The signs of early puberty include the following physical attributes earlier than the average age:
There are two types of early puberty, central precocious puberty and peripheral precocious puberty.
Central precocious puberty is the most common form of early puberty and is more common in girls. In this form of early puberty, the pituitary gland begins making the hormones that stimulate the development of the ovaries and testes. The development is similar to normal puberty but it simply happens early.
Peripheral precocious puberty is the less common form of early puberty. While it is also caused by production of the hormones testosterone and estrogen, the pituitary gland is not involved, thus “peripheral” to the pituitary gland. In these situations, the problem is typically stemming from issues with the ovaries, testicles or nervous system abnormalities.
Central precocious puberty is largely idiopathic (unknown) but family genetics may be contributors to the condition.
Peripheral precocious puberty is rarer than central precocious puberty but causes include:
As mentioned above, in situations when a girl or boy passes through the normal age range for puberty without showing any signs of body changes or sexual development, the condition is referred to as delayed puberty.
The signs of delayed puberty include the following:
Delayed puberty is most often attributed to family genetics. In other words, it is a growth pattern consistent with other members of the family.
However, there are medical problems that can be directly attributed to delayed puberty. They include:
Children with either early or delayed puberty may not need treatment if it is determined that family genetics are the cause. However, when there is an underlying condition, abnormal pubertal development can be treated with medication to accelerate or slow the development process.
Dr. Joshua Smith is a pediatric endocrinologist who can help! He is an expert in identifying the causes of early or delayed puberty. After a careful evaluation and diagnosis from Dr. Smith, treatment options can be identified and prescribed.
If your child is experiencing early or delayed puberty symptoms, call Dr. Joshua Smith for an appointment or fill out the form below.
Dr. Smith is the region’s only specialist in pediatric endocrinology and is specifically trained to properly diagnose and treat both early and delayed puberty.