Puberty is now hitting youngsters a year earlier than a generation ago, with boys commonly starting between the ages of 10 and 15 or 8 to 13 for girls. 14 year old Maria’s troubles started when she began puberty 4 years ago. Maria suffers from a condition called hirsutism, or excessive body hair. Dr Pixie says that it is probably a hormone imbalance causing the hair, and sends Maria to see endocrinologist, Professor Mehul Dattani. After taking her blood pressure, urine and blood tests it becomes apparent that Maria has quite a high amount of male sex hormone and she is diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. This is a common but life-long condition, affecting 1 in 5 women. Symptoms can include, menstrual problems, acne and weight gain.