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How do doctors diagnose disordered puberty development?

Disordered pubertal development includes precocious puberty, or early onset puberty, and delayed puberty.

Girls who begin puberty prior to eight years old and boys who begin puberty prior to nine years old exhibit true precocious puberty. To diagnose, doctors determine the maturity of the bones by taking an x-ray of the individual's hand. Blood hormone tests, ultrasound, CT scans, or an MRI may be necessary if the individual exhibits advanced bone age.

Delayed puberty is diagnosed when girls exhibit no pubertal development by age thirteen or age fourteen in boys. Doctors will evaluate using the individual's medical record looking for signs of chronic disease or hormone level deficiencies. A CT scan, MRI, or chromosomal analysis may be performed. Doctors may often choose to monitor the situation with regular check-ups every six months.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.