Precocious puberty is when a child's body begins changing into that of an adult (puberty) to soon. Puberty that begins before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys is considered precocious puberty. Signs and symptoms in girls include:
• Breast growth
• First period (menarche)
Signs and symptoms in boys include:
• Enlarged testicles and penis
• Facial hair (usually grows first on the upper lip)
• Deepening voice
Signs and symptoms that can occur in boys or girls include:
• Pubic or underarm hair
• Rapid growth
• Adult body odor
HOW IS PRECOCIOUS PUBERTY DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose precocious puberty, the endocrinologist will:
• Review the child's and the family's medical history
• Do a physical exam
• Run blood tests to measure hormone levels
X-rays of your child's hand and wrist also are important for diagnosing precocious puberty. These X-rays can help the endocrinologist determine the child's bone age, which shows if the bones are growing to quickly.
HOW IS PRECOCIOUS PUBERTY TREATED?
Treatment for Precocious Puberty typically includes medication to delay further development.
DID YOU KNOW?
Psychological counseling can help cope with the emotional effects and social effects of precocious puberty.