Last updated on October 20, 2020
I am almost 15 years old and I have not had any menses, no growth in height (I am very short) and no signs of physical maturity. I’ve consulted doctors many times and they tell me they can’t do anything. Please, can you guide me on what I should do?
I am writing to you with great expectations. Please help me out
Most girls see some signs of puberty before the fifteen, so I can understand your concern. But in order to correct a problem, a doctor must determine what is causing the problem, or if one even exists. You see, there is a wide range of times when girls enter puberty. The typical range is between eight and fourteen, but it is possible for it to occur after fourteen. Check with your relatives and see when they had begun developing. If you find that many started late, it is possible that your lineage just happens to be “late bloomers” and you inherited the same tendency for a late start.
When puberty is unusually delayed, doctors try to determine a cause. A common cause is when the body is not getting enough nutrition. It takes a lot of energy to go through adolescence and if that energy is not present, the body will delay puberty in hopes of having more energy later. A girl needs a certain amount of body fat before she will begin to mature. A lack of good nutrition can be as simple as not eating well or not eating enough, or it can be caused by a disease that saps the body’s reserves, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or asthma. A girl can even eat well but is exercising so heavily that she doesn’t have enough reserves to mature. Many Olympic gymnasts have had delayed development because of their heavy training.
Another possible problem is that critical glands in your body are not functioning. Problems with the pituitary gland or the thyroid gland will keep the body from producing the hormones necessary to trigger puberty. In order to tell if this is your problem, your doctor must draw blood samples and have a lab measure the levels of hormones these glands usually produce. You may need to see a specialist to have these checked. A pediatric endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in hormone problems in children, would be best suited to deal with problems arising from hormone problems.
About one in 2,500 girls have a problem with their DNA which causes them not to develop. It is called Turner Syndrome. Women are supposed to have two X chromosomes in their cells, but a woman with Turner Syndrome only has one whole X chromosome and the other is damaged or partial. A doctor can determine if you have Turner Syndrome by a blood test, called a karyotype. Even though there is no cure for having a damaged chromosome, doctors can overcome the problems caused by the lack of various hormones.