How Do Doctors Treat Delayed Puberty in Girls?

Delayed puberty does not always have to be treated. We treat delayed puberty if your daughter is concerned about her lack of pubertal signs. We treat delayed puberty with small doses of estrogen in the form of a pill or a skin patch. If your daughter does not start showing signs of puberty on her own, then we slowly increase the dose over time. We then add progesterone after she gets her first period.

What is the Outlook for My Daughter's Delayed Puberty?

Your daughter should do well if she eventually starts to show signs of puberty on her own. She should reach a normal adult height, have normal bone strength and show all of the physical signs of puberty. It should not affect her chances of having children in the future.

If your daughter has to take estrogen or progesterone for a long time, it might affect her chances of being fertile enough to have children in the future. If this happens, we can give special medications that might help with fertility when she reaches an appropriate age to have children.

How Can I Help My Daughter with Delayed Puberty?

You can reassure your daughter that these changes are not different from other children – they are just happening later. She might be self-conscious about these later changes. This is an important time to listen and respond to questions and concerns your daughter might have. You should continue to treat your daughter appropriately for her age and continue to help her with self-esteem.

What are the Differences Among Sex, Gender Expression and Gender Identity?

Sex, gender expression and gender identity might sound similar, but they are actually very different terms.

  • Sex refers to the biology (chromosomes [DNA], genitalia and hormones) that a person is born with.
  • Gender identity refers to how a person identifies, such as male, female, transgender or a number of other terms.
  • Gender expression refers to how a person expresses their gender through their appearance (clothing, hair, makeup, etc.), behavior, names, etc.

The language around gender changes all the time. If you are not sure what to call someone, just ask! Gender was once referred to as binary, or simply male and female. This is not true anymore. Gender is a spectrum and there are many terms a person can use to refer to their gender. Gender is also a lifelong process of self-discovery and expression.

At MGHfC, we welcome patients of all genders and sexes. If you have questions about gender and/or sex and how it relates to your child’s pubertal development, ask the care team.

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