Boys will typically go through puberty as they grow and develop into young adults. Sometimes boys go through puberty later than we expect. Learn about the causes and symptoms of delayed puberty in boys.
What Is Delayed Puberty in Boys?
Delayed puberty is when your son does not show the first signs of puberty by the time he is 14 years old.
What Is Normal Puberty?
Normal puberty is when children’s bodies start to grow and develop into young adult bodies. Boys usually start to go through puberty between the ages of 9-14 years. When your son starts to go through puberty, his gonads (testes) and adrenal glands (glands that sit on top of the kidneys) release hormones. These hormones cause the first signs of puberty, which are an increase in the size of the testes and length of the penis, body odor, underarm hair, pubic hair and acne (pimples). Over time, boys will develop later signs of puberty, such as increased muscle mass, stronger bones, a deeper voice and a growth spurt.
There are 2 types of puberty that make up the entire pubertal process. These are:
Adrenal puberty This is when the adrenal glands make hormones that cause the first signs of puberty including body odor, underarm hair, pubic hair and acne (pimples).
Gonadal puberty This is when the pituitary gland (a small gland in the brain that controls other glands in the body) makes hormones (FSH and LH), which tell the testes to increase in size and make testosterone.
What Causes Delayed Puberty in Boys?
There are 2 types of delayed puberty, which are:
Primary hypogonadism This is when the testes do not respond to the hormones (FSH and LH) made by the pituitary gland.
Secondary hypogonadism This is when the pituitary gland does not produce the hormones FSH and LH. This type of delayed puberty might happen very late, but is otherwise normal. It also tends to run in families.