What problems are caused by precocious puberty?

Updated: Nov 30, 2020
  • Author: Paul B Kaplowitz, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Answer

Early onset of puberty can cause several problems. The early growth spurt initially can result in tall stature, but rapid bone maturation can cause linear growth to cease too early and may result in short adult stature. The early appearance of breasts or menses in girls and increased libido in boys can cause emotional distress for some children. However, not all patients with CPP who are age 7 years or older at the time of onset require treatment. For patients with precocious puberty who are treated with GnRH agonists:

  • Follow-up should occur every 4-6 months to ensure that progression of puberty has been arrested
  • Favorable signs include normalization of accelerated growth, reduction (or at least no increase) in breast size, and suppression of gonadotropin levels after a challenge of GnRH
  • The ideal testing frequency has not been established
  • Monitor bone age yearly to confirm that advancement has slowed

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