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Your body during puberty

foto van een jongen

When you reach puberty your body changes. What happens exactly?

Hair everywhere

Between the ages of 11 and 16, hair starts growing in various places. Soft and downy at first, then more wiry. You grow hair on your upper lip, your cheeks, your armpits, around your penis and on your scrotum. Much later, you grow chest hair.


Lots of boys have a growth spurt around the age of 14: they start growing fast. You not only get taller, you fill out as well. Your shoulders get broader, as well as your chest. Girls start growing earlier than boys do; around 12 years old.


During puberty people sweat more, especially under their arms, and this may smell. It’s completely normal. Washing every day and changing your clothes regularly is a good idea. Using a deodorant also helps.


Hormones are responsible for making the skin a bit oilier. That leads to spots. Do you suffer from this? Wash your face with a cleansing gel to make your skin less oily. Don’t use ordinary soap: it often dries your skin out too much. Your skin reacts by producing even more oil, resulting in yet more spots.

Voice breaks

Around the age of 14, boy’s voices gets deeper and some odd noises may emerge. This is what you call ‘the voice breaking’. Luckily, this is temporary; after a while, it all sorts itself out.

Penis and scrotum

The penis and scrotum grow during puberty. The scrotum gets bigger first, then the penis. The penis first gets fatter, then longer. Most boys have an adult penis at 15 years old.


An erection means you have a stiff penis. Your penis gets harder and a bit larger. When you're turned on, you get an erection. That's handy because a stiff penis makes it easier to have sex. It’s hard to get a limp penis into a vagina.

Good to know: spontaneous erections

Sometimes you have an erection when you're not turned on and when you don't want it. At the swimming pool, for example. This can be really embarrassing: just suppose someone notices it. Don't worry, after a while these spontaneous erections go away.

First ejaculation

Somewhere between 11 and 16 years old, you have your first ejaculation. That sometimes happens as a ‘wet dream’: you have a spontaneous ejaculation while sleeping. You notice that the bed is a bit damp when you wake up. That doesn't mean you've wet the bed, but that you've had your first ejaculation.

Good to know: semen

The ejaculation fluid is called semen. Semen consists of a sticky white fluid containing millions of sperm. Every boy (from puberty on) and every man has semen.