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Puberty, Precocious (Early Puberty)

Precocious Puberty (Early Puberty)

Early puberty is also called precocious puberty. Puberty is thought to be early in girls before the age of 8 and in boys before the age of 9. Most children with early puberty grow fast at first, but finish growing before reaching their expected adult height. 

Early puberty will cause a child’s body to change much sooner than his or her friends. They may feel different than their friends and have hormone changes that may cause mood swings. Your child may feel uncomfortable with his or her body changes.  

Helping your child deal with teasing from friends and boosting self-esteem are important steps to help your child adjust to these changes.

Cause of Precocious Puberty

Early puberty is caused by hormones from the reproductive glands or special glands called adrenal and pituitary glands.

A family history of early puberty, genetic syndromes, brain injury, or brain cancer treatments may also be a cause.

Discuss the reason your child may be in early puberty with your child’s healthcare provider.

Symptoms of Precocious Puberty

Boy

  • Enlarged penis and testicles
  • Facial hair
  • Deepening of voice

Girls

  • Breasts
  • Periods

Boys and Girls

  • Pubic and underarm hair
  • Acne
  • Mood swings
  • Early growth spurt

Treatment for Precocious Puberty

Most children do not need treatment for precocious puberty.

If your healthcare provider thinks your child needs treatment, the goal is to stop puberty. There are medications used to stop puberty.

Your healthcare provider will talk with you about what is best for your child.

Call Your Doctor

Call your healthcare provider if you have concerns or there are increasing signs of puberty.

It is very important to have regular follow-up appointments (every four to six months) with your pediatric endocrinologist.

Last Updated 05/2019

Who Treats This

Who treats this?

Endocrinology specialists at Cincinnati Children's are among the nation’s best at diagnosing and treating endocrine disorders.

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Contact us.
To learn more, schedule an appointment, or refer a patient, contact the Division of Endocrinology. Contact Us

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