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Precocious Puberty

Key Points About Precocious Puberty in Children

  • Puberty that happens early is called precocious puberty. This means a child's physical signs of sexual maturity develop too soon. Precocious puberty happens before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys.
  • Signs can include breast or testicular growth, pubic hair and voice changes.
  • It may be caused by tumors or growths on the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland or brain. In many cases, no cause can be found for the disorder.
  • Treatment may be done with synthetic gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. This can stop the sexual maturity process.
  • Early puberty may make a child feel self-conscious and embarrassed or be teased by other children.
  • You can help your child by treating them like normal, boosting their self-esteem and seeking a child counselor if more help is needed.
Departments

Departments

Pediatric Gynecology Program

When your child needs specialized gynecologic care, Children's National Hospital has the experience and expertise to provide the most appropriate care for younger patients.

Endocrinology and Diabetes

Learn more about the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes which is a nationally recognized leader in treating a variety of endocrine disorders.