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It may be caused by tumors or growths on the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, or brain. Other causes may include central nervous system problems, family history of the disease, or certain rare genetic syndromes. In many cases, no cause can be found for the disorder. There are two types of precocious puberty:
A child is at risk for precocious puberty if he or she has any of these:
The signs are secondary sexual characteristics that happen early.
Common signs in girls can include:
Common signs in boys can include:
Other signs of the disorder include:
The signs of precocious puberty can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your family’s health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam.
Your child may have blood tests to measure levels of hormones such as:
GnRH is made by the hypothalamus in the brain. It causes the pituitary gland to release gonadotropins. These then cause sex hormones to be made by the ovaries in girls, or the testes in boys. The GnRH blood test may show the type of precocious puberty.
Your child may also have tests such as:
The goal of treatment for is to stop the onset of early puberty signs. In some cases, the signs can be reversed. Treatment will depend on the type of precocious puberty and the cause.
Treatment may be done with synthetic luteinizing-releasing hormone. This can stop the sexual maturity process. It does this by stopping the pituitary gland from releasing the gonadotropin hormones.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.