Nocturnal emission, which is the technical name for a wet dream, means the body is releasing built-up semen during sleep. Nocturnal emission is a completely normal part of puberty in teenage boys.
During adolescence, young males begin producing the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone enables the body to release sperm; semen is the whitish fluid that carries the sperm out of the penis.
Nocturnal emission is just one way the body releases semen. The body can also release semen through masturbation and sexual contact with a partner. What makes nocturnal emission unique is that semen is released without physical stimulation of the penis. Instead, the body ejaculates the semen during sleep as a response to an erotic dream. It is not uncommon for teen boys not to remember the dream when they awake.
The number of nocturnal emissions varies. Some young men may have them a few times a week, while others may only have a couple their entire life. Usually the frequency of nocturnal emission reduces when young men start masturbating or having sex with a partner.
Even though nocturnal emission is a totally normal part of growing up, many young men feel guilty about having a wet dream. In order to cope with the changes happening to the body during adolescence, teenagers may benefit from talking to a trusted adult like a parent, counselor or doctor.