Puberty is the period during which sexual development occurs. in girls, puberty is characterized by a growth spurt, hair growth in the armpits and pubic region, the development of the breasts and reproductive organs, and the onset of menstruation. although there is considerable variation in the age of onset of puberty, girls tend to start this process between age 10 and 14. puberty may be considered abnormal if it starts either earlier than normal or later. early puberty occurs if a girl develops breasts before age 8 or if menstruation starts before age 10. in extreme cases, puberty may begin at age 4. puberty is delayed if menstruation has not started by age 16 or breast development is absent at age 14….you may click & see
Early puberty is rare and may be a sign of an underlying hormonal disorder. delayed puberty is more common. there may be an underlying cause, but many girls who have not menstruated by age 16 are simply late developers, a tendency that often runs in families.
Abnormal puberty can be disturbing for a girl and her family because physical and sexual development will not coincide with that of her peers. medical advice should be sought as soon as abnormal puberty is suspected.
What are the causes?
Puberty in girls is controlled by female sex hormones produced by the ovaries. the production of these hormones is controlled by hormones from the pituitary gland in the brand and from the hypothalamus. disorders of any of these organs may lead to an abnormally early or late puberty.
Precocious puberty may be due to an underlying disorder that leads to a premature rise in female sex hormones. for example, an ovarian cyst that develops in childhood may produce sex hormones, causing early sexual development. a tumor of the hypothalamus or damage to the pituitary gland as the result of a head injury or an infection such as meningitis may also lead to early puberty.
Delayed puberty may be caused by certain chromosomal disorders, such as turner syndrome or less commonly by a pituitary tumor. excessive weight loss or exercise may create a temporary hormonal imbalance that can lead to delayed puberty.In many cases of abnormal puberty no underlying cause is found.
What might be done?
The doctor will do a physical examination to determine whether puberty has started or how far it has progressed. a blood test may be arranged to measure hormone levels or check for a chromosomal abnormality. you may have mri or ct scanning of the brain if a pituitary tumor is suspected or ultrasound scanning of the ovaries to look for cysts.
If there is an underlying condition, it will be treated. for example, an ovarian cyst will be removed. hormonal treatment may be prescribed to suspend precocious puberty or to promote sexual development if puberty is delayed. delayed puberty may be associated with infertility and further evaluation and treatment may be required in the future if a woman who has had a delayed puberty wants to have children.
Sometimes, puberty is simply late and treatment is not necessary. gaining weight and reducing strenuous activity may help if delayed puberty has been caused by weight loss or exercise.
Click for more knowledge on The Problem of Precocious Puberty
Read “The Hazards of Abnormal Puberty due to Estrogens in the Environment”
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.