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To Sam

Puberty malfunctions :/

Hello Sam,

This is a bit of an embarassing subject for me but i am now 17 and well-into puberty, for about 2 years now during any random time of day (during classes, sitting watching tv, reading etc..) i have been getting completly random erections, even when I am not looking/thinking about a member of the opposite sex in any way. i understand that during early puberty this is typical and is supposed to ware off after a year or so, but mine just keep comming , i feel kind of weird, but I cant help it, i am able to cover it up but it is REALLY annoing? It feels like my horemones are malfunctioning in a way. I have never had a girlfriend and never had sex (girls dont really like me becuause i'me unpopuler and quiet) but I don't know if that should make a difference..

What can i do? Please Help me Sam

Ask Sam


Hi and thanks for your letter.

Lots of young people write to me because they are concerned about all the stuff that happens to them during puberty. Puberty is something that usually happens between the age of 10 and 18 for boys.

Lots of changes take place both physically and emotionally and it takes the body a long time to adjust to these changes and it is different for everybody. Having erections is one of the things that happens and usually it is because you are sexually excited but it can happen at other times as well. Most boys have an erection when they wake up in the morning, and they can get one when they're not expecting it during the day, even when they’re not sexually excited. This is a normal part of sexual development and growing up.

It sounds as though you are quite worried that your hormones are malfunctioning and maybe it would be a good idea for you to talk to your doctor so that he can reassure you that all is fine physically. As you are 17 years old he will be able to keep everything you tell him confidential. If you think that might be too embarrassing then you could give Sexwise a call - the helpline number is: 0800 28 29 30 they deal with all things to do with sexual health.

You say that girls don’t like you because you are unpopular and quiet, maybe that’s something you could talk about some more. You might find it helpful to talk to a ChildLine Counsellor, they could help you explore how you are feeling about puberty, sex and girls. You can ring them any time free on 0800 11 11 or chat through the 1-2-1 online chat on the website. You could also look at the Puberty message board where other young people are posting about similar situations. Maybe you could even post a message yourself.

Take Care


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