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Pediatr Ann. 2006 Dec;35(12):916-22.

Puberty: timing is everything.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


When evaluating delayed puberty, it is essential to determine the underlying cause. This can be done with history and physical exam as well as basal gonadotropin levels, bone age, and further testing as indicated. When the cause is hypogonadism, an underlying condition should be treated if present; otherwise lifelong hormonal therapy is necessary. When constitutional delay is present, each case must be handled individually. Most patients can be reassured while some may require transient hormonal treatment for psychosocial reasons. Patients receiving hormonal therapy may require assistance from an endocrinologist and close monitoring.

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