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What Is Delayed Puberty?

Learn what delayed puberty is from Jennifer Wider, M.D. in this Howcast video.


  • Step 1: Understand what delayed puberty is Understand what delayed puberty is: when puberty doesn't happen during the average time frame allotted to boys and girls.
  • Step 2: Causes of delayed puberty Know that delayed puberty is completely normal. Causes can be hereditary and dietary.


Are you freaking out because all of your friends are taller than you, or maybe you look around in the locker room and all the girls are wearing training bras but you aren't yet? When puberty doesn't happen on time, it's known as delayed puberty and it can be totally normal, so you shouldn't freak out. In puberty, what's going on is the pituitary, which is that bean-shaped gland in the base of the brain, sends signals to different parts of your body and then your body starts to change. There are some reasons while some people start puberty a little later than others. One is it may run in your family, so if mom or dad started a little later, you may start late too, and that's normal. Also, it may be diet and nutrition related, and it could be something else going on.

If you're worried, definitely ask mom or dad to talk to the pediatrician and they can make an appointment and you can talk it out and find out what's normal for you. For girls, most of the time it starts between the age of eight and 13. For boys, most of the changes start between ten and 15. So, if you don't fall within that range, definitely speak to your parents and you can talk to the doctor, but please know that everybody develops at their own pace and all of this is normal.

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