Delayed Puberty (for Teens)  - Meaning, Causes, Treatment

Delayed Puberty (for Teens) - Meaning, Causes, Treatment

What is Delayed Puberty (for Teens) Puberty?

Puberty is an oft-heard word that most of us are familiar with! In lay terms, it is when a girl starts to develop breasts and then starts her period after two to three years. By definition, it is when the pituitary gland begins the production of two hormones – lutenizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. If a girl shows no signs of breast development by the age of 13, it means that her puberty is delayed.

Causes of Late puberty

In most cases of late puberty, growth changes happen in the body later than usual. This means that you are a “late bloomer”, and will attain puberty later than most children. There’s no cause of worry here, since these people eventually catch up with the others! It is also influenced by genes, which is in case the mother started with her periods after 14 years of age, then it is most likely that the daughter will have a late period!

Another significant cause of late puberty is decreased body fat. Girls who are athletic or indulge in sports such as gymnastics or swimming generally have late periods. Besides, it can also be seen in girls who are anorexic and are into extreme dieting and purging, since they fear putting on weight. Lastly, there could be some health conditions, because of which the body fat is lower than usual!

There are a few cases wherein girls with delayed puberty have an issue with their ovaries. It could be either of the two cases – their ovaries have not developed properly or are damaged; this is called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Some girls suffer from Turner Syndrome, right from the time they are born, in which all or part of one of the two X chromosomes is missing. These girls are extremely short for their age and have distinctive features such as webbing of the neck, a high-arched palate, or even arms that bend outward when extended. This syndrome is generally diagnosed before the age of 13, but it affects the growth of ovaries in a significant manner!

Furthermore, some girls may have damaged ovaries due to the improper functioning of the immune system. They could also have a late period due to lack of pituitary hormones, or suffer from some pituitary deficiencies.

When does one need to get checked?

In most cases, delayed puberty is not a cause for concern. In case you feel a little unsure about it, make sure to visit a doctor. A medical physician is likely to tell you if your child needs to be checked for medical problems. Your doctor will enquire if there’s a family history of delayed puberty and could also suggest a physical exam and blood tests to check hormone levels. Besides, the child’s growth and her bone health will also be examined to examine if the bodily functions are in place. There are some children who also might need a sonogram to check if their uterus and ovaries are developing properly.

In rare cases, a late period or delayed puberty also occurs if the child has celiac Disease or Inflammatory Bowel Disease that keeps the intestines from absorbing nutrients from food.

Your doctor could prescribe certain medicines, including estrogen pills, to help the girl attain puberty. Some girls might need a long-term hormone therapy depending on their condition!

Incorporate lifestyle changes  

The body needs proper nutrients for optimum health during different stages of life, including puberty. This is a period problem that could be tackled with lifestyle changes, including incorporating a healthy diet. Studies suggest that adolescents between the ages of 9 and 13 must consume a certain amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B6, apart from other nutrients. For proper growth, there is an increased need for nutrients in teens and a well-balanced diet is the key to attain puberty on time. Include carbohydrates, proteins such as lean meats, fish, and beans, as well as calcium-rich good, and leafy vegetables. This will help your child maintain a healthy weight and prevent nutritional deficiencies that delay the onset of puberty.

Malnutrition and eating disorders are extremely common among teenagers, so make sure your child receives adequate amount of nutrition for her growth and development. After all, prevention is always better than cure!

1 comment

  • Arushi

    Hi :)
    This is the first time ever I am reading about something called ‘delayed puberty’ . I am 23. And I am flat-chested. It makes me feel so insecure about myself all the time. It’s been a decade of living in pain and hurt and insecurities. I feel a part of me is missing and I feel incomplete. My mother and father are physically both fit. Also I weigh 41 kgs currently. We went to see many doctors. But the only one wise doctor told me – It’s natural. Give your body some time . And don’t worry much about it. But till date , I am flat. But yeah I am somehow dealing with it , managing with it. I so want to break the very notion/belief that with any young girl , breasts are complimentary. Google does not have all the answers . And one of my questions that ’ why some girls are flat’ , it couldn’t answer till date.
    Um, I don’t think I am anorexic or I have any disease . It’s just my puberty is delayed. The only sad thing about my life is that I am flat. Rest I am a happy go lucky girl with a large and a blessed life.
    But this one sad thing turns all my blessings into a curse. I have never been ‘Me’ all these years. I am afraid to even stand straight and tall with my head high due to this. It has taken away all my confidence. I was once a very brave , fierce , exuberant girl like till 7th. But then I saw every girl in my school, college blooming … blooming like a beautiful flower and I stood there feeling incomplete , cursed. I really keep scanning every girl around me wherever I am to find someone just like me…but I hardly find/see anyone. But I am glad the other girls are blessed and happy . I am 23 and till date I have never tried anything ethnic wear where girls of my age go mad and happy trying this and that every other day. Thank God to the padded bras . They make my life a little easy. Its easier to step out and delusion the world. That I have it when I don’t. But I never wanted to please the world. It’s just that it’s so hard to accept my own self like that. Sorry I shared too much. Don’t know who would be reading it. Just for the first time felt like there’s some piece written just for me. Otherwise it’s always about how to lose weight or crap like that. Because there are maybe just 10 girls out of 100 like me. Maybe not even 10. And also people just don’t know there are Girls with a flat chest too. Lol . Yes I exist. Till date….I have never been loud about my pain and my story of being flat and skinny. Not even my mother and not even my best of friends. It’s just the pages of my diary know it better. Someday I wish to share it with the world so that it could reach to all those few number of skinny flat girls crying in the changing rooms, cursing their bodies , praying day and night for some fat on their chest. Thank you. Hope my message reaches someone who just understands. Just that :)
    Oh yea…never knew what Carmesi is. Just yesterday my beautiful neighbor handed me over a pack of it. And just now that I was searching about it..and stopped by

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