Precocious puberty is while a child’s body starts changing into an adult (puberty) too soon. When puberty commences before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys, it is considered precocious puberty.
- The rapid growth of bones and muscles.
- Changes in body shape and size.
- Development of the body’s ability to reproduce.
Central Precocious Puberty
During central precocious puberty, the puberty process commences too soon. However, the pattern and timing of the measures in the process are otherwise regular. There’s no underlying medical difficulty for most children with this disease and no identifiable reason for early puberty.
In rare circumstances, central precocious puberty may be conceived by:
- A brain defect present at birth, like a noncancerous tumor (hamartoma) or excess fluid buildup (hydrocephalus)
- A tumor within the brain or spinal cord
- Injury to the brain or spinal cord
- Radiation to the spinal cord or the brain
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia — a set of genetic disorders affecting abnormal hormone production through the adrenal glands
- Hypothyroidism — a situation in which the thyroid gland doesn’t generate enough hormones
- McCune-Albright syndrome — an uncommon genetic disease that harms bones and skin color and causes hormonal problems
Peripheral Precocious Puberty
In both girls and boys, the following situations may drive to peripheral precocious puberty:
- McCune-Albright syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that impairs the skin color and bones and causes hormonal problems
- A tumor within the adrenal glands or in the pituitary gland that allows estrogen or testosterone
- Vulnerability to external sources of estrogen or testosterone, like ointments or creams
In girls, precocious puberty may be connected with:
- Ovarian tumors
- Ovarian cysts
In boys, precocious puberty may be caused by:
- A rare disorder called gonadotropin- familiar sexual precocity. A defect in a gene that causes it can result in the initial production of testosterone in boys, commonly between ages 1 and 4.
- A tumor in the cells that produce sperm (germ cells) or in the cells that produce testosterone (Leydig cells)
Precocious Puberty: Risk factors
- Girls are much more predisposed to exhibit precocious puberty.
- Precocious puberty seems to affect African-Americans more often than kids of other races.
- Children who are overweight hold a greater risk of manifesting it.
- Being opened to sex hormones. Getting in contact with an estrogen or testosterone cream or ointment or other items containing these hormones (like an adult’s medication or dietary supplements) can enhance your child’s opportunity to develop it.
- Precocious puberty may develop McCune-Albright syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which involves abnormal production of the male hormones (androgens). In rare instances, it may also be connected with hypothyroidism.
- Radiation treatment for leukemia, tumors, or other conditions can raise the risk of precocious puberty.
Precocious Puberty: Possible Complications
- Short height. Children with precocious puberty may increase at first and be tall associated with their peers. But, because their bones mature more swiftly than average, It can induce them to be shorter than average as adults. Initial treatment of precocious puberty, essentially in very young children, can assist them in growing taller than they would without treatment.
- Social and emotional dilemmas. Girls and boys who enter puberty long before their companions may be highly self-conscious about the transformations occurring in their bodies. It may affect self-esteem and raise the risk of depression or substance abuse.
Idiopathic central precocious puberty symptoms are distressing for pediatric cases. Ultrasound assists you in understanding the diagnostic information you require.
- For most children, puberty starts within the ages of 7 and 14. However, that onset can slip drastically for children with central precocious puberty (CPP). While CPP in boys can typically be traced to a precise cause, the condition more often comes in idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP).
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation test is a contemporary diagnostic standard. However, research signifies that ultrasound may also contribute valuable diagnostic data. In addition, attempting ultrasound in your practice as a testing alternative may promote greater cooperation from both patients and their parents, making it more natural for you to receive the knowledge you need to create a treatment plan.
- ICPP can be fortunately treated with GnRH analog therapy. This treatment stops further maturation of the female reproductive system, checking additional symptoms and, along with other medications, boosting average growth and development.
- Ultrasound comes into play again for monitoring ICPP treatment. A study in Frontiers in Pharmacology shows that measurements of uterine length and volume, together with other variables like ovarian length, are significantly decreased after the onset of treatment.
- Patients generally continue receiving GnRH analog therapy until they reach the age of normal puberty. During this time, regular ultrasound examinations may be used to evaluate the continued effectiveness of treatment.
While idiopathic central precocious puberty is a relatively rare condition, its effects may cause significant distress for pediatric patients. Pubertal development often proceeds typically despite the early start, but prompt diagnosis is critical for avoiding potential complications such as impaired growth. Using ultrasound as a diagnostic tool provides valuable clinical information while minimizing discomfort to patients and their families.
Precocious Puberty: Prevention
Some of the risk constituents for precocious puberty, like sex and race, can’t be bypassed. But, there are elements you can do to decrease your child’s possibilities of exhibiting it, including:
- Keeping your child absent from external sources of estrogen and testosterone — like prescription medications for adults in the house or dietary supplements including estrogen or testosterone
- your child to sustain a healthy weight