial hair. When should I begin shaving?

A. Your face is now in constant change - and yes, the androgens are once again hard at work - adding their hormonal content to your facial hair. One of the first places guys begin to grow hair is under the arms and above the upper lip. Talk to your father or a man you trust to show you how to shave, or contact your local health professional.

Q. I noticed that I'm beginning to smell. Is it time for me to start wearing deodorant?

A. Probably so. The androgens in your body react in the blood and change the levels of your body odor (often referred to as "B.O."). Underarm deodorant should help with that. Also, be sure to wash yourself thoroughly under your arms and in your private area.

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