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Delayed Puberty: Impact on Female Fertility

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Frontiers in Gynecological Endocrinology

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Abstract

Puberty is the period of life that leads to adulthood through complicated and sometimes painful physiological and psychological changes. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis undergoes an active phase during foetal and neonatal development and then enters a resting phase that lasts for the rest of childhood until puberty. Puberty begins with an activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal system. It occurs today earlier than a century and even earlier than half a century or 20 years ago. Delayed puberty may have a dramatic impact on the mental and social development of an adolescent. In the literature, different definitions for “delayed puberty” can be found and there are no guidelines indicating when in the absence of pubertal signs an investigation should be started. Usually, in girls, a first evaluation should be done not later than at the age of 13. However, the initiation of a first evaluation has to be earlier in some cases: it depends on the psychosocial pressure exerted on a child by her personal delay when it is compared to the pubertal development of the pair group of schoolmates and friends. One thing that quite often worries the patient and her parents the most is the impact of delayed puberty might have on later fertility.

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Birkhaeuser, M. (2017). Delayed Puberty: Impact on Female Fertility. In: Sultan, C., Genazzani, A. (eds) Frontiers in Gynecological Endocrinology. ISGE Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41433-1_11

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