Delayed puberty is an disorder that is not usually due to pathological causes. It is most often related to familial factors, and more rarely to tumours, endocrinopathies, syndromes (Klinefelter) or chronic diseases that affect the functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland or the growth of the gonads.
When does a child present with delayed puberty?
Delayed puberty is observed when there is:
- No sign of breast development in a girl older than 13.
- No menstrual cycle in a girl over 16 years of age.
- A lack of growth in the testicles and penis in a boy older than 14.
How is delayed puberty diagnosed?
An endocrinologist will take a medical history of the child and the rest of the family and hormone and bone age tests will be performed. Depending on the case, a chromosome test may be ordered (karyotype).
How is delayed puberty treated?
The goal of the doctor is to treat the root cause of the puberty disorder. If, for example, a child has a chronic condition, the treatment focuses on it. If due to a hormonal disorder, hormone substitution is recommended. It is extremely important that the child is monitored regularly by an endocrinologist.