Precocious Puberty

(Precocious Sexual Development, Premature Puberty)

Definition

Precocious puberty is the unusually early onset of puberty. Typically, this is before:
  • Age 8 years in girls
  • Age 9 years in boys

Causes

Puberty is a complex process of brain, body, and hormonal development. If your child begins puberty at an early age, it may just be a variation in the range of what is considered normal.In about 25%-75% of affected boys, this condition is due to underlying medical conditions. However, for many girls and some boys there is no known cause.In rare cases, precocious puberty may be caused by conditions such as:
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • McCune-Albright syndrome
  • Tumors or disorders of the testicles, ovaries, or adrenal gland
  • hCG-secreting tumors
  • Hypothalamic hamartoma (HH)—a rare benign brain tumor near the hypothalamus
  • Severe hypothyroidism
Other causes:
  • Acute head trauma
  • Central nervous system infection
  • Radiation treatment
  • Taking estrogen in girls
  • Taking male sex hormones in boys
Abnormalities in Adrenal Glands or Hypothalamus May Lead to Precocious Puberty
Kidney and adrenal
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Hypothalamus
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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