What are the signs of puberty in boys? In the life of every boy, there will be a period that will gradually turn him into a man. This period is very complicated and usually boys feel confused, anxious or embarrassed at this time. Most of these feelings are due to the rapid rate of change they are seeing. Usually, teenagers do not want to talk or consult with their parents during this sensitive period. It is the parents who should stay with their child and talk to them about these issues. In this article from the section sexual Hi doctor, all the information you need to know about puberty in boys has been compiled.
What is puberty in boys and girls?
Puberty is a natural process during which a person reaches sexual development. The hypothalamus (a small part of the brain) secretes a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This chemical peak causes the secretion of 2 other hormones named follicular stimulating and luteinizing from the pituitary gland. These hormones send messages to the sex organs (testicles) to secrete sex hormones.
In boys, the sex hormone is called testosterone. This hormone is responsible for all the important physical changes that boys see during this period. Another important change that occurs during puberty is the beginning of the process of spermatogenesis in the testicles.
Puberty in boys
Most boys reach puberty between the ages of 9 and 14. However, the age of puberty can vary based on genetics, diet, and geographic region. Puberty can happen earlier or later in some people.
What is precocious puberty and delayed puberty?
Early and delayed puberty can occur based on the physical conditions of people. Now let’s take a closer look at these two phenomena:
Premature puberty can be seen in people due to brain disorders or abnormalities related to the reproductive system. This phenomenon has been divided into 2 groups based on the type of abnormality:
1- Premature central puberty:
If the existing disorder is related to the brain, we are facing the phenomenon of premature central puberty. The most common causes of this condition are brain radiation, brain infections, and in some cases, brain tumors. The brain of people who suffer from this phenomenon sends the messages of puberty to the pituitary gland prematurely.
2- Early environmental maturation: If organs such as testicles or adrenal glands are disturbed or abnormal, they can lead to premature puberty. These abnormalities can be caused by tumors, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland diseases, or genetic defects and multiply the secretion of sex hormones.
Idiopathic precocious puberty is another type of precocious puberty. This phenomenon occurs when no other reason causes premature puberty. Most people who experience precocious puberty are in this category.
Puberty in boys can be delayed due to slow growth or poor nutrition. Sometimes this delay can be caused by underactive gonads. In this condition, the testicles cannot secrete enough hormones. The cause of this lack of secretion can be one of the following 2 reasons:
1- Primary hypogonadism is a condition in which the testicles do not have the ability to make sex hormones.
2- Secondary gonadal hypofunction occurs when the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland cannot send their message to the reproductive system correctly.
Changes in the body after puberty in boys
As boys mature, their testicles begin to secrete the hormone testosterone. This hormone is responsible for most of the changes that people see during this period. Listed here are some of the most common signs of puberty in boys:
Making the body more muscular: The shoulders are wider and the muscles are easier to see.
Voice changer: During this period, the vocal cords become thicker and the apple of the throat appears in boys. This phenomenon makes boys’ voices louder.
Sweat more: The activity of the adrenal glands can cause people to sweat more. That’s why boys smell more unpleasant during this period. This sweating is more common in the armpits and groins.
Oiliness of the skin and the appearance of multiple pimples: Adrenal glands, with their activity during this period, cause the secretion of more oily substances from the skin. These secretions can also lead to the appearance of multiple pimples on the surface of the skin.
Hair growth in the genital area and face: In this type, boys look more like a man due to the growth of their facial hair. This hair growth is not only specific to the face and can also be seen in areas such as armpits and genitals.
Semen discharge during sleep: Semen discharge during sleep is very normal during this period. In fact, this is the mechanism that the body helps to prevent excessive accumulation of semen.
Enlargement of the genitals: During puberty, organs such as the penis, testicles and scrotum grow larger.
Breast enlargement: In this situation, the breasts become a little bigger due to hormonal secretions. However, there is no need to worry because this condition is temporary and will disappear on its own.
Mood changes: It is necessary to know that not all changes related to puberty are physical and in some cases they can be psychological. During puberty, many questions arise for people. Physical changes can be worrying or scary for some, as a result of these changes, boys’ moods can change.
The changes that were mentioned are easily visible, but you need to know that not all of them happen at once and they are seen in different stages in boys.
Stages of puberty in boys
The stages of maturity were first named by James Tanner according to the different patterns of growth in people. Even today, the same names are used to specify the steps of maturity.
The Tanner Scale is a way to measure how much children change and grow into adults. Here are all the changes that can be seen in each stage:
Tanner’s first stage (less than 9 years old)
- There are no visible physical changes
- By sending messages, the brain prepares the body for changes
- The hypothalamus initiates the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- Follicular and luteinizing hormones are produced
- The volume of the ellipsoid is less than 4 ml
Tanner’s second stage (between 9 and 11 years old)
- The testicles get bigger
- The scrotum becomes darker
- Pubic hair begins to grow
- The volume of the oval is between 4 and 8 ml
The third stage of tanner (between 11 and 12.5 years old)
- Testicles and penis become bigger
- In some boys, the breasts can become larger
- The pubic hair grows more and becomes curly
- The sound becomes louder
- Height will get taller and boys will grow about 5 to 10 cm per year
- The volume of the oval will reach 9 to 12 ml
Tanner’s fourth stage (between 12.5 and 14 years old)
- Sperm production begins
- Testicles, scrotum and penis They grow bigger
- The scrotum becomes darker than before
- The sound becomes louder at this stage
- Acne can occur at this stage
- The volume of the oval will be 15 to 20 ml
Tanner’s fifth stage (over 14 years old)
- The testicles, scrotum, and penis will reach their largest size
- Pubic hair will not grow any more
- Facial hair will begin to grow
- Height growth will slow down
- By the age of 18, most people will reach their tallest height
- The volume of the ovule at this stage is more than 20 ml
How can we help our child during this critical period?
- Talk to him about the physical changes of each stage.
- Children usually need more alone time during this period, so give them more space.
- Never make fun of your child for his physical changes.
- If you notice that your child’s breasts are getting bigger, reassure him that this process is normal and will go away on its own.
- Reassure him that he shouldn’t be embarrassed about ejaculating during sleep.
- Give him confidence.
- If you see your child being aggressive, keep calm.
- If you notice that your son has a serious problem or you are worried about him, you can see a general practitioner.
Dr. Salam suggests the article Diagnosis of small penis before puberty Be sure to read Visiting boys before the age of puberty by a specialist doctor prevents future sexual problems in them.