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Don't Think I've Gone Through Puberty - Should I See A Doctor?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hi im a 15 year old male and I don't think I've gone through puberty although there are signs. I have pubic hair, a little facial hair and armpit hair but I'm pretty sure my testicles haven't dropped and my penis hasn't gotten bigger. Should I see a doctor? If there something wrong with me?
Signed: Don't Think I've Gone Through Puberty - Should I See A Doctor?

Dear Don't Think I've Gone Through Puberty - Should I See A Doctor?,

 

TeenHealthFX is going to start by giving you some general information on puberty in males:

When Do Guys Go Through Puberty?

Puberty starts at different times for different people. The timing of puberty depends mainly on a person’s genes, which means it is inherited from your parents. Here is some info on timing:

·         Some guys will start going through puberty as early as 10 years old, and others may not show any signs of starting puberty until 14 or 15.

·         Most guys will begin to see some growth of testicles by age 12, which is generally the first sign that puberty has started.

·         Once puberty starts, it generally lasts about 2-5 years.

There are some additional factors that can affect when puberty starts. Poor nutrition can negatively impact puberty, as well as certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease or sickle cell disease.

If there are no signs of puberty by the age of 14, it is recommended to check in with a health care provider about it.  

What Happens During Puberty?

·         The first body change is generally the growth of the testicles. The skin of the scrotum will become thinner and the testicles hang lower. Later on, pubic hair begins to develop and the penis gets bigger.

·         Hair begins to grow under your arms, and later on hair may grow on the face, arms, legs and chest.

·         The body grows taller and more muscular.

·         The voice deepens, and some voice cracking might even be noticed during this time.

·         Body odor may become more of an issue, making things like daily showers and deodorants more needed.

·         Acne can develop or worsen during puberty.

·         Because of the hormonal changes occurring, some people find they deal with emotional ups and downs during puberty – feeling sadder or angrier and not even knowing why. Keep in mind that puberty does not account for all emotional issues that teens deal with, so if negative feelings are frequent, intense, or interfere in any part of your life it is a good idea to check in a health professional about it.

 

The fact that you have pubic hair, a little facial hair and armpit hair means that you have definitely started puberty. Hormones from your adrenal and pituitary glands have triggered this new hair growth, which is a totally normal part of puberty. While testicle growth tends to be one of the first signs of puberty, there are certainly guys out there who are growing in a totally normal and healthy way who may experience body changes in a different order than the next person. If at 15 you had absolutely no signs of puberty, there might be more cause for concern – but the fact that you do have definite signs of puberty in terms of the body hair is a good indication that there is probably nothing to worry about. Puberty can take between 2 and 5 years to be completed, and each person will go at their own pace with these changes – so try not to be too stressed about it.

Keep in mind that FX cannot give any definitive diagnoses over the web, so if you find you are truly concerned about this and want to put your mind at ease, check in with your doctor about it soon so that you won’t continue to stress over it. And at the very least it is definitely worth mentioning to your doctor at your next visit so he/she can confirm that there are no underlying medical issues. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

 

For more information on puberty you can talk to your doctor, or you can go to the following websites:

·         American Academy of Pediatrics

·         Medicine.Net: Puberty

·         TeensHealth

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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