What is delayed puberty?

Puberty is when your body goes through changes and starts developing as you transition from being a child to an adult. This means that you may start to develop breasts if you’re a girl and your voice might get deeper if you’re a boy.

Sometimes, these changes don’t actually happen. Around the time you might expect puberty (which can be anywhere between 10 – 14 years in girls, and 12 – 16 years in boys) your body might not develop specific changes associated with puberty, like starting your first menstrual period or getting pubic hair. This is what we call “delayed puberty”. 

What causes it? 

Puberty can be delayed for various reasons, and if you think that you might be experiencing puberty delay – these could be the reasons: 

  • Family-related 

It’s possible that you take after one of your family members who might have also experienced puberty at a later stage in their life. 

  • Medical reasons 

Living with chronic illnesses, like diabetes or asthma, can also be the cause of delayed puberty because these illnesses can make it harder for your body to grow and develop at a normal rate. 

  • The lack of proper nutrition

Do you remember your elders telling you to eat your vegetables so that you can grow? They were actually right. A lack of proper nutrients prevents your body from growing and developing as it should, which can then delay puberty. 

How can it be treated? 

Treatment varies from one person to the next and once the underlying cause of the problem is identified, then treatment can be recommended so that puberty can proceed as normal. 

If it runs in the family, then you have nothing to worry about because you will eventually experience puberty. If it’s something else, like medical reasons, then hormonal treatment may be recommended for you. For the right treatment for you, you would need to speak to you healthcare practitioner. 

It’s important to remember that we are all different and our bodies develop differently, which means that you don’t have to compare yourself to your friends. If they happen to develop more quickly than you then it’s okay, because you will also get there.  

Again Choma, if you think you might be experiencing delayed puberty, it’s best to see a Doctor or nearest healthcare provider for more assistance.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can always contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).