Precocious Puberty



Puberty is a complex process of brain, body, and hormonal growth. In most children, the cause of precocious puberty is not known.

In some children, it may be caused by:

  • Brain tumors
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Problems with the central nervous system
Abnormalities in Adrenal Glands or Hypothalamus May Lead to Precocious Puberty
Kidney and adrenal
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Precocious puberty is more common in girls.

Other things that may raise a child’s risk are:

  • Having a greater body mass index, especially in girls
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Having other family members who have had precocious puberty



Symptoms of PP in girls may include:

  • Breast, pubic hair, and underarm hair growth
  • Menstrual bleeding

Symptoms of PP in boys may include:

  • Growth of penis and testicles
  • Pubic and underarm hair growth


The doctor will ask about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Your child’s puberty milestones and growth will be checked. The doctor may refer your child to a doctor who treats in hormonal, glandular, and metabolic problems.

Blood tests may be done to check hormone levels.

Pictures of the body may be taken with:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI scan



The goal of treatment is to stop or slow puberty. Close monitoring of growth and development will be needed.

Any underlying causes will need to be treated. Other treatments that may be used are:


Artificial hormones may be given to stop the body from making reproductive or growth hormones.

Mental Health Counseling

Precocious puberty can be stressful. Talk therapy can help a child learn how to cope.


There are no known guidelines to prevent precocious puberty.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.