Male Health Corner
Adolescence is a time of great change in boys, both physically and emotionally. Changes in your body are greater than at any other time in your life. Most boys have many questions about these changes and worry about what is normal and what to expect.
When puberty (body changes occurring during adolescence) begins, usually between the ages of 10 and 14, the pituitary gland — which is located near the brain — secretes hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone. The production of testosterone brings about many physical changes. Although the timing of these changes is different for every guy, the stages of puberty generally follow a set sequence.
- During the first stage of male puberty, the scrotum and testes grow larger.
- Next, the penis becomes longer, and the seminal vesicles and prostate gland grow.
- Hair begins to appear in the pubic area and later it grows on the face and underarms. During this time, a male’s voice also deepens.
- Boys also undergo a growth spurt during puberty as they reach their adult height and weight.
The onset of puberty is determined by your own biologic “clock” that tells your body to start producing high levels of male hormone (testosterone). Puberty usually takes two to two and a half years to complete. For boys, the first sign of puberty is usually some enlargement of the testicles. This may occur almost at the same time as the appearance of pubic hair. You may also notice the appearance of some body odor and increased hair on your face and under your arms. You can see these are pretty obvious changes and you shouldn’t have any trouble recognizing when you’ve started puberty.
Occasionally endocrinologists or primary care physicians will recommend several injections of male hormone (testosterone) to “jump start” puberty in a male with a diagnosis of constitutional delay of puberty (late-starter).
At the time of puberty, you begin to produce the male hormone testosterone This hormone is reposibe for secondary sex characteristics such as facial and pubic hair, and a deepened voice. The increase in male harmones during puberty can sometimes cause mood swings, intermittent errections and surge in appetite.