Precocious Puberty – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Precocious Puberty is a condition, which is identified by early adulthood in the children.

Definition of Precocious Puberty

It is a disorder that is identified by abnormal early puberty. In this disorder human body may experience many changes at an early age. This disorder is also known as “Pubertas Praecox”.

Types of Precocious Puberty

Following are the few types of Precocious Puberty

Image by Adams999

Source by : flickr

  1. Central Precocious Puberty
  2. Isosexual Precocious Puberty
  3. Incomplete Precocious Puberty
  1. Central Precocious Puberty

    It is a bit different condition than normal Precocious Puberty and it is identified by the early development of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis (HPG). It is also linked with the wide variety of hormonal and physical changes of Puberty in the body.

  2. Isosexual Precocious Puberty

    This condition is identified by the occurrence of secondary sexual characteristics in females before 8 years and in males before 9 years. It normally occurs due to the early activation of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis.

  3. Incomplete Precocious Puberty

    It is a condition that is identified by the isolated Sexual characteristics occurred by the male Hormones or development of Breast in girls (Premature Thelarche). This condition is identified by the development of Acne, Armpit, Pubic Hair and it may also cause Apocrine odor in girls and boys due to the over production of Adrenal Androgen (Premature Adrenarche).

Symptoms of Precocious Puberty

This condition is identified by the onset of Puberty before 10 years of age in boys and 8 years of age in girls. It is an abnormal Syndrome that may lead to different physical and social discomforts. This is the reason the doctors try to stop this process and focus on making this process happen at the same age it occurs normally.

The symptoms of this disorder appear when the adult features including Pubic Hair and Breast Tissue occur at the early age. Girls and boys may also experience mood swings due to Hormonal changes in the human body.

Signs of Precocious Puberty in Girls

This disorder may occur in girls earlier than in boys due to the reason that girls may experience puberty earlier than boys.

This Syndrome may occur in girls if they experience any of the symptoms before age of 8 years

  • Faster growth
  • Beginning of Menstruation
  • Development of Breasts
  • Maturation of outer Genitals
  • Growth of Pubic and Armpit Hair

According to some researches, these changes may occur in the age of 6 years in girls of African-American origin and 7 years in girls of Caucasian origin.

Signs of Precocious Puberty in Boys

Boys, who suffer from this condition, may begin to experience these following symptoms before age of 9 years

  • Growth of Penis and Testes
  • Development of Pubic Hair
  • Development of Armpit Hair
  • Growth of Facial Hair
  • Growth of Upper lip Hair
  • Growth of muscles
  • Change in quality of voice
  • Deepening of voice

Causes of Precocious Puberty

This condition may occur without any specific cause; some cases are thought to be caused by the Genetic problems, changes in the Brain, Tumors that may release Hormones.

This condition may be caused due to

  • Hypothalamic Hamartoma
  • McCune-Albright Syndrome
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
  • Tumors releasing Hcg Hormone
  • Disorders of Adrenal Glands
  • Disorders of Ovaries
  • Disorders of Testicles

This Syndrome is thought to be a malfunctioning or damage in the Brain that may cause Hypothalamus send a message to the body to start the puberty.

Risk Factors for Precocious Puberty

Risk factors for Precocious Puberty may include

  1. Heredity
  2. Gender
  3. Origin
  4. Obesity
  5. Exposure to Sex Hormones
  1. Heredity

    It can be caused due to the Heredity and some other underlying reasons.

  2. Gender

    This condition can be caused due to Gender and Origin. Gender is also a cause of this disorder because it may occur earlier in girls than in boys.

  3. Origin

    People belonging from African-American origin are believed to be at more risk of having this disorder as compare to other people.

  4. Obesity

    If your child is obese, he may have more chances to suffer from this condition.

  5. Exposure to Sex Hormones

  6. Exposure to Estrogen or Testosterone creams or other things that contain Hormones (medicines or supplements) can increase the risk for this disorder.

Diagnosis of Precocious Puberty

If parents suffer from this condition, children should be careful about having this disorder. They should try to take immediate medical attention in case of symptoms. Diagnosis of this condition starts with the physical examination. Doctors take Blood tests to check the level of Hormones and other underlying reasons of this Syndrome.

Some medical tests for the diagnosis of this condition may include

  • Blood Hormone testing
  • CT (Compound Tomography) Scan of Brain
  • Abdominal CT Scan
  • MRI (Magnetic Resistance Imaging) of Brain
  • MRI of Abdomen

Treatment of Precocious Puberty

Treatment of this disorder may include use of medicines to stop this process before time as well as curing of underlying conditions. It is really important to treat the cause incase of Tumors and other Syndromes. Sometimes surgery is also required to remove the Tumors from human body. Doctor may give you medicines, which stop the release of Sexual Hormones.

Prognosis of Precocious Puberty

The use of drugs may slow down the growth up to 2-3 inches each year. This gives a chance to affected children to grow normally. The long-term effects of these medicines are not known yet.

If this disorder is due to any medical problem then treatment of the underlying causes can stop the puberty. The underlying causes can be treated with the medicines that may hinder the Hormones that may cause Precocious Puberty.

Complications of Precocious Puberty

If this condition is not treated, it may lead to many problems. The physical appearance of children suffering from this disorder may be quite different from normal children.

Children suffering from this condition may have short height and physic as the growth of their body stops at the end of Puberty. In case of early puberty, children may get less time to grow and their growth stops early.

Kids with early sexual development are more likely to suffer from social and psychological disorders. People may taunt such kids so; most of the kids suffering from Precocious Puberty are embarrassed to face the people. Young people are not able to hold the inferiority complex at a time when their body is going through Hormonal changes, such people have low esteem and sometimes they start taking Alcohol, drugs and other illegal things due to depression of their abnormal appearance. Males suffering from this disorder may also suffer from Low fertility and Testicular Cancer.

Parents, friends and other mates should help their fellows to overcome this condition; their support may be helpful for them. Support can raise the confidence and morale of such children and makes easy for them to lead their lives.

If your children are also showing any symptoms of early adulthood, you should urgently consult a doctor for treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can save your child from embarrassment and other related factors. The early treatment can also reduce the complications for your child in future. Your child will also grow normally and lead a normal life.