LATE Puberty Onset

Updated on March 10, 2017
N.P. asks from Plainfield, IL
11 answers

Has anyone had a daughter, or you yourself, had LATE puberty onset? My daughter is 14.5 years old and really is not showing many signs of it starting any time soon. She was born with kidney reflux, had that repaired in 2012 when she was 9 1/2 yrs old, and when they repaired that they discovered her ureter was not formed correctly either, so they fixed that at that time. When we went to her urologist for her annual kidney check he mentioned that it may be an issue that she hasn't started yet. That was last June. So, although I have tried not to worry about it, every month that goes by without her starting her period, or even getting boobs, body odor, hairy arm pits, etc., I am getting a bit more worried. He said if it didn't start by summer they may need to do some investigating. And if it didn't start by the time she turned 16 then there are "things they can do". We both thought it would happen this year. Her older sister didn't start till she was 14 yrs and 3 months old. Well now we are at 14 yrs and 6 months for this daughter.

I keep thinking that since her kidneys and ureter were formed wrong maybe she was born without some essential parts, like ovaries or a uterus or something. She is ALL girl, no inkling of not having female characteristics, just no sign of puberty starting. She is still only 85 lbs and 58 inches tall.

So, I kinda need reassurance. I know that I can't do anything to make it happen, that we will have to wait till summer to investigate if it doesn't start by then, but... can anyone ease my heart on this?

PS - her older sister and her have decided that if she never has a period she has won the girl card lottery -- never getting a period would be awesome says her sister, lol. Her sister even offered to carry a baby for her if that is the case. So she is not upset over this, not anxious, honestly she looks at it as an awesome thing to not have to deal with all that stuff yet.

Edited to add -- her kidney issues were treated by the top pediatric urologist who specializes in what she had, he actually was the doctor for Gary Coleman. She has had tests to see if she was going to grow more about 4 years ago and that determined she was still going to grow. They did bone scans and blood work. So there is nothing out of the ordinary. Her BMI is low, but her sister's was lower always.
She is not being teased at all. She is the envy of those that know, lol.
I started my period when I was 13.5

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for your encouragement!! I hadn't thought of her sister being not much younger when she started, so that helped right there. And hearing how some didn't start till after 16 helped too. Thanks.
BTW she has no idea I am stressing over this

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answers from Norfolk on

What's her Body Mass Index?
A lot of times periods start when a girl hits a certain fat/body mass ratio.
So if she's athletic and skinny as a rail - gaining a little weight might get things started.

My mom was always on the edge of starvation when she was growing up.
She didn't get her period till she was 16.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on


I do agree that you need to avoid fixating on this issue.. it's good that your daughter doesn't have the same anxieties, but if you continue she could start wondering what is wrong with herself? Be good to yourself and your family.. sometimes good things come when you least expect or obsess over..

Has she seen a Gynecologist? Just wondering. Even so, I didn't start my period till I was close to 15 years old. I had started puberty a few years prior, but was delayed in getting my period. I know some girls start later..

My son has a friend who is 13, and hasn't started puberty. He is very short for his age, and still has that boyish/ baby face. So I do know that it can be just the way their body grows in result to the start of puberty. My son is 13 and already has facial hair. Which, really, that just kills me.

If it is worrying you, you may want to have the pediatrician recommend a specialist.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter, now 30, didn't start until she was almost 14. Over night her boobs came in and a week later she started her period. IT was a HUGE adjustment. Her body odor started at age 9 though and she has always had a LOT of hair.

Take her to the doctor and have her hormone levels tested - they should be able to see if she has any spikes or anything like that. If she is VERY active? Like runs track, gymnast, etc.? Her body could be in "flight" mode and not producing the hormones needed.

Since you started at 13.5 and your other daughter started later, I think you are worrying over nothing.

Unless she has had an ultra sound that shows she doesn't have a uterus? I would just let it be. Let it happen when it happens.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I didn't get my period until I was 17. And I would have been just as happy to never have had one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

Yes, I have a dd who will be 14 in May and is a very late bloomer. She is about 4'9 or 4'10 (not sure since haven't measured lately) only weighs about 73 lbs. She has had all the tests, seen an endocrinologist etc. and they said she's just a late bloomer by about 2 years. She is very undeveloped and she looks tiny next to some friends who are very tall and totally developed. She probably won't get a period till she's 15-16 (like her grandmother). I got mine when I was just about 13.
Her growth plates are open...means she s still growing.
The only thing the endocrinologist said was that her BMI was low so we are now supplementing with Boost and Instant Breakfast between meals and they said she needs more fat in her diet. If the BMI is too low, this can delay growth.
Like I said above, my mom (dd's grandmother) was 16 before she got her period and my mom was very tiny (usually the smallest in her class). But she grew to be 5'4" and I'm only 5'1". So sometimes the late ones grow more than the early ones.
You might ask if they can do an ultrasound to visualize her uterus, ovaries, etc. especially since she had other issues that were discovered in her surgery.
My dd is a very good gymnast and going out for the cheer team (will probably be a flyer) so there are benefits to being small.
I'm actually happy she won't have her period till high school. I hated having my period in Jr. High.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My cousin didn't get her period until she was 16 which means she probably started puberty at 14 since it takes about 2 years.

I'm really glad your daughter isn't stressed about this. My daughter got her period at 11 (she's 14) and she still stresses that her boobs aren't bigger.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I don't have girls, sorry.

I don't understand why she's going to a urologist instead of a Nephrologist for her kidney problems.

I know when **I** started my period. When did you start YOUR period? Were you in the same time frame as your daughters?

Why not have the doctor run blood tests to check her hormone levels? I wouldn't freak out over this either. If she is being teased about it? Tell her to tell people she's a swan and to bugger off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I believe the start of puberty/periods is somewhat genetic? In grade school the girls were always told they would probably start their period at about the same age that their mothers did. I know my mom, sister and I all started when we were roughly 12 1/2. I would think that being just a couple months older than the time her sister started would not concern you. She's only 3 months past the time her sister started. To me, that would mean you need to wait a few months before saying she's late.

If you had never spoken to her doctor, I would say you need to. But since you have and the doctor indicated that maybe this summer they would talk about the next step, I think you need to try to distract yourself. Nothing can be gained by you think about this over and over and over again. You need to do your best to focus on other things. If something needs to be done, something will be done ... but those answers won't come until summer. It's only March, so you need to try not to think about this for at least 3 more months. Ready, go ...

You gotta find something to distract you from this topic.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I thought the average was 13? Maybe that's changed. If so, then I was a late onset. I was very small. No idea if that correlates.

I think it's kind of sad they are talking about her sister carrying a baby for her. Here, 14 is not considered late onset. It still falls within the typical range. If her sister was 14 and 3 months then I'm sure she will likely have it soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I guess I would take charge and make an appointment with the OB/GYN on my own and skip waiting. Why wait? Today verses a few months? She might start tomorrow but if she doesn't have any other signs then that is very unlikely in my opinion.

I wouldn't wait. I'd want to see what a professional that does female things has to say.


answers from Boston on

If she's fine about it now and isn't being teased because she hasn't developed secondary sex characteristics, you can let it wait until the summer. If she thinks periods are gross and her sister is talking about carrying a baby, be sure that both remain okay with this and it doesn't become a stressor rather than a humorous exchange.

I'm surprised, though, that no one referred you to an endocrinologist to do some preliminary testing of hormone levels. That would be pretty easy to do, and if you're worried about it, I don't know why you would wait to at least do a first pass at some basic tests.

I'd have a chat with the pediatrician to ask about a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist. If you have a children's hospital near you, that's a great way to get a good team together (pediatrician, endocrinologist, urologist). If they aren't all in one facility, make sure they coordinate well by phone/computer so everyone is on the same page. That doesn't mean you have a super-stressful battery of endless tests and in-patient treatment! It means that it might be very helpful to have some baseline levels to compare with new readings in, say, 6 months. You'd see if there were any changes showing internal changes. That could be very reassuring to all.

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