Late or Incomplete Puberty

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Hidetaka Hamasaki

Hidetaka Hamasaki, MD (Endocrinology)

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

It describes the absence of secondary-sexual-characteristics which are the result of hormonal changes in the body during puberty. Growth of pubic hair, facial hair and under the armpit or increase in height are some of the secondary sexual characteristics.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Late or incomplete puberty

Possible causes

  • Uterine hypoplasia

    Uterine hypoplasia is when a girl is born with a uterus that is abnormally small. The condition is sometimes referred to as a hypoplastic uterus.

  • Primary amenorrhea

    A condition where menarche (first period for a girl) does not occur on time. This ranges from 14 - 18 years' old depending on ethnicity and location. Causes include problems with hormone levels, brain growths and genetic abnormalities.

  • Turner syndrome

    Instead of having 2 X chromosomes (XX), one X chromosome is partially or completely missing (X). It occurs randomly and only in women. A number of organ systems can be affected, such as the ovaries, heart, etc.

  • sickle cell disease

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Have you had late or missed puberty, late development of sexual characteristic?

  • Have you had unintentional weight loss of more than 2 kgs in a month?

  • Are you currently thin, with BMI (Body Mass Index) less than 18 or recommended in your country?

  • Do you feel you have put on weight across your whole body (not just around the tummy)?

  • Are you experiencing mental stress or physical exhaustion?

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