Puberty occurs when a part of the brain called the hypothalamus releases Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH). This hormone stimulates the pituitary gland (a small gland at the base of the brain situated between the two ears) to release two other hormones: Luteinising Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). LH and FSH then stimulate the sex organs (gonads) to produce sex steroids (oestrogen in females and testosterone in males) that cause physical changes during puberty.
Precocious (Early) Puberty
Early puberty is more common in girls compared to boys.
Early puberty can be categorised into Central Precocious Puberty (CPP) and Peripheral Precocious Puberty (PPP). CPP occurs when the hypothalamus releases GnRH which activates puberty earlier. PPP is caused by early production of sex steroids (oestrogen and testosterone) from other organs such as ovaries, testicles or adrenal glands
Delayed puberty is more common in boys than girls.
It is usually caused by the growth and development pattern in a family. However, medical problems can also cause a delay in the pubertal onset. Some people with chronic illnesses like
diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease may go through puberty at an older age because their illnesses can make it harder for their bodies to mature. Proper treatment and better control of many of these illnesses may reduce the chances of delayed puberty.