Delayed Puberty/Sexual Development
Also known as: disorders of growth, puberty and sexual development, constitutional growth delay, CGD
What is delayed puberty/sexual development?
Late puberty may be defined as a situation where the body’s timing for sexual maturation is later than usual. In many children late puberty onset runs in the family, and for most cases it is not a cause for alarm.
If a boy does not experience any physical changes (like growth in the testicles) by age 14, or a girls does not have any development of the breasts by age 13, this situation is known as delayed puberty or delayed sexual development.
What causes delayed puberty/sexual development?
While in most cases, the child is normal and is simply experiencing a constitutional growth delay where the body is developing more slowly than most other children, other causes may include chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, an underlying chronic medical condition, such as a heart condition or celiac disease, or tumors in the brain that prevent the secretion of hormones needed for puberty to develop.
What are the symptoms of delayed puberty/sexual development?
What are delayed puberty/sexual development care options?
In many cases, puberty will occur normally in these children, just at a later time. Treatment, where this doesn't occur depends on the underlying cause.
Managing an underlying medical condition, or surgically correcting an anatomical problem will be of value- hormone therapy may be helpful to stimulate the development of the physical changes desired.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:14 AM