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Ask the Expert: Men's Health FAQ: Part Two

Males are often left out of the conversation surrounding their mental, physical, and sexual health due to gendered stigmatization. The hope of this blog post this month is to begin the process of normalizing conversations centered around men's health.


Q: Can a boy become erect while they are asleep?

A. “Nocturnal erections” can occur while you are sleeping. This typically happens during the REM phase or “Rapid Eye Movement phase” of sleep. REM sleep typically starts about an hour and a half after you fall asleep. This phase of sleep is when dreams typically occur.


Q. What are wet dreams?

A. A wet dream is when you release semen from your penis (or “ejaculate”) when you are sleeping.


Q. Why do you have wet dreams?

A. Usually, wet dreams happen when you have a dream about sex. However, this is not always the case, and you might not even remember the dream that you had. Wet dreams can occur after you go through puberty. This is because, when males go through puberty, their body starts making a hormone called testosterone. Testosterone helps the body produce and release sperm.


Q. What is “morning wood” and why does it happen?

A. “Morning wood”, as it is often called, is when men wake up with an erection or boner. This happens because of a hormone called testosterone. Testosterone levels typically peak or are at their highest in the morning.


MariClare Martin, MD

University of South Florida Pediatric Resident, PGY-2

Ybor Youth Clinic - You can learn more information about making an appointment here!

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