Delayed puberty? Here are the problems a teenager can face

If puberty occurs late in adolescents, it can be termed as delayed puberty. This will indicate that the child’s physical signs of sexual maturity do not appear at age 12 in girls or 14 in boys. Breast or testicular development, pubic hair or voice changes will not be appropriate.

We contacted Dr. Payal Narang, Consultant Obstetrician-Gynecologist, maternity hospital, to explain the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of delayed puberty in adolescents. Read on to learn more about it and help your kids.

Parents, do you notice symptoms such as lack of breast development in girls even above 14 years old, lack of penis and testicle development in boys over 14 years old, and short stature by compared to other children of this age. This indicates delayed puberty. Puberty signifies the transition from child to adulthood. Often, children tend to grow past this normal age range for puberty, without showing any signs of bodily change, known as delayed puberty.

Turner syndrome

Causes of delayed puberty in adolescents

1. Genetic disorder

If someone in the child’s family has delayed puberty, they may also have it.

2. Chromosomal problems

Turner syndrome in girls and Klinefelter syndrome in boys indicate that the cause of delayed puberty could be chromosomal problems.

3. Endocrine Disorder

Thyroid problems, pituitary gland can also delay puberty.

4. Other causes

Chronic illness, too much exercise, eating disorders like anorexia, abnormal development of one’s reproductive system can also delay puberty.

Symptoms of delayed puberty in teens

1. Girls

They can spot signs such as no breast growth at age 12, delayed or no periods, delayed growth of pubic hair.

2. Boys

No enlargement of the testicles at age 14, stunted growth of pubic hair at age 15, and took more than 5 years to complete the growth of adult genitalia.

Teenage girl stressed out by fizkes |  www.shutterstock.com
Stressed teenage girl

Problems Teenagers Face Due to Delayed Puberty

It can be a source of embarrassment for teenagers. They will have many doubts in their mind regarding the delay of puberty. They may feel that they are missing behind others. There will be low self-esteem and teenagers will not be able to socialize with anyone. They will feel lonely, stressed, anxious, depressed and frustrated. They will avoid interacting with other children due to embarrassment. Thus, behavioral disorders are frequently observed in children due to delayed puberty.

How delayed puberty is diagnosed

In order to diagnose delayed puberty, a teen will be referred to a pediatric endocrinologist, who specializes in treating children and teens who have growth problems with the help of other doctors.

1. Blood tests

Blood tests can help you find out about hormone levels, chromosomal issues, and other disorders.

2. X-ray

The x-ray can be taken from the left hand and wrist. This can estimate your child’s bone age.

3. Scan

CT scans can show bones, muscles, fat, and organs to monitor a child’s growth pattern.

4. MRI

It is done to obtain the images of body tissues.

Medical check-up for teenagers by Studio Romantic |  www.shutterstock.com
Medical check-up for teenagers

Treatment of delayed puberty

Did you know that before recommending a treatment, the doctor will consider things like age, general health, and other factors when advising a treatment? One may receive hormone therapy or surgery if necessary. Treatment will vary from teen to teen. Your doctor will be the right person to decide what can be done for delayed puberty. Do not self-medicate as it is risky. Parents, your children will need emotional support, understanding and cooperation in the face of delayed puberty. Try to be there for your child. Spend quality time with him/her and help him through the situation.

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