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From Your Teens to 29

It may not seem necessary to pay much attention to your health during your teens and 20s, but this is a critical time to start setting healthy habits.

Diet and exercise decisions you make now will set the stage for years to come. Making healthy choices, like getting plenty of sleep, is just one way to get started.

Anxiety, depression and stress can also play a major role during this period of your life. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends, family or counselors if you ever start to feel overwhelmed. SSM Health physicians are a great resource for finding ways to make healthy lifestyle choices that improve and maintain your overall health.

Puberty in Young Men

During your teenage years, you’ll experience the greatest amount of growth in height and weight. Growth spurts may happen rapidly or gradually over time. Additionally, hormonal changes cause sexual and other maturation during puberty.

It can be difficult to pinpoint when puberty will start. Generally changes will gradually happen over a period of time rather than as a single event. These changes are different for everyone, and each child experiences puberty at his own time.

The specific stages of development boys will go through, include:

  • Initial enlargement of scrotum and testes, and eventually the penis
  • Pubic hair growth
  • Increase in body size and mass, with some parts growing faster than others leading to some clumsiness
  • Swelling in the chest area as a result of hormonal changes Voice changes
  • Additional hair growth on the face, legs and armpits
  • Oily skin and sweating

The Importance of Physical Exams

It is important to stay on top of routine physical exams with your SSM Health provider. Physicals should be performed on an annual basis and are often done as a requirement for school sports.

Your doctor will examine your eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, abdomen, back, legs, arms and thyroid gland. They will also complete an assessment of your growth and pubertal changes. Sometimes your doctor will also perform additional screenings for hypertension, scoliosis or obesity.

An important part of the exam is the evaluation of the genitals and scrotum. You’re not alone if you find this part of the physical exam uncomfortable, but it is important to understand it’s importance in making sure there are no developmental problems.

When examining the genitals, including penis and testicles, the doctor may ask you to cough. This test is used to help in detecting inguinal hernias or tumors. If found, surgery can correct hernias. Although tumors are rare in teenagers, it is still important to check. Your physician may also teach you how to perform self-exams.

Taking the time now to create good health habits will help you maintain a better quality of life. SSM Health is committed to helping you live life to the fullest. Contact us today to find a provider or schedule an appointment.

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