The natural process of sexual development and maturation that takes place over several years is known as puberty. in boys, puberty is normally characterized by a growth spurt; deepening of the voice; enlargement of the genitals; and the development of hair on the face, in the armpits, and in the pubic region. puberty in boys usually begins between the ages of 10 and 15. abnormal puberty starts either earlier than normal (precocious puberty) or later (delayed puberty).
Precocious puberty is rare and is usually an indication of an underlying hormonal disorder. delayed puberty is more common and less likely to indicate a serious underlying condition.
What are the causes?
In boys, puberty is controlled by male sex hormones produced by the testes and adrenal glands. the production of these hormones i controlled by hormones from the pituitary gland and from the hypothalamus. disorders in these organs may lead to abnormal early or late puberty.
Precocious puberty is caused by the overproduction of male sex hormones in am young boy. for example, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, in which the adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of male sex hormones, may lead to precocious puberty.
Boys in whom puberty is delayed are usually just late developers, a tendency that often runs in families. however, delayed puberty may also be caused by an underproduction of male sex hormones. rarely, there is a more serious underlying cause, such as a brain tumor that is pressing on the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, or a chromosomal disorder, such as klinefelter syndrome, in which the sex organs do not develop normally. some chronic illnesses, such as crohnâ€™s disease, kidney failure, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes mellitus, can also cause delayed puberty and growth. lifestyle factors, such as excessive exercise and an inadequate diet, may delay puberty. rarely, a pituitary may lead to either precocious or delayed puberty.
What might be done?
Early or late puberty should be investigated by a doctor. he or she will carry out a physical examination to see if puberty has started or how far it has progressed. a blood test may also be needed to measure hormone levels and check for a chromosomal abnormality. x-rays of the wrist and hands may be used to assess bone maturity, and ultrasound scanning of the testes and adrenal glands may also be carried out to look for abnormalities. if a pituitary tumor is suspected, mri or ct scanning of the brain may be arranged.
If tests identify an underlying cause, it will, be treated. for example, precocious puberty may be treated with drugs that inhibit the action of the male sex hormones. these drugs may be given as injections, implants under the skin, or nasal sprays.if delayed puberty runs in family, treatment ay not be needed. in many other cases, puberty is induces with injections of testosterone. some boys benefit from counseling for psychological problems caused by precocious or late puberty.
Abnormal puberty is often treatable, but lifelong puberty may be needed. future fertility depends on the cause.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.