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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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Providers Who Treat Precocious Puberty

    Departments that Treat Precocious Puberty

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    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.

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    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.