Endocrinologists at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone are experts in diagnosing and treating children and adolescents who have disorders of puberty. Disorders in this stage of life, which is when the body becomes capable of sexual reproduction, may include precocious puberty, in which puberty starts earlier than average, and delayed puberty. Signs of puberty include the growth of underarm or pubic hair, the lowering of a boy’s voice, or breast development and menstruation in girls.
Puberty is triggered by hormones. Disorders of puberty are typically caused by irregularities affecting the glands that produce those hormones. The exact cause of disorders of puberty is often unknown but can include malnutrition, excessive exercise, and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Other causes may include noncancerous or cancerous brain tumors, diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer, trauma to the head, and genetic conditions that cause missing or additional chromosomes.