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Delayed Puberty in Boys

Preteen boy with spiked blond hairWhat Is Delayed Puberty in Boys?

Delayed puberty in boys is characterized by lack of growth and functional activity of the male gonads, called testes or testicals, to produce testosterone by age 14 and failure to grow pubic hair by age 15. Later changes affected are deepening of voice and increase in musculature.

Puberty is the life period when a boy grows into a man and begins with an increase in testicular volume.1

Q: What is an increase in testicular volume?

A: Testes are male reproductive glands that produce reproductive cells called spermatozoa. Spermatozoa first become detectable in specimens of boys’ spontaneously produced morning urine at a mean age of 13.4 years (spermarche). As the testes become larger in the ensuing years, the maturation of spermatogenesis is completed.2

Delayed puberty may be due to excessive exercising, malnutrition, chronic disease, obesity, genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, or tumors that damage the pituitary gland. The pituitary normally secretes gonadotropin stimulating hormone (GSH) telling the gonads to produce testosterone and inhibitin, or the hypothalamus, which tells the pituitary gland to release GSH.

Who is Affected in the General Population?

Delayed puberty occurs in approximately 3% of children.3

What Is Delayed Puberty In Boys In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Brämswig J, Dübbers A. Disorders of pubertal development. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Apr;106(17):295-303; quiz 304. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2009.0295. 

  2. Brämswig J, Dübbers A. Disorders of pubertal development. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Apr;106(17):295-303; quiz 304. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2009.0295.  

  3. Brämswig J, Dübbers A. Disorders of pubertal development. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Apr;106(17):295-303; quiz 304. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2009.0295. 

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