Male puberty: What is normal and abnormal?

David W. Hansen, John Fuqua

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Puberty is a pivotal time in an adolescent’s life. Knowing when puberty is precocious or delayed is important to correctly diagnose and treat abnormalities. Being able to appropriately check the progression of puberty is a foundation for reaching the correct diagnosis. Precocious puberty is generally accepted as a testicular volume =4 ml prior to 9 years of age, and delayed puberty is the lack of testicular growth by 14 years of age. Causes of precocious puberty include both gonadotropindependent (central) and gonadotropin-independent (peripheral) etiologies, and treatment varies according to the etiology. Delayed puberty also has multiple causes, including primary gonadal abnormalities such as testicular injury, and numerous causes of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, both congenital and acquired. Constitutional delay of growth and puberty is a particularly common etiology of delayed puberty. It is usually benign, but affected boys may benefit from a short course of testosterone. Correctly ascertaining the etiology of delayed puberty will direct the appropriate therapy. While precocious or delayed puberty may be benign, some causes are serious, making the need to understand this topic important for physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTestosterone
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Basic to Clinical Aspects
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319460864
ISBN (Print)9783319460840
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Adrenarche
  • Delayed puberty
  • Leuprolide acetate
  • Precocious puberty
  • Pubarche
  • Puberty
  • Tanner staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)

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  • Cite this

    Hansen, D. W., & Fuqua, J. (2017). Male puberty: What is normal and abnormal? In Testosterone: From Basic to Clinical Aspects (pp. 109-132). Springer International Publishing.